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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 1 year ago

Nate Boyer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Nate Boyer is what many would deem a renaissance man. The Army Green Beret is also a philanthropist, humanitarian, and former football player for the Texas Longhorns (despite never playing a down of organized football prior to the Special Forces), and later for the Seattle Seahawks becoming the oldest rookie in NFL history at age 34. Being a member of both the military veteran and athlete community, he saw an opportunity to team up both populations to tackle their transition struggles together through his charity Merging Vets & Players (MVP). Boyer’s belief that “Anything is Possible” has served him well throughout his life, and has made him especially fit to speak to finding one’s passions and living with purpose. Nate currently works in Film and TV as a producer, director, actor, and host. Among several other projects he currently produces and hosts the NFL Network show: Indivisible with Nate Boyer which features NFL cities, players, and community leaders across America, discussing issues relevant to their communities and how football unites us all to solve these problems. Check out His Website... https://nateboyer.com   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Hey Everyone: we appreciate you joiningus in the Huddle, I'm your host fifteen year, NFL quarterback Gasprot,alongside my longtime friend, and Co, host Dave Hager, where we talk toguests about how sports shape their life be sure to check us out ourwebsite Howdo up with Guscom, where you can listen to more episodes. Just likethis. Now, let's join the Huddle Hay everyone Gusferad here. How are youdoing today? You know I have some bad news. Dave isnot with me today, but I have some better news. My standing cohost Marnieis back with me Marnie. How are you doing today? 'm doing well? Thank youGod, thanks for that, nice introduction. Well E. I'm glad you're here so Marnipeople can find the show on the sport circus presented by an TV,and we're also excited to be part of sixteen thirty one digital news now andyou can also listen to us on RADIOCOM wherever you listen to your favoritepodcast. Today's show and today's guest is an exciting one. For me, it's a youknow another footballer, another veteran, I'm really excited formerGreen Beray. He walked on to University of Texas when he got out of themilitary, so he was a little bit older than most of the guys that were on theteam became their long snapper and played many consecutive games. I can'twait to hear that story and also you may know him from the gentleman who helped Colin Capenickdecide to take a knee, but also nate. Boyer is known for many Philinthropicand charity events that he does all over the country joining us in the huddle today is napebloyr nate. Thank you for joining us and I look forward to hearing yourstory. Thanks Gus. I appreciate that sorry fort e, the lack of studio lighting we have in here, but I'm up. I live downin Los Angeles, I'm up in the bay area where I grew up and you know I've gotfires going on and all that stuff right now and it can be just you know, can't be loudfrom time to time on cycus to here here like a siren, coun or something and allthat. But this is the best we got right now, butI'm just glad to be here man and really appreciate you and thanks for havvingon yeah. No, we should switch, because I think your lighting would suit me waybetter and you could use a good, better, looking lighting, which you are waybetter. Looking than I am so I appreciate Atsois May, let's go back togrowing up in the Barry area. I know that you weren't into sports growing upso much but tellus about like when you really fell in love with sports. Whenyou were young, did you did you have a team that you looked after? Was itsomebody in your family that really why you fell in love with sports and whatmade you like it from an early age? Well, yeah I mean I always love them. Ialways loved, especially football and baseball. Asfar as like watching it. When I was a little kid you know it was A. I was grew up in the bay area. That'swhe! We! It was the San Francisco giants and the forty niners for me, andyou know at the time the raiders were down inLos Angeles anyway, so the bear. The only Bayr team was the forty niners andsort of threugh. That is why I adopted the giants just because theywere, boththe San Francisco teams, but the niners wone five super bowls in mychildhood. I think the year I was born, they were the first one and then theywant four more that I actually remember, and I was huge- I mean Joe Montana andRoger Craig and Runnie Lot and Jerry rice and I mean th. You know they werejust unbelievable and they had all these superstars and when you win likethat, when you're a little kid, you know your team's always winning or orvery close to winning it's pretty exciting. But I didn't playfootball. I played played basketball. You know I played played little league and I was you know. As I got older, I played soccer two and, as I got older,I remember wanting to play, but I think I was justafraid because I was G. I was a good athlete, Gus, O ut. I wasn't like you,I wasn't this. I wasn't a great athlete I was. I alwas worked hard and I'm sureI know you did to to play fifteen years in the league. I don't care howcalented you are. You have to work your butt out, but I you know I just it was always likethe you know: the Coaches Award for Hustle kind of Guy, not like the MVPand but I had B T. I didn't, have a lot ofconfidence in my abilities, which looking back is it's a common thingwith kids? You know, and I still still have that from time of time with things, but so I didn't play it and an Iremember getting up to the high school age and really wanted to play footballbecause was my favorite sport and I just I just didn't do it because I wasworried. Well what? If I'm, you know what, if I get cut or I ride the benchor I mean like that's, not going to look good, that's kind of going to becool, and I didn't I didn't do it and...

