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 gusts fraud,alongside my longtime friend and cohost Dave Hagar, where we talked to guests about howsports shape their life. Be sure to check us out on our website. How do up with Gustscom, where you can listen to more episodes justlike this. Now let's join the huddle. Hey everyone, guess Farad here.How are you doing today? You know, I have some bad news. Dave is not with me today, but I have some better news.My Standing Co host Marnie is back with me. Martie, how are youdoing today? I'm doing well. Thank you, guys. Thanks for thatNice introduction. Well, I'm glad you're here. So, Martie. Peoplecan find the show on the sports circus presented by AMTV, and we're alsoexcited to be part of six thirty one digital news now and you can alsolisten to us on RADIOCOM wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. Today's showand today's guest is is an exciting one. For me, it's a you know, another footballer, another veteran, really excited former green beret. Hewalked Onto University of Texas when he got out of the military, so hewas a little bit older than most of the guys that were on the team. became their long snapper and played many consecutive games. I can't wait tohear that story. Worry and also you may know him from the gentleman whohelped Colin Kaepernick decide to take a knee, but also nate boyer is known formany Philanthropic and charity events that he does all over the country. Joiningus in the huddle today is nape boy or nape. Thank you for joiningus and I look forward to hearing your story. Thanks, guys. Iappreciate that. Sorry for the lack of studio lighting we have in here,but I'm up. I lived down in Los Angeles. I'm up in thebay area where I grew up and you know, I've got fires going onand all that stuff right now and it can be just you know, theycan't be loud from pannatteralsis so here here like a siren com or something andall that, but this is the best wegard right now. But I'm justglad to be here man, and really appreciates you and thanks for having meon. Yeah, I know we should switch because I think you're lighting wouldsuit me way better and you could use a good, better looking lighting,which you are way better looking than I am, so I appreciate. Actually, it's nate. Let's go back to growing up in the bay area.I know that you weren't into sports growing up so much, but tell usabout like when you really fell in love with sports when you 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 andwhat made you like it from an early age? Well, yeah, Imean I always love them. I was loved especially football and baseball, asfar as I watchington when I was a little kid. You know, itwas a I was grew up in the bay area, as I really was, the San Francisco giants and the forty niners for me, and you knowat the time the raiders were down Los Angeles anyway, so the bay arethe only bay area team was the niners and sort of through that is whyI adopted the giants, just because they're both the San Francisco teams, butthe niners won five super bowls in my childhood, I think the year Iwas born and won the first one and then they won for more that Iactually remember. And I was a huge I mean Joe Montana and Roger Craigand Ronnie Lot and Jerry Rice and I mean, you know, they werejust unbelievable and they had all these superstars and when you win like that andyou're a little kid, you know your team's always winning or very close towinning, it's pretty exciting. But I didn't play football. I played,played basketball, you know, I played, I played little league and I was, you know, as I got older I played soccer too, andas I got older I remember wanting to play, but I think I wasjust a phrase because I was I was a good athlete, guys. SoI wasn't like you. I wasn't this. I wasn't a great athlete. Iwas I was worked hard, and I'm sure I know you did too. Did to play fifteen years in the league. I don't care how talentedyou are, you have to work your butt off. But I I youknow, I just was always like that, you know, the coaches award forHustle kind of Guy, not like the MVP and so, but II didn't have a lot of confidence in my abilities, which, looking back, is it's a common thing with kids, you know, and I still Istill have that from kind of time with things. But so I didn'tplay and I remember getting up to the high school age and really wanted toplay. Football, is my favorite sport, and the jest, I just didn'tdo it because I was worried, well, what if I'm you know, what if I get cut or I ride the bench or I mean like, that's not going to look good, that's not going to be cool.And I didn't. I didn't do it...