...it was a regret that stayed with me formany many years and I'm sure we'll get into it later, but I eventually had tolike conquer those demons yeah. So you know, hit's interesting is growin up. You grew up with the niners.I grew up with the steelers in the S. obviously, Terry Bratch, all those guysyou know, know them all. I got to meet some of my idols as as I got older now did you play you said you played alittle bit a little linkue. Did you play any other sports when you got tohigh school, where you were you into sports, or were you just into somethingelse? Yeah High School? It was. It was baseball in basketball and I wasdefinitely into it. You know I was I was. I was probably Iwas a better baseball player, but but I loved basketball more probably becauseI think I've noticed this more as I've become older when I'm like, not as goodat something it bothers me and I become obsessed with it, and I want to figureit out and like Ot. I want to be good at it. You know whatever. Whatever thething is, if it's Sai, I have to be interested in it. Obviously right, butbaseball you know was more. It was kind of Chit it's more of a chill sport. It's yeah, I mean you know it's apretty slow game, it's very fun to play. It's you know going to a high schoolbaseball game, maybe isn't the most exciting thing in the world versuswatching basketball or watching football in high school, but then but yeah, so I mean I loved playingbaseball, but basketball is sort of became. My Maria sort of my passion inmy pursuit and I had it set in my mind. I was Goingna somehow play collegebasketball, even though I'm like five ten hundred and you know fifty fivepounds at the time and a good shooter. You know, play tough defense, not agreat ball handler, not ber. I can't jump not high anyway, and so the odds were against me, but I, butI you know, I went after it and worked really hard and you know didn't didn't,have an opportunity to play at the next level, but it was a blessing blessingin disguise because I wouldn't have ended up going to do that with the sport offootball. You know ten years later, if I'd Ha, I out o played basketball. Ithink in college out of high school well, it sounds like nay that ou reallylike being part of the team yeah. That was really what drove you to a performbetter on the court but being part of the team. So what did that feel like toyou to be included and to actually be wanted to be on the team? How did thatimpact you going forward? No, that's a really good point and really good insight. Is it's totally true? I mean I yeah, I loved. I love, I still love being a part of something that that youknow that t that matters- and I know like a lot of people, say Oll Sports.It's game doesn't matter, but especially to a young person. It reallydoes you know it really. Does we all want to belong to something we all wantto feel like we're a part of something great. You know and we all want to win.I mean that's, you know we're competitive or a comperative country,infeditive young people. We all want to win, but even if we don't, if we all,if we know how hard we work together- and you know we did everything, we could it's a goodfeeling to know that you know you really put yourself out there. You dideverything you can cood for your teammates and they were working hardfor you and you know whether you you win or lose. If O, if you put it out out o all outon the field, it is, it is a good feeling and it's somethingI think I woull be got a little friend in the background there. I see Yes wethat's great yeah se so heor. Sheis part of the team as well. So yeah understand understands howimportant that is yeah, but but it was like yeah, it's it's all about that and moving throughlife. You know when I eventually went into themilitary. There was so many of those similar feelings being a part of something that mattersyou know willing to sacrifice for the man or woman on your left and rightgranted the military, it's a different tyme. It's a definitely a differentlevel of sacrifice for sure. I would never compare playing sports to themilitary, but most of the guys and girls that I served with playen sportsgrowing up and understood that concept of team and and sacrifice and workethic and discipline and all those things so like team sports, especially for young people, and it'sreally sad when I hear potentially that you know certain communities and andschool programs. They talk about having to cut back on team sports and I'm justlike man. I look back on my young years in education and I got waymore out of that than anything else and I know everybody's different, but thanany other than any class. I took or anything like that. It was...

...you know the going to practice everyday you know studying a playbook, pushing yourself hard in the gym or theon the field th with other people. You know of your age that are trying to getbetter, and then you know the results, the little victories Faerat, either P,personal ones or team victories or whatever. Those are the things thatstick with me and things that I apply to my my adult life.You know from lessons I learned, then in learning how to lose, to you knowand being okay with that and understanding those are they're, notalways just a lot losses, their lessons, Tyou know and yeah that stuff's, that'sthat's important part of my childhood and just important part of my life ingeneral. It Tat, Weny, came up. Anything is possible mantra. nothat was kind of later. You know whatI mean that was definitely later in he life, probably in Morein, my earlytwenties, acter IHT sortof hit a low point for after high school part of itwas probably not having those teams ports not having that that that thathing to pursue that really kept me focusing on track so for about,I think, about four years after high school. That's when I kind of reallystruggled that was the toughest part of my life, because I didn't have that. Ididn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't have I kind of lost the passion,you know what I mean and, and so then, once I sort of Yo now shipped into that next phase andstarted t feel that passion again and starting to accomplish some things.That's when I started starting to to really believe that that anything ispossible. So Nat did you have like you, made many transitions after high schooland that's a big transition for a lot of people. Some go to college Om Av towork. Some don't know what they're going to do. It seems like you had alittle bit of that. Did you have a mentor or somebody that you could callon you know some people have a coach. Sometimes it's just your parents.Sometimes it's a just a friend Id you have a mentor going after college thatyou could or after high school that you could call on to really bounce somethings off of it really was it really was my parents,you know, and it still is in a lot of ways. I was very fortunate. You know, like I,had to very accomplished very hard working parents that it at the same time as them ounow my dad'saa race, Hort benearyand.My mother was an engineer and both of them, you know, went to graduate schoolat good universities and, like you now did it all themselves like Yo. Nowthing was handed to them: Ou, no, they came from blue collar backgrounds andthey worked their tails off to get where they were and they wanted us todo the same thing a and they you know led by example. Youknow and Hiy wanted us to find heir own path and but at the same time like always set usup for success and and if it was something that wasn't harmful in ourliveright, they encourage us to pursue it, and you o try to help us achieve thatthing, and so I think, IU those sort of floundering years. I guess I don't know if it was part of me sort of rebelling or part ofme fearing that I wouldn't live up to the Opportuniti that they provided forme. You know what I mean. That's kind of a scary thing, I think,when you're nineteen twenty years old and you're like man, my parents, workso hard to give me these opportunities and, like I don't think, I'm good enough,don't think I deserve them. You know what I mean and that's sort of its, nota very healthy mindset B, t that's sort of what I had, because I think I saw a lot of other people that didn't havethat. I had a lot of friends. That's that's really something I haven'treally thought about, but I had a lot of friends that didn't have a goodfamily situation. They didn't have good guidance and mentors from their parentsnecessarily, so you know I felt maybe guilty like man. What did I do todeserve this? You know, and so I think what I natth. Naturally, what alot of people do for she, young people, is they sort of intentionally sabotagethemselves in some ways because they feel like they? Don't they don'tdeserve it? And that doesn't help anything I mean. That's that's aselfish way to live really and- and so I think, all those things sortof took its Tok took their tall on me, but I always had them to turn to bothof my parents thenk. You know they have different opinions and ideas aboutthings like they're, very they had their on their own wavelengthas well. I mean they tay on their work great together, but they have differentways of approaching things, but I always had them to go to and ask, and they were always supergraceful and they knew I was screwing up a lot and they didn't Hav th. Theydid want to you, know pute. You came t him and said: I'm going to go to Sudanand I'm going to try and and help the people that are refugees ther. What theday, what was there? I mean that had to...