...and it was a regret that stayedwith me for many, many years and I'm sure we'll get into it later, but I eventually had to like conquer those demons. Yeah, so,you know, it's interesting is growing up. You grew up with the niners.I grew up with the steelers in the S, obviously Terry Brads,all those guys, you know, nom all, I got to meet someof my idols as as I got older. Now did you play? You saidyou play a little bit a little league. Did you play any othersports? When you got to high school, where you were you into sports?Were you just into something else. Yeah, high school it was.It was baseball and basketball, and I was definitely into it. You know, I was, I was, I was probably I was a better baseballplayer, but but I loved basketball more, probably because I think I've noticed thismore as as I've become older, when I'm like not as good assomething, it bothers me and I'd become obsessed with it and I want tofigure it out and like I want to be good at it, you know, whatever whatever the thing is, if it's other, I have to beinterested in it, obviously right. But baseball, you know, it wasmore it was kind of ch it's more of a chill sport. It's Imean, you know, it's a pretty slow game. It's very fun toplay. It's, you know, going to a high school baseball game maybein the most exciting thing in the world versus watching basketball or watching football inhigh school. But then, but yeah, so, I mean I loved playingbaseball, but basketball was sort of became my my sort of my passionin my pursuit and I had it set in my mind I was going tosomehow play college basketball, even though I'm like five hundred and ten hundred and, you know, fifty five pounds at the time and a good shooter,you know, played tough defense, not a great ball handle or not veryI can't jump, not high anyway, and so the odds were against me. But I but I, you know, I went after it and worked reallyhard and, you know, didn't didn't have an opportunity to play atthe next level. But it was a blessing. It blessing in disguise,because I wouldn't have ended up going to do that with the sport of football, you know, ten years later, if I had fought a played basketball, I think, in college out of high school. Well, it soundslike that you really liked being part of the team. Yeah, that wasreally what drove you to a perform that are on the court, but beingpart of the team. So what did that feel like to you to beincluded and to actually be wanted to be on the team? How did thatimpact you going forward? Now? That's a really good point and really goodinsight. 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 that that matters, and I know, like a lot ofsay, old sports it's game doesn't matter, but especially to a young person,it really does, you know, it really does. We all wantto belong to something, we all want to feel like we're a part ofsomething great, you know, and we all want to win. I meanthat's you know, we're competitive for a competitive country, confetitive 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 we dideverything we could. It's a good feeling to know that, you know,you really put yourself out there. You did everything you cad could for yourteammates and they were working hard for you and you. Whether you you winor lose, if you put it out all out on the field, itis it is a good feeling and it's something I think. Oh we gota little friend in the background there. I see, yes, that's great. Yeah, it's he or she is part of the team as well.So, yeah, another understands how important that is. Yeah, but butit was like, yeah, it's it's all about that and and moving throughlife, you know, and I eventually went into the military. There wasso many of those similar feelings being a part of something that matters, youknow, willing to sacrifice for the man or woman on your left and right. Granted, the military it's a different type. 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've heard with played sportsgrowing up and understood that concept of team and sacrifice and work ethic and disciplineand all those things. So like team sports, especially for young people,and it's really sad when I hear potentially that, you know, certain communitiesand and and school programs. They talked about having to cut back on teamsports and I'm just like, man, I look back on my young yearsand education and I got way more out of that than anything else, andI know everybody's different, but than any other, than any class I tookor anything like that, it was,...

...you know, the going to practiceevery day, you know, studying a playbook, pushing yourself hard in thegym or that on the field with other people you know of your age thatare trying to get better, and then you know the results, the littlevictories that are either per personal ones or team victories or whatever. Those arethe things that stick with me and things that I apply to my adult life, you know, are from lessons I learned then and learning how to lose, to you know, and being okay with that and understanding those are notalways just losses, their lessons, they know. And Yeah, that's stuffs. That's that's an important part of my childhood and just important part of mylife in general. Is that. When came up, anything as possible.Mantra um not. That was kind of later, you know what I mean. That was definitely later in life, probably in more in my early S, after I sort of hit a low point for after high school. Partof it was probably not having those team sports, not having that that thatthat thing to pursue that really kept me focusing on track. So for aboutI think about four years after high school, that's when I kind of really struggle. That was the toughest part of my life because I didn't have that. I didn't know what I wanted to do, I didn't have a kindof lost the passion, you know what I mean. And and so thenonce I I sort of shifted into that next phase and started to feel thatpassion again and started to accomplish some things, that's when I started started to reallybelieve that that anything is possible. Son. Did you have? Likeyou made many transitions after high school and that's a big transition for a lotof people. Some go to college, I left to work. Some don'tknow what they're going to do. It seems like you had a little bitof that. Did you have a mentor or somebody that you could call on? You know, some people have a coach, sometimes it's just your parents, sometimes it's just a friend. Did you have a mentor going after collegethat you could or after high school that you could call on to really bouncesome things off of? It really was. It really was my parents, youknow, and it still is in a lot of ways. I wasvery fortunate, you know, like I had to very accomplished, very hardworking parents that at the same time as them. You know, my dad'sa race wort Venarian, my mother was an engineer and both of them,you know, which graduate school at good universities and like, did it allthemselves. Like no thing was handed to them. They came from blue collarbackgrounds and they worked their tails off to get where they were and they wantedus to do the same thing and and they, you know, led byexample. You know and they wanted us to to find our own path and, at the same time, like always, set us up for success and andthere was something that wasn't a harmful in our life, they encourage usto pursue it and, you know, try to help this achieve that thing. And so I think those sort of floundering years, I guess I don'tknow if it was part of me sort of bound or part of me fearingthat I wouldn't live up to the opportunities that they provide it for me.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 parentswork so hard to give me these opportunities and like I don't think I'm goodenough, I don't think I deserve them, you know what I mean. Andthat's sort of a it's not a very healthy mindset, but that's sortof what I had, because I think I saw a lot of other peoplethat didn't have that. I had a lot of friends that's that's really somethingI hadn't really thought about, but I had a lot of friends that didn'thave a good family situation, they didn't have good guidance and mentors from theirparents necessarily. So, you know, I felt maybe guilty, like man, and what did I do to deserve this, you know, and soI think what a naturally, what a lot of people do, special youngpeople, is they sort of intentionally sabotage themselves in some ways because they feellike they don't they don't deserve it, and that doesn't help anything. Imean that's that's a selfish way to live really, and and so I thinkall those things sort of took its toll, took their toll on me, butI always had them to turn to, both of my parents that, youknow, they have different opinions and ideas about things, like they're verythey had their on their own wavelength as well. I mean they you know, they work great together, but they have different ways 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 didn't wantto, you know, put when you gamplment, said I'm going to goto Sudan and I'm going to try and and help the people that are refugeesthere. What the day? What was there? I mean that that hadto be a is that something you talked...

...to about or is that a bigshock for them? Because I know if my kids came and said to me, well, how can I would say, how can I help you? Iknow this is a very good project for you, but you know alsonervous that you're going to Sudan in the middle of a war. Yeah,that was a big that was a big turning point. That was sort ofthat was the big ship for me and Marty. You mentioned it earlier.You know about that. Anything as possible, believe, I think, after thattrip, after wait, had wait, how did you even decide Sudan?Like did you just take a dart and throw it at a map andsay that looks good her like people, Hey, they were going to goto Sudan. Like, you know, I one moment so to n andeleven had happened a couple of years before, right, and that was sort ofthe first time I'd kind of I know about the first time, butit was like I definitely took a hard look at like, okay, whatis my purpose? What am I doing in this world? Like, whatwhat am I going after? And also, like how is something like that possible? Like how do these things, these things really I I just almostdidn't believe me, like that could happen. And then, you know, youstart to research a little bit and realize that not only does this happen, but but parts of the world that this is like happening almost every dayand there's people that just, you know, are suffering are quite a high level. And I read this Time magazine Article about the tragedy in Sudan andit was talking about this genocide going on in the Darfur. At the time, like four hundredzero people had already been murdered and it's like it's like menare off fighting been killed already, you know, women like the most horriblethings you can imagine happen to them and their children and they're sort of likeleft with, you know, not a lot of food in the in theSub Saharan Africa, and there was these organizations that were trying to help them, you know, they're setting up these these refugee camps and giving them aplace and and sort of hope, helping them, hoping to help them getthrough this. And they're understaffed at the at the camps and all that.And and so I called all these NGOs, like doctors, about borders and,you know, Child Fund and just trying to get over there and help. And all of them said, you know what, you don't have acollege degree or any special skills, like it's not that simple, like there'sa lot of red tape, there's a lot of it's a process to getover there. And I'm like, but do aren't you guys understaffed? Andthey were like we are, but it's just not that simple. And Iyou know, at the time I was and I think I I was twentythree. I was sort of at my wits end and I just like no, I'm not going to accept that. I'm going over there. I'm goingto figure it out. So I bought a plane ticket flew over to Jamaina, Chad, which is the capital of Chad. It's a it's a longways from the Darfur. It's like a twenty hour drive through the desert.Were a couple hours on a on a prop plane. I flew over thereand kind of talked my way onto a UN flight. I told a lotof FIBS to get out there, but it was all for a good reasonand, and they believe me, there was an empty seat on this planeand I got on it and I flew out this little prop plane, outto where the camps were and once I was there, I convinced those peopleand showed them like I'm not here for any other reason, but it justhelp. They did put me to work for a couple of months and itcompletely changed my life. I mean just being around those people. They wereso grateful. They had nothing and, you know, like if this groupof twenty kids had one soccer ball, like they were set, they werehappy. Everybody was just like this is great, and it's like these area lot of orphaned children, you know what I mean, that probably don'thave a lot of there's not a lot of hope or mentors or things tolook up to or all these things. I had, you know, Opportunityand they were still happy and I'm like man, what is the deal?And know, how is that possible? And it was just like this realizationthat, you know, that we tell our kids at all the time,like money things, you know, that doesn't buy a happiness, that doesn'tmake you happy, but it was like they were a part of the community, you know, and they they just were appreciative and Gret grateful for thelittle things, being able to eat that day, have, you know,a tempt to sleep under and all these things. I was just like,man, I am I I'm not grateful for anything and that's not okay.That's not a good way to live. And then my last week, they'reactually got malaria. I got really sick and this family took care of meand they wouldn't take a dollar from me and they put this little radio inthe room I was like quarantined in and...