...be. Is that something you talked to himabout, or is that a big shock for them? Because I know if my kids came and saidto me? Well, how can I would say? How can I help you? I know this is a verygood project for you, but you know also nervous that you're going to Sudan inin the middle of a war yeah. That was a big. That was a big turning point that wassort of that was the big ship for me and y now Marti, you mentioned it earlier. You know about that. Anything is possible belief. Ithink after that trip after wait, half wait. How did you even decide Sudan,like did you just take a dart and throw it in a map and say that looks goodOhar like people hey theybor, to Odan, like you know, I so tonineleven hadhappened a couple o years before right and that was sort of the first time. Ikind of o do bout the first time, but it waslike. I definitely took a hard look at like okay. What is my purpose? What amI doing in this world like what? What am I going after and also like? How issomething like that possible like? How do these things do these things reallyik? I just almost didn't believe something like that could happen, andthen you know you start to research a little bit and and realize that notonly does this happen, but the parts of the world that this islike happening almost every day. There's people that just you know, aresuffering ar quite a high level, and I read this Time magazine Article aboutthe tragedy in Sudam, and it was talking about this genicid going on inthe Darfer at the time, like four hundred thousand people had alreadybeen murdered and it's like it's, like man, are off fighting been killedalready. You know women like the most horrible things you can imagine happento them, and their children and they're sort oflike left with. You know not a lot of food in the in the sub to here inAfrica, and there was these organizations that were trying to helpthem. You know they're, setting up these these refugee camps and givingthem a place and sort of helping them. You knowhoping to help help them get through this and they were understaffed at theat at the camps and all that, and so I called all these NGOs I talking aboutborders and- and you know, Child Fund and just trying to get over there and help and all of them said you know what youdon't have a college degree or ony special skills like it's. Not that simple, like there's alot of red tape, there's a lot of it's a process to get over there and likeTbut, do Urntyou guys understaffed and they were like. We are, but it's justnot that simple and I you know at the time I was an. I think I was twentythree I was sort of at my wits end and I just like no I'm not going to acceptthat I'm going over there, I'm going to figure it out. So I bought a planeticket flew over to Jemana Chad, which is e the capital ofchat. It's it's a long ways from the Darfer. It's like a twenty hour drivethrough the desert, won K W A couple hours on a on a prop plane. I flew overthere and kind of talked my way onto a UN flight.I told a lot of FIBS to get out there, but it was all for a good reason and, and they believe me, there was anempty seat on this plane and I got on it and I flew out with this littleproppoline out to where the camps were and once I was there. I convince those people and show themlike look, I'm not here for any other reason, but ot just helped. They didput me to work for a couple of months and it completely changed my life. Imean just being around those people. They were so grateful. They had nothingand you know like if this group of twenty kids had one soccer ball likethey were set. They were happy, everybody was just like this is greyand it's like these are a lot of orphaned children. You know what I meanthat probably don't have a lot of there's, not a lot of hope or mentorsthings to look up to or all these things I had. You know opportunity andthey were still happy and I'm like man. What is the deal you know? How is thatpossible? And it was just like this realization- that you know that we tellour kids at all the time like money things. You know that doesn't buy Yahappiness. That doesn't make you happy, but it was like they were part of thecommunity, you know and they they just were appreciative and Gr,grateful for the little things being able to eat. That day. Have you know a tent to sleep under and allthese things I was like man, I am. I I'm not grateful for anything andthat's not. Okay, that's not a good way to live, and then my last week there Iactually got malaria. I got really sick and this family took care of me andthey wouldn't take a dollar form me and...

...they d put this little radio in theroom. I was like Quarantine Din and the only station thit got was the BBC NewsNetwork and it was like the second battle of Feluja was going on and I waslistening to the you know: the United States Marines that were going overthere fighting and they were fighting for those that can't fight forthemselves, and it made me think of these people that I was working with,and I just knew the next step for me wasgoing to be the military. I didn't know what I would do yet exactly as far aslike could what job and what branch. But I just knew that's what I was goingto do and then, when I came back to the states, is when I started exploring thelearned about the the army green beres and that kind of led into the nextchapter yeah, so that that's amazing thatchapter that you just explain to us because there's not a lot of people,you see it on TV and you don't really understand it until you get there. Imean I've never gone over there and experienced it, but I can't imaginewhat that experience life and how you it changes your life because, like yousaid these kids, they come from nothing and you give thim a little a ball thatwhere they can go out and play and they're extremely happy and they forgetabout everything else, that's going on in their life, and you know for me justyou know my kids and I'm always saying the same thing that you're probablytelling your kids like it's, not the money. That makes you happy it's aboutyour passions, your love, your dreams, all those types of things, and youcan't get there just by somebody giving your money in your pocket. It's got to come from the inside. Sothat's an amazing experience. You went through and and getting into your military life. How many years did youspend in the military? I did a total of about ten. I did fiveon active duty and then I had think almost a year off between when Ifirst went to college, but then I reenlisted in the National Guard andonce I joined the National Guard, I did four more years in t Texas, NationalGuard still serving as a green bare actually have the mug right here. NoTexas, National Guard, Nice and that's got our Dapressoli bear, which is thespecial porces motto. It means to free the oppressed, and that was one of thereings. That reasons I actually be Qaing to become a green brade servingthe special forces. was that motto to free the oppress, like really stuckwith me, and I felt like after spending that time in Darfur,with a very oppressed group of people. Those are the kind of people I wantedto fight for. You know, and obviously you're when you joining the UnitedStates military you're, taking the oath to defend the constitution and also youknow the people of America. But I also felt like we were, and I was signing up to to join a group of men and women,whoare Voluntariy Ang willing to sacrifice for people like that in theDar fur you know so we're fighting for them as well, and maybe the hope ofsome of the freedoms that we get to experience in America. Well, even justthe soccer ball, so it all is about sports. It all comes back to havingjust some hopefulness of being able to play with your friends, be on a team,because that team spirit of just having twenty kids and one socperballobviously really meant so much to them, similar to you being on the basketballteam, Gussyou playing football. You know me being a cheerleader and amanager of SE football team, th high school football team so just beingincluded. Those are things that make anybody who is oppressed feel a littlebit lighter on their feet. I would imagine yeah, no definitely I meanthat's, that's definitely an internationalthing. You know I mean we all want to belong to something, but we also thinkeverybody's got an element of competitiveness and- and you need toexercise that you know what I mean- I mean kids. Do it nowadays more on videogames and it is what it is like I get it, but I think that we need to really.We need to really push as a culture, like you know, getting outside sweatind, it's okay to bleed a littlebit. Sometimes you know and D and to lose you know andto lose as a team. As a group of team suports like going back to that yeah,it's definitely an international thing. I mean, even when I was in the military,like some of our when we were deployed overseas, some of the the good you know the Niceescapes that we get are watching football watching guys like Guss, goout on Sundays and Saturdays in college and compete. You know en we've all gotour team that we pulle for, and you know, wwe taught crap and all that goodstuff. But then we also go out an and sometimes we you know we go playtogether. You knowl go out in the on the dirt lot and like toss the footballround or whatever it is, or you know play pick up basketball on this. Youknow really hot asphalt, court you know or whatever it is, and it's like weneed that stuff. I mean that's stuff, it's it's a big part of our. I think thatare human. You know fabric, but also...

...like the American frabric. That'sreally important and yeah. It's it's just a good way to sortof shut off. Whatever you get going inyour life, everybody's got challenges and tough stuff they're going throughand and it's a good way to like help in a healthy manner. You knowexercise some of that stuff out and I do some of my best. I think internalproblem solving when I'm in the gym. You know when I'm sweating in him, likeyou know or I'going, on, like a tough hike or something like that, it justsort of clears your head and for whatever reason at least with me. Isort of removes blocks that I put up or it kind ofopens my mind in a different way. You know everybody's got the different wayof doing that. But for me it's really pushing myself physically, I think,opens up some doors mentally and emotionally that that are often sort ofcalloused and closed up so yeahnow. I hear you sorry no is joun say that my wife and Ido these long hikes as well, and it really helps us as a couple to you knowa lot of times when you're just at home, you don't communicate. You know just becauseyou're in the same spot all the time, but when you get out in the woods- andyou start hiking things just come out and You'e just thinking, oother thingsand how O can I communicate, make my life better with my partner. So we dothat a lot, a everyone we're going to take a littlequick break, but we want to thank you for listening a Howo up the gusword MaPoyer arcohos Marni will be right back, hey listeners, thanks for joining Daveand I in the huddle we invite you to join our xcusive huddle through Patreon,where you can get access to content made just for VIPs, like yourself, headto our website, huddle up with Guscom and hit support our podcast on the popup ad. Once again, that's huddle up with guscom. Now, let's get back in thehuddle, hey everyone! Welcome back on Gusrautyour host and we're joined by Nate Boyer Nate has been explaining his lifecurrently up through the military. Now we really want to hear about the natestory after he leaves the military. It goes into his college life. You know,nat. You were 'n a normal college student where you're coming right outof high school. It was a different situation for you and please tell mewhy you pick Texas, you know yeah. I was A. I was a twentynine year old freshman by the time. I fiund a went to college and I pickedTexas because part of it was Austin. Also University of Texas is a greatschool, but honestly, my you know my headgoat Mac Brown. When I was over in Iraq about a year before Iended up going to to ut I'd heard from first of all, you seethat Longhorn logo everywhere right. Besides, obviously the military logos,it's one of the most popular CEIV, probably sports, wise I'd, say thateven though I'm not a cowboy fan the cowboys star, you see, you know, andyou see a long more logo and a lot of people join the military from Texas. Soit makes sense it's a big state to with a lot of people, but I'd heard from omepeople over there that, like he went there on the USO tour before I was overthere like a year before I was over there and like he went to this one base and theyflew in with some other coaches and stuff, and the other coaches were verygracious as well. But, of course everybody wanted to meet Mac Brown, andthis was you know not long after they won the national championship with Vincyoung and that team and everybody wanted to meet him. You know they hadthese people, these soldiers lined up at the airfield or whatever, and hewould not let the helicopter take off until he lhike signed every autographshook every hand talke to every single person. I wanted to talk to him, and sohe held this helicopter there, for you know an hour or two longer or whatever,whatever it was, and it was supposed to- and I was like you know what I'm goingto go, try and walk on and play football tto school. I bet you MAC,Brown won't cut me just because of that. So, like I was like you know, that'sjust an added piece, but I also I wanted to play. I wanted to go to acollege that, had you know a legendary program and I knew the odds of meactually playing were going to be super high, but I wanted to be a part of ayou know that big big school that had a a great you know football program andalso a good school and Austin was a good choice for me too, because it wasa you know. It was a city not like a huge city, but it was a city so beingan older student. If I'm in this real small college town and I'm ten yearsolder than the other Freshmani just, I...