...the only station that got was theBBC News Network, and it was like the second battle of Felujia was goingon and I was listening to, you know, the United States Marines thatwere going over there fighting and they were fighting for those that can't fight forthemselves, and it made me think of these people that I was working withand I just knew the next step for me was going to be the military. I didn't know what I would do yet exactly, as far as Iwhat 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 Istarted exploring learned about the army, Green Berets and that kind of led andthe next chapter. Yeah, so that that's amazing, that chapter that youjust explained to us, because there's not a lot of people. You seeit on TV and you don't really understand it until you get there. Imean, I've never gone over there and experience it, but I can't imaginewhat that experience in life and how you it changes your life because, likeyou said, these kids they come from nothing and you give them a littlea ball that where they can go out and play and and they're extremely happyand they forget about everything else that's going on in their life. And youknow, for me, just you know my kids, and I'm always sayingthe same thing that you're probably telling your kids, like it's not the moneythat makes you happy, it's about your passions, your love, your dreams, all those types of things, and you can't get there just by somebodygiving you money in your pocket. It's got to come from the inside.So that's an amazing experience you went through and and getting into your military life. How many years did you spend in the military? I did a totalof about ten. I did five on active duty and then I had thinkalmost a year off between when I first went to college, but then Ire enlisted in the National Guard and once I joined the National Guard, Idid for more years in Texas National Guard, still serving as a grammar. Actuallyhave the mud right here. See that Texas National Guard nice and that'sgot our day press Eli Bear, which is the special forces motto. Itmeans to free the oppressed, and that was one of the reaings that reasonsI actually be going to become a green bad serving the special forces. wasthat motto to free the oppressed, like really stuck with me and I feltlike, after spending that time in Darfur with a very oppressed group of people, those are the kind of people I wanted to fight for, you know, and obviously you're when you join in the United States military, you're takingthe oath to defend the constitution and also, you know, the people of America. But I also felt like we were, and I was signing upto to join a group of men and women who are volunteering and really tosacrifice for people like that in the Darfur, you know. So we're fighting forthem as well and maybe the hope of some of the freedoms that weget to experience in America. Well, even just the soccer ball. Soit all is about sports. It all comes back to having just some hopefulnessof being able to play with your friends, be on a team, because thatteam spirit of just having twenty kids and one soccer ball obviously really meantso much to them, similar to you being on the basketball team gots youplaying football, you know, me being a cheerleader and a manager of thefootball team, the high school football team. So just being included, those arethings that make anybody who is oppressed feel a little bit lighter on theirfeet, I would imagine. Yeah, no, definitely, I mean that'sthat's definitely an international thing, you know. I mean we all want to belongto something, but we also think everybody's got an element of competitiveness inthem and you need to exercise that. You know what I mean? Imean kids do it nowadays more on video games and it is what it islike. I get it. But I think that we need to really weneed to really push as a culture, like, you know, getting outside, sweat and it's okay to believe a little bit sometimes, you know,and and and the lose, you know, and to lose as a team,you know, as a group, a team sports. Like going backto that. Yeah, it's definitely an international thing. I mean, evenwhen I was in the military, like some of our when we are deployedoverseas, some of the good, you know, the Nice Est scapes thatwe get are watching football, watching guys like us go out on Sundays andSaturdays in college and compete. You know, we've all got our team that wepulled for and you know where we talk crap and all that good stuff. But then we also go out and sometimes we you know, we goplay together, you know, go out in the on the dirt lot andlike toss to football around or whatever it is, or, you know,play pick up basketball on this you know, really hot assphalt court, you know, or whatever it is, and it's like we need that stuff.I mean that's stuff. It's it's a big part of our I think theyare human, you know fabric, but...