...thought it might be a little tougherfor me to fit and kind of find a group of friends. I ended up get along withand could hang with, but the reality was once I went to school. I mean most ofmy friends, who am still friends with from college, were guys on the teamguys I played with, even though I was a lot older than them. You know it endedup, not mattering. I did make friends of people my age as well that weren't,a at school you know were to college, but my closest friends today from thattime, where guys I played football with yeah. No, I think that's it's anincredible story and plus youwere still in the army, we're in the reserves. Atthat point now tell me about now: You come in yougot. A lot of these kids are coming right out of high school here, they'regetting recruited, you're a walk on and tell me about your experience in themilitary. How that helped? You succeed in college football, because I thinkthat you know when you walk in no offense. You know you ave already saidyour five ten and- and you know you can't do a lot of these things, butyou're also older. You know where I went into college and I saw these kidscoming in I'm like Jeez. How am I going to compete with these guys? So tell meabout what your military experience gave to you help you compete with these people yeah. You know o one second etersip water. Also.Obviously, you had developed a lot of confidence from leaving high school theconfidence that you didn't have to join the team in high school now you're likewait a minute, I'm going to go to this gigantic university. I've got theconfidence to go to that. That is quite a leap nate from not having confidencein high school yeah. For sure I mean it was. I think that was through themilitary experience I mean after spending five years and almost all ofit in the special forces and going overseas and some of the the challengeswe faced and through the training process of becoming a green baret andthen deploying you definitely build a lot ofconfidence when you you ex you you excel as a team through those things,and you know you're capable right if you start to believe in yourself more.So I definitely believe to myself at that point. That is, with my work ethic I was going tomake it. I was going to find a way to make the team still, I don't want to say doubtful,but still understanding the challenge of actually being a player on the field,actually playing meaningful, snaps andthen. You know, starting and, and soI walked on as a safety, and you know I quickly realize I don't have the speed.I don't have thes size and I didn't have the football knowledge and experiencebecause I hadn't played before so that first year and a half I was just on thescout team. I got to dress for home games and whatnot, and then I got tothe point where I was like. I have to find a way on the field and Iidentified the longsnapping position because it's a thankless job that I waswilling to do after doing plenty of thankless jobs in the military rightand there was an opportunity there. The starter was a senior and he wasgraduating and the backup was a senior and there was other guys that could doit and Ey. I know they were recruiting. You know people Ho come in every year, theyrerecruiting a new, long snapper to come in out of high school. That's beendoing this since he was eight years old or whatever, and but I was like youknow what I'm going to figure this out. I'M gonna learn it I'm just going togive it a give it a shot. I'll put a little bit of weight on and we'll seewhat happens, and I ended up having a a bit of a knack for it. I mean Idefinitely I snapped a hundred balls a day everyday for a while until I started to figure out how to get the you know, aspiral and how to add some P eed through it and then haw to hat a blocka little bit and but it started to how mas it come naturally didn't, butit started to become second nature, and when I started to kind of feelconfident in that and you n I went. I went back overseas between my rechfhord freshman andsophomore year and I told coach frown before I left that I was going to come back and be ready to compete for the longsnaffing position and he was like okay sure you know, and I think he wasprobably a little doubtful just because he knew all right. You know I hadn'tdone it much less, even played football until a year ago, but he's like youknow what come come back and you know I'll. Let you compete for the spot andI came back and it was probably five or six of us that were going through training camptrying to win this position, and I started the bottom of the depth- chardof course, slowly kind of crept, my way up and by the first game of the season.I was the backup and in that first game, the the snapper who they recruited, whowas he was a freshman that was starting. You know he had a couple, not greatsnaps N in the game and so ta next week, Ot practice they let us sort of have asnapoff competition right and I ended...