...also like the American fabric. That'sreally important and you yeah, it's it's just a good way to to sortof shut off whatever you got going in your life. Everybody's got challenges andtough stuff they're going through and and it's a good way to like help ina healthy manner. You exercise some of that stuff out and and I dosome of my best, I think, internal problem solving when I'm in thegym, you know, when I'm sweating and I'm like you know, orgoing on like a tough hike or something like that. It just sort ofclears your head and for whatever reason, at least with me, it's sortof removes blocks that I put up or it kind of opens my mind ina different way. You know, everybody's got their different way of doing that, but for me it's really pushing myself physically I think opens up some doorsmentally and emotionally that that are often sort of callous and closed up. Soyeah, I hear you. Oh, sorry, that's now. I'M gonnasay that my wife and I do these long hikes as well and it reallyhelps us as a couple to you know, a lot of times in you're justat home, you don't communicate, you know, just because you're inthe same spot all the time, but when you get out in the woodsand you start hiking, things just come out and you just thinking of otherthings and how to kind of communicate make my life better with my partner.So we do that a lot. Hey, everyone. We're going to take alittle quick break, but we want to thank you for listening to howdup with guts. We'd make bloyer. cohost. Marty will be right back. Hey listeners, thanks for joining David I in the huddle. We inviteyou to join our excusive huddle through Patreon, where you can get access to contentmade just for VIPs like yourself. Head to our website, huddle upwith Gustscom and hit support our podcast on the pop up ad once again.That's huddle up with gustscom. Now let's get back in the huddle. Heyeveryone, welcome back gust right, your host, and we're joined by NateBoyer. Nate has been explaining his life currently up through the military. Nowwe really want to hear about the nate story after he leaves the military andgoes into his college life. You know, nate, you you weren't a normalcollege student where you're coming right out of high school. Was a differentsituation for you. And please tell me why you pick Texas. You know, yeah, I was at I was a twenty nine year old freshman bythe time I finally with the college, and I picked Texas because part ofit was Austin. Also, University of Texas is a great school. Buthonestly, my you know, my head coach Mac Brown, when I wasover and Iraq act about a year before I ended up going to ut I'dheard from first of all, you see that Longhorn logo everywhere, right,besides obviously the military logo, it's one of the most popular see probably sportswise. I'd say that, even though I'm not a cowboys fan, thecowboys star you see, you know, and easy the Longhorn logo and alot of people join the military from Texas, so it makes sense. It's abig state to with a lot of people. But I'd heard from somepeople over there that like he went there on a Uso tour before I wasover there, like the year before I was over there, and he likehe went to this one base and they flew in with some other coaches andstuff, and the other coaches were very gracious as well. But of courseeverybody wanted to meet Mac Brown and this was, you know, not longafter they won the national championship with Vince Young and that team, and everybodywanted to meet him. You know, they had these people, these soldierslined up at the airfield or whatever and he would not let the helicopter takeoff until he's like signed every autograph, shook every hand, talk to everysingle person. I wanted to talk to him, and so he held thishelicopter there for, you know, an hour or two longer, or whateverwhatever it was, and it was supposed to and I was like, youknow what, I'm going to go try and walk on and play football toschool. I bet you Mac Brown won't cut me just because of that.So like I was like, you know, that's just an added piece. ButI also I wanted to play. I wanted to go to a collegethat had, you know, a legendary program and I knew the odds ofme actually playing working to be super high, but I wanted to be a partof, you know, that big, big school that had a great,you know, football program and also a good school. And Austin wasa good choice for me too, because it was a you know, itwas a city, not like a huge city, but it was a city. So being an older student, if I'm going to Real Small College townand I'm ten years older than the other freshman, I just I thought itmight be a little tougher for me to...

...fit and kind of find a groupof friends. I ended up get along with them and can hang with butthe reality was once I went to school, I mean most of my friends whoI'm still friends with from college were guys on the team, guys Iplayed with, even though I was a lot older than them. You know, it ended up not mattering. I did make friends of people my ageas well. That weren't it at school. You know, we're a college,but my closest friends today from that time where guys I play football with. Yeah, no, I think that's it's an incredible story. And plusyou were still in the army, you were in the reserves at that point. Now tell me about now you come in. You got a lot ofthese kids were coming around of high school where the're getting recruited. You're awalk on, and tell me about your experience in the military how that helpedyou succeed in college football, because I think that, you know what,if you walk in and no fence, you know you've already said your five, hundred, ten and and you know you can't do a lot of thesethings. But you're also older. You know where I went into college andI saw these kids coming in, I'm like, Geez, I, howam I going to compete with these guys? So tell me about what your militaryexperience gave to you help you compete with these people. Yeah, youknow, one second meters of water. And also, obviously you had developeda lot of confidence from leaving high school, the confidence that you didn't have tojoin the team in high school and now you're like, wait a minute, I'm going to go to this gigantic university. I've got the confidence togo do that. That is quite a leap nate from not having confidence inhigh school. Yeah, for sure, I mean it was. I thinkthat was through the military experience. I mean after spending five years, andalmost all of it in the special forces and going overseas and some of thechallenges we face, and through the training process of becoming a green beret andthen deploying, you definitely built a lot of confidence. When you you Exuyou excel as a team through those things and you know you're capable, right, you start to believe in yourself more. So I definitely believe to myself atthat point that is with my work ethic, I was going to makeit. I was going to find a way to make the team. StillI don't want to see doubtful, but still understanding the challenge of actually beinga player on the field, actually playing meaningful snaps and, you know,starting and and so I I walked on as a safety and, you know, I quickly realize I don't have the speed, I don't have this sizeand I didn't have the football knowledge and experience because I hadn't played before.So that first year and a half I was just on the scout 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 fieldand I identified the long snapping position because it's a thankless job that I waswilling to do after doing playing of thankless jobs in the military right and therewas an opportunity there. The starter was a senior and he was graduating inthe backup was a senior and there was other guys that could do it andI know they were recruiting, you know, people to come in. Every yearthey're recruiting a new long snapper to come in at a high school that'sbeen doing this since he was eight years old or whatever. And but Iwas like, you know what, I'm going to figure this out, I'mgoing to learn it, I'm going to just going to give it a giveit a shot, I'll put a little bit of weight on and we'll seewhat happens. And I ended up having a bit of a knack for tomean I definitely I snapped a hundred balls a day every day for a whileuntil I started to figure out how to get the you know, a spiraland how to add some PSD to it and how to had a block alittle bit and but it's started to Kinda come naturally. Didn't, but itstarted to become second nature and I started to kind of feel confident in that. And, you know, I went I went back overseas between my redshirt, freshman and sophomore year and I told coach Brown before I left that Iwas going to come back and be ready to compete for the long snapping positionand he was like, okay, sure, you know, and I think hewas probably a little doubtful just because he knew I, you know,I hadn't done it, much less even played football until a year ago.But he's like, you know what, come back and you know I'll letyou compete for the spot. And I came back and it was probably fiveor six of us that were going through training camp trying to win this position, and I started the bottom of the depth chart. Of course, slowlykind of CREP my way up and by the first game of the season Iwas the backup and in that first game the snapper who they recruited, whowas a he was a freshman, that was starting, you know, hehad a couple not great snaps and in the game. And so that nextweek at practice they let us sort of have a snap off competition, rightand I ended up winning and being able...