...up winning and being able to snap for Figos nextrapoints, and so I did that for the rest of the year and then the next year Iwon the punk position as well, and so then I was the starting long snapper.You know for three years and I played in thirty eight straight games and they weren't all perfect, but I neverhad a bad snap. I never had a disaster, I never they never wont over thePunter's head or you know, or I rolled it back to the holder or anything likethat, and so I am proud of that, and it got me an opportunity, a brief one, notfifteen years about fifteen minutes, but it got me a brief one at the nextlevel. Well did you have so you were in the military, an agree braige youroverseas you're. In the toughest of toughest situations, you go into yourfirst game to snap t: Was it at home game xthere's a Hundrsan people? Thre? Didyou have butterflies? You know what my first snap was. Maybeone of the worst naps I ever had, because I I did have those butterfliesand peope are like even coach frown was like. How are you nervous man you beenshot at before and I was like coach there's. A hundred one thousand peoplein the stadium and those other ten guys in the field are relying on me like youhave to feel some amount of nerves there, especially in your first one, but you know he kind of was like. Icame off to feel like it was. You know I mean it was it was. It was fine. Westill made the it was an extra point. We still made it, but you know I wasdefinitely my hands were shaken when I had him on the ball, and I was justlike. Oh, this isn't good and I, by the grace of got it got back there and theholder put it down, made the kick, but once I kind of gotten over that it waslike that initial. You know I snapped it. Of course, I got hit by thedetackles are come trying to come through Likit, but once I got that out of my system-and I was like okay now, I'm in the game, the rest of the game went great.They were all perfect snaps and I kind of developed that confidence and wasable to focus zero, win and use a lot of the same. I Guess Mental Qes I used when I was learning to shoota pistol in the military to help me focus. You know this, the Mantin likeain't, small and this small, but also like when I look back there. Youprobably do the same thing when you're throwing a ball like you're gettingchased by line, but an you gotll be things going on, but when it's time tocock your own back and throw that ball, you focus on something very specific.You know whether it's a right. I don't know if it's a point, the head of thereceiver that you're leading him to or whatever it is you know, and maybe notmaybe it's so second nature that you don't do that but like for me, I had tolook and to look at a very specific point of that holder's glove. You knowwere a very specific piece of cloth on the Punners, Jersey and ID like seethat kind of visualize it and then you know a lot of it becomes muscle memoryfrom there. Well, I also understand where you're coming from, because I wasa holder for every year, I was in the NFL for multiple kickers. Youknow my last kicker was a whole of Famer, Mortin, Anderson and, and youhad to be very on spot and can't miss big ball. pull the you know all thesethings, and it was a lot of practice. So I understand where you're comingfrom and I had to work with the snappers for a long long time. So then you know in Marny. I don't knowif you know this, but in two two thousand and twelve nate was named thebig twelve person of the year, the sports person of the year. What do youthink about that? Yes, and he was the Disney spiritperson of the year as well. I think that it's amazing the amount ofappelanes natand going. You know going from, maybe somebody who didn't reallyhave a lot of confidence again and wasn't really sure what you were goingto do and I think definitely felt like you didn't want to squander all theopportunities that your parents had given you, it's really an amazing,although sircuitous path to success and something that I think is really remarkable, and I bet that many peoplewho are fans of yours- it's you know it's so relatable, because you don'tnecessarily know what you're going to want to do when you're fifteen sixteenseventeen years old and then having the people believing in you that they knowthat you're going to get through it. I mean that's really what I thinkobviously has highlighted and helped. You know drive your career and that istruly incredible and incredibly also because you do so muchphilanthropically, aside from you know, being like a renaissance man andclimbing natjom and Jaro and snapping footballs and so forth. It's really, Imean out of all those things. What do you think if you, if somebody said allright, nay, we just want you to do one thing. You know every day. What wouldyou have? What would you choose to do if I had to just do one thing I mean itprobably do what I'm trying to do now, what I'm focused on now, I I'm I want to tell stories. I want totell great you know, inspirational stories and whether I'm part of thatstory or not like I think, that's really important, and so I'm you knowI'm in the brouttess process now of...

...working. You know a little in film andTV and I'm going to be actually directing myfirst movie coming up in the next moth, which is kind of crazy, especially onmhidsui e cogratulation stuff. Thank you and you're doing it. For you know,it's a it's still a lot of money to me, but it's an ultra low budget movie. Soin the movie world, it's not a lot of money, but this is what I love to doand it's a you know important story about actually about veteran who's,really Fallin hard times in a former NFL player who's. Also struggling withthat transition, which is you know something well talk about it in aminute here. I'm sure. Regarding the you know, the charity, I cofounded withJ layser MVP, but I think doing that. You know I'm just being a part ofhelping to tell those stories that do help inspire people that are strugglinglike maybe I was in my early ties or whatever everybody's got that time intheir life where they need to. You know they need to be inspired. They need tosee that other people have persevered through tough times andother people dealt with. You know a lack of confidence or belief inthemself and then they got through it and eventually got to a place wherethey felt like they anything was possible, and so that's that's probablythe one thing I think. If I had to pick one thing you know for the rest of mylife. It would be that because that encompases a lot there's so manydifferent stories to telln so many ways to tell them, and so that's and it's something thatI've always been passionate about. I've always always really loved deep down.Well, I ta Youknowso. I think that that's if you're going to tell stories,you have an audience and you're already. You know starting off that midfield,yeahyeah exactly and so tell us a little bit about a record. Don't think ever is going tobe broken in the NFL that you hold. You were the oldest rookie in the NFL atthe age of thirty. Four, now that's that's! I don't know if that 'll bebroken anytime soon. I don't know if that's a record that you're proud ofEITER, hey the col part. The close part aboutthat to me was when I got to it. When I got you know, I was signed as aunderafted free agent by the SEAOX and when I went up to Seattle, got in thatlocker room. Not only was that the oldest rookie in in the the modern ARAanyway right Theyfel, but I was the oldest guy of a team as a rookie, andthat was crazy and the second oldest was the punner. So it's like, I was thirty four. He wasthirty three and everybody else was like in their twenties. Pretty much Imean that's just it was crazy and it was, but it was really cool. I mean I amproud of that and I got the plane one preseason gameand I only played you know. I played five snaps. Somehow I'm credited with atackle hat. I don't think I made, but maybe I kind of ran somebody oat ofbounds and they came into me. Yougota. You got a cept to just take it yeahit's on wikipedias. How must be true so, but yeah I mean that was. That was anawesome experience. You know going through training camp and allthat you know spending spending five months up there with seahawks and thennot to mention that one game we played in which willsort of bridge into this next piece I think about. Regarding capternick incollege. I got to leave the team out of the tunnel with the American flag forevery game righty. So for this game, even though it's very season Gan, wehad a packed house in the Seattle and quitme manager asked me if I wanted to.If I wanted to leave the team out of the tunnel with the flag, and so I took the flag wed the Tam out of thetunnel, an we're on the sidelines when the Anthom starts playing and I startedcrying. I was just so emotional and overwhelmed and proud to. You know bewhere I was, and I was thinking about, people still find overseas and thosethat didn't make it back, and it was just a really emotional moment and alot of those seahock players from Russell Wilson to Richard Sherman, to Earl Thomas toMichael Bennett, Bobby Wagner to Marshaan Lynch. They all came up andlike we're hugging on me, you know, and that was really cool. That was a reallycool moment. Not to you know, playing in the game was great, but like that'sthe moment, I remember right and then a year later was when Collin capining first startedsitting on the bench, and you know during the anthem, protest of racial inequality and and policefretality and all that stuff, and you know it really hurt me to first seethat I was a big I mean. Obviously I'm a big fortyninter fan right and I bigcaprinick fan to, and I didn't really listen to why he was doing it. My firstreaction was just you know an like this guy. This guy, like doesn't you know,doesn't appreciate my service or all of our service and doest understand. You know the freedoms that we have and Blah BlahBlah, not really taking into account...

...that my experience is completelydifferent than anybody else's experience, especially so maybesomebody of you know a different skin celler and all that and and even if hedidn't necessarily experience the same amountof oppression as people in the Dar Fer or even other people in this country, he's still standing up for for peopleand have giving a voice to people that don't have one maybe, and so I had tokind of check myself in that moment. You know- and I ended up- writing thisopen letter to Collin. Just saying, hey look. This is why I feel the way I feelthis is why I stand, but I also need to do a better job of understanding thatthose are my emotions and feelings. Based on myexperiences- and you know I, you are exercising a First Amendmentright that I fought for, and I look forward to the day that you'reinspired to staynd wance again. Hopefully, we can figure this thing outas a country, and you know t the letter went pretty viral and Colin read it andwas inspired by it and he actually reached out to me and said he wanted tomeet so the next day I met with him down in San Diego. They were playingthe San Diego chargers in the final preseason game and we met in the lobby.F The team hotel and talked about all that stuff talked about our experiencesand backgrounds and really about you know why he was doing what he was doing,and I listened I listen to better at that time and-and I think more importantly, or just, as importantly, call and listen to meand wanted to hear about my experiences in the military and he' made it veryclear he didn't want he's like this is not about the military like. I have agreat respect for men and women. The fought for this country and he's like Ijust I think, there's a good number of us that don't experience the same amount offreedoms and and there's a promise that that flag is supposed to represent.That's not being that's, not been met, you know for a lot of people and-and I think that's not right and I respected that you know I didn't agreewith everything he said, but I did agree with wanting to make this countrybetter. I still do, and so he asked me finally, the end this conversation. Do you think, there's a better way. Ican protest or demonstrate that won't offend people, the military. Besidessitting on the bench- and I said well, you know no matter what you do. Somepeople will be offended, but my opinion, I think it's. The mostimportant thing would be the be alongside your teammates. I thinkthat's a good, it's very symbolic and t's. It's a goodthing for people to see in the country and if you're committed O tonotstanding, no matter what until things start to change, I think takinga kneeis, the only other option that makes sense, and I see it as a prettyrespectful gesture and and that's where you know taking ate game from and hedid it that night and I stood next to him and some people booed in the stands, andyou know what most people didn't and I think it opened a lot of people's mindsto and ears to what he was talking about.And you know I was. I was proud to be apart of the conversation and I think it's interesting to see how thatkneeling is sort of spread throughout sports across the globe. At this point,Rightan you seen it come full circle with George FLORD's, George Floyd teathand everything and the kind of the everything that's happening. Americaand realizing that hey there are injustices out there and there are alot of people walling to help wanting to do better. So you know, if you think, back to thatlittle talk that you guys had and and helping with Colin Capenick. But to methat's what our country needs is just to sit down and listen to each other,instead of just hating on each other, for doing something that you may notagree with, because there's a lot of things that I don't agree with a lot ofpeople, but doesn't mean I hate them or want them something to happen to them.And so I really appreciate you- and I want to thank you for taking the timeto listen to Collin Story and I'm sure he really appreciates your story, whichI believe me. I've had many family members that were in the military. Mybrother Inlawas an army ranger. You know nd from you name it from every warback. I've had somebody in them, and I appreciate you and I want t thank youfor your service and I whant thank you for helping us through all this,because it's not a quick answer and it's going to take a while for us tounderstand how to really get rid of the injustices. Systemic racism and thingslike that in our country to make us a better country, and it's about all ofus, not one of US yeah. That's that's great. I guess, andI completely agree with you I' cause et you saying that, but that's the mostimportant thing to me. I mean I think, as a you know, as a soldier as a veteran a lot of times, aure our our story gets coopted and people tryto sort of put us in a box and- and theywant people to...

...assume certain things about US and ow.They kind of want to group US alltogether, like we all feel the sameway about things in e reality is you know we have varying opinions andfeelings about things and- and I think you know when I look at when I look at thecountry now- and I look at my time in the military. The most frustrating part is that wefought for everybody in this country and w. You know we fought, for you,know, equality and justice for all, just like calling sort of speakingabout and then to come back for from war and see us so divided and notwilling to listen and have those conversations. That's what hurts morethan anything more than anybody taking a knee or whatever the conversationabout the anthem itself or the flag. The most painful thing is just how ugly we are to one another and it's noteverybody in the country for sure most people aren like that, and I'm glad I'mgrateful for that. But right in this social media era, we hear allowd USvoices the most and a lot of those loud voices are very angry and very I youknow, can be very hateful and and that's frustrating so, but I'm notgiving up. You know I got a lot of hope and what we're capable of- and this isa great place, just people like there's a lot of people like you and Marty andand plenty others that you know our that are that are happy and and hopefuland you know, lead with love and and understanding and listening and wantthis place to get back to its fault potential and- and it's been a toughyear, regardless of you know, beyond just the social justice conversationsJus, just everything I two thousand and twetyis just nonstop, but maybe it'ssomething we kind of need. You know it's like a reset button for us, and maybe it will be a big turning point. Look at it and I am hopeful- and Ithink that that that things are they are getting and will becontinue to continue to get better yeah. I thinkwe're all, but e Lihe and Oh sorry, Goss was just goinna. I mean mygrandfather would always say civility is not a sign of weakness and I reallylove that expression because it really does kind of define. You knowthe human nature of you know. Being civil does not make you or being acompassionate person, doesn't make you weak people kind of sometimes seem tothink that being able to have those conversations likeyou had, you know with Colin and wanting to engage in more conversationand everybody's definition of something is different, and I think thatlistening and those are the great things that will hopefully like do this,reset that we're now having will take us. You know to the net level yeah, no, I agree Marni and I thinkwe're going to have a little fun here. I think we got a little serieus for amoment now we're going to go to a two minute drill at the end of the showhere, we'll see how far you get down the field. Nate so put two minutes onthe clock on our all right, so, first question: for You,nate gas or electric car, I have a gas card man I feel guilty all right. Os Li or crime. Well, say itagain, all right when you're traveling someplace, are you flying or drivingathough like Al Right? Why all right? What's your pet peeve? I have a lot of PEP tose, we a Ding, and I can't ven like thinkof one right now, but I definitely have a lot. How about my pet people aboutmyself was when I can't think of a word or something like this in this momentwhen I know this, I know there's something that really bothers me. Ican't think of it. So if that's a cout te Ari Gus, I know you like thisquestion, so I'm going to throw it back to you the mount rush more question, all right. What's your Mount Rushmoreof Texas Football, Oh man, I mean for me it was honestly in two thousandand twelve. We played in the Alemobile against organ state and my my bestfriend from the military passed away the week before, and I was a pallbearer in the funeral or a couple weeks before a the Paul Bear and the funeraland we dedicated the game to him and his family and we were getting ourtails whipped until the fourth quarter and we came back score. Three touhdownsin the fourth quarter won the game d. It was incredibly emotional moment andlike that that was the that was the piece for me that t e biggest game inthe biggest moment of Texas right awesome, all right, Marnin, all right,your favorite sports movie, Oh man, I got a lot of good sportsmovies. I mean I love Rudy and I grew up a notedame fan and I'm an underdogto so that's a good one yeah, I would say rudy for nom good com,all right, favorite, quarterback, Joan Montanna,...

...oh no. We didn't freeze that fright now.Did we no good morning all right? So the last question is all right: what isyour hit en talent dancing like Michael Jackson? Eventhough he's mhanhe got a tained legacy when it comes to dance and he's demand,yeah? Well, Hey! You know what you didn't get a touchdown, but you made aperfect snap and we kicked the fill goal. What do you think about that mate?I that day? That's that's my job. You know c you got to do you gotto! Do whatyou're good ad do what you're made to do stay in your legs? Hey! Weappreciate you sharing your story less, please tell all of our fans what you'redoing currently how they can fined you and how they can domnate to some of thecharities you're involved with yeah. My website is nae at excuse me. Mywebsite is naboyrcom social media at N, EIHT, Boyr. Thirty, seven MVP, whichstands for merging vets and players, is a charity where we bring together,combat vets and former professional athletes and help them find purpose andservice together and that new identity. When the uniform comes off vets andplayers, dock worg is that website and the movie I'm directing is called MVP,and it's about that experience and also water boys. Dot Org, which iswaterboars, are started by Chris Long. It's a clean water project in EastAfrica and every year mine is this year due to Covid, butwe're going to figure something out. We go together. We go with combat vets andformer and current NFL players an we climb, MT killemand Jaro and raisemoney for clean water wells in east Africa in the process, and that's areally really really special product to me as well awesome. I really appreciatenate that you came on, find Natat, Nat, buyercom and everything that he's doing.Marni appreciate you joining me today on huddle up with Gus, and I wanteveryone to go to the sport circus. Go O th, Nsixeenden, Ndthirty, one digitalnews or RADIOCOM, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast andlisten to huddle up with gus join us every week, where we interview newguests and you can find USS also at huddle up with guscom nate. Thank youso much more NDE. Thank you! So much what a wonderful show- and I lookforward Te Inso to to thank you for joining Dave and I in thehuddle. We hope you enjoyed our podcast if you like, to hear more podcast, justlike this go to huddle up with Guscom, where you can find our social channelssubscribe to hear more by our merchandise and join our excusivehuddle through patreon. Please doin US next week when we talk to more guestsabout how sports shaped their life.

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