...to snap for field goals and extrapoints, and so I did that for the rest of the year and thenthe next year I won the punk position as well, and so then Iwas the starting long snapper, you know, for three years and I played inthirty eight straight games, and they weren't all perfect, but I neverhad a bad snap, I never had a disaster, I never never wentover the punters head or you know, or I rolled it back to theholder or anything like that at and so I am proud of that and itgot me an opportunity a brief one. Not Fifteen years, about fifteen minutes, but it got me a brief wint at the next level. Well,did you have so? You were in the military and degree braids, youryour overseas. You're in the toughest of toughest situations. You go into yourfirst game to snap it. Was it at home game? All Right,game, it's in Texas. There's a hundred thousand people there. Did youhave butterflies? You know what, my first snap was maybe one of theworst snaps I ever had because I think I did have those butterflies and arelike. Even coach Brown was like, how are you nervous man? Youbeen shot at before, and I was like, coach, there's a hundredone thou people in the stadium and there's other ten guys in the field arerelying on me, like you have to feel some amount of nerves there,especially in your first one. But you know, he kind of was.I came off to feel like it was you know, I mean it was, it was. It was fine. We still made that. It wasan extra point. We still made it. But you know, I was definitelymy hands were shaken when I had him on the ball and I wasjust like Oh, this isn't good and I by the grace of God,it got back there and the holder put it down made the kick. Butonce I kind of gotten over that, it was like that initial you know, I snapped it. Of course I got hit by the D tackles thatare come trying to come through and block it. But once I got thatout 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 Ikind of developed that confidence and was able to focus a zero win anduse a lot of the same, I guess, mental queues I use whenI was learning to shoot a pistol in the military to help me focus.You know this the Montreal like ain't small in this small, but also like, when I look back there, you probably do the same thing when you'rethrowing a ball, like you're getting chased by line and you got all thesethings going on, but when it's time to cock your arm back and throwthat ball, you focus on something very specific. You know whether it's right. I don't know if it's a point ahead of the receiver that you're leadinghim to or whatever it is. You know and maybe not maybe it's sosecond nature that you don't do that, but like for me, I hadto look. I had to look at a very specific point of that holder'sglove, you know, or a very specific piece of cloth on the PuntersJersey, and I'd like see that, kind of visualize it, and then, you know, a lot of it becomes muscle memory from there. Well, I also understand where you're coming from because I was a holder for everyyear I was in the NFL for multiple kickers. You know, my lastkicker was a hall of Famer, Morton Anderson, and and you had tobe very on spot and can't miss big ball, pull the you know,all these things, and it was a lot of practice. So I understandwhere you're coming from. And I had to work with the snappers for along, long time. So then, you know, in Marnie, Idon't know if you know this, but into two thousand and twelve, natewas named the big twelve person of the year, the sports person of theyear. What do you think about that? Yes, and he was the Disneyspirit person of the year as well. I think that it's amazing the amountof accolades nate and go, you know, going from maybe somebody whodidn't really have a lot of confidence again and wasn't really sure of what youwere going to do and I think definitely felt like you didn't want to squanderall the opportunities that your parents had given you. It's really an amazing,although circuitous, path to success and something that I think it's really remarkable andI bet that many people who are fans of yours it's you know, it'sso relatable because you don't necessarily know what you're going to want to do whenyou're one, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years old, and then having butpeople believing in you, that they know that you're going to get through it. I mean, that's really what I think. Obviously has highlighted and helped, you know, drive your career, and that is truly incredible and incrediblyalso because you do so much philanthropically aside from, you know, being likea renaissance man and climbing Nacilimanjaro and snapping footballs and so forth. That's reallyI mean, out of all those things, what do you think if you ifsomebody said, all right, nate, we're just want you to do onething? You know, every day, what would you have? What wouldyou choose to do? If I had to just do one thing,I mean it probably do what I'm trying to do now, what I'm focusedon now. I I'm I want to tell stories. I want to tellgreat, you know, inspirational stories, and whether I'm part of that storyor not, like I think that's really important, and so I'm you know, I'm in the process, process now of working in a little in filmand TV and I'm going to be actually...

...directing my first movie coming up inthe next month, which is kind of crazy, especially in the midst ofthe congratulations stuff. Thank you, and I we're doing it for you know, it's a it's a it's still a lot of money to me, butit's an ultra low budget movie, so in the movie world it's not alot of money, but this is what I love to do and it's aimportant story about actually about a veteran who's really fallen hard times and a formerNFL player who's also struggling with that transition, which is, you know, somethingwe'll talk about in a minute here, I'm sure, regarding the you know, the charity. I co found it with J Glazer, MVP,but I think doing that, you know, I'm just being a part of ofhelping to tell those stories that do help inspire people that are struggling,like maybe I was in my early s or whatever. Everybody's got that timein their life where they need to know, they need to be inspired, theyneed to see that other people have persevered through tough times and other peopledealt with, you know, a lack of confidence or belief in themselves andthen they got through it and eventually got to a place where they felt like, they know, anything was possible, and so that's that's probably the onething, I think, if I had to pick one thing, you know, for the rest of my life, it would be that, because thatencompasses a lot. There's so many different stories to town, so many waysto tell them, and so that's and it's something that I've always been passionateabout. I've always, always really loved deep down. Well, so Ithink that that's if you're going to tell stories, you have an audience andyou're already, you know, starting off that midfield. Yeah, yeah,exactly. And so tell us a little bit about a record I don't think, ever, is going to be broken in the NFL that you hold.You were the oldest rookie in the NFL at the age of thirty four.Now that's that's I don't know if that'll be broken anytime soon. I don'tknow if that's a record that you're proud of. Hey, the cool partof the coolest part about that to me was when I got to when Igot you know, I was signed as a undrafted free agent by the seahawksand when I went up to Seattle gotten that locker room, not only wasthat the oldest rookie in the in the modern era anyway, right there fell, but I was the oldest guy on the team as a rookie and thatwas crazy. And the second oldest was the punner. So it's like Iwas thirty four, he was thirty three and everybody else was like in theirtent s pretty much. I mean it's just it was crazy and it wasbut it was really cool. I mean I am proud of that. AndI got to play in one preseason game and I only played you and Iplayed five snap APPs somehow I'm credited with the tackle, but I don't thinkI made but maybe I kind of ran somebody out of bounds and they gaveit to me. You got you got it to just take it. Yeah, it's on wikipedias. How must be true. So but yeah, Imean that was that was an awesome experience, you know, going through training campand all that, you know, spending spending five months up there withthe Seahawks, and then not to mention that one game we played in whichwill sort of bridge into this next piece. I think about regarding Kapper Nick.In College I got to leave the team out of the tunnel with theAmerican flag for every game. Right. So for this game, even thoughit's very easily we had a packed house in Seattle and the equipment manager askedme if I wanted to, if I wanted to be the team out ofthe tunnel with the flag, and so I took the flag, let theteam out of the tunnel and we're on the sidelines when the anthem starts playingand I started crying. I was just so emotional and overwhelmed and proud to, you know, be where I was and I was thinking about people stillfind overseas and those that didn't make it back and it was just a reallyemotional moment and a lot of those seahawk players from Russell Wilson to Richard Sherman, to Earl Thomas, to Michael Bennett, to Bobby Wagner to marshawn Lynch,they all came up and like we're hugging on me, you know,and that was really cool. I was a really cool moment, not that, you know, playing in the game was great, but like that's themoment I remember, right. And then a year later was when a ColinKaepernick, first started sitting on the bench and, you know, during theanthem, in protest of racial inequality and and police brutality and all that stuff. And you know, it really hurt me to first see that. Iwas big, I mean, obviously I'm big forty Niner Fan, right,and I'm big Kaepernick Fan to and I didn't really listen to why he wasdoing it. My first reaction was just, you know, man like this guy, this guy like doesn't you know, doesn't appreciate my service or all ofour service and doesn't understand, you know, the freedoms that we haveand blah, blah blah, and not really taking into account that my experienceis completely different than anybody else's experience,...

...especially. So maybe somebody of youknow, a different skin color and all that, and even if he didn'tnecessarily experience the same amount of oppressionist people in the Darfur or even other peoplein this country, he's still standing up for for people and have giving avoice to people that don't have one maybe, and so I had to kind ofcheck myself in that moment, you know, and I ended up writingthis open letter to Colin just saying Hey, look, this is why I feelthe way I feel, this is why I stand, but I alsoneed to do a better job of understanding that those are my emotions and feelingsbased on my experiences. And you know, I I you are exercising a FirstAmendment right that I fought for and I look forward to the day thatyou're inspired to stay and once again, hopefully we can figure this thing outas a country. And you know the the letter went pretty viral and Colinread it and was inspired by it and he actually reached out to me andsaid he wanted to meet. So the next day I met with him downin San Diego. They were playing the San Diego chargers in the final preseasongame and we met in the lobby of the team hotel and talked about allthat stuff, talked about our experiences and background and really about, you know, why he was doing what he was doing, and I listened. Ilistened to better at that time and and I think, more importantly, orjust as importantly, calm listen to me. I wanted to hear about my experiencesin the military and he's made it very clear he didn't want he's like, this is not about the military. Like I have great respect for menand women the fought for this country, and he's like I just I thinkthere's a good number of us that don't experience the same amount of freedoms andand there's a promise that that flag is supposed to represent. That's not beingthat's not being met, you know, for a lot of people, andI think that's not right and I respected that. You know, I didn'tagree with everything he said, but I did agree with wanting to make thiscountry better. I still do. And so he asked me finally the endof this conversation, do you think there's a better way a I can protestor demonstrate that won't offend people in the military besides sitting on the bench rightand I said well, you know, no, matter what you do,some people will be offended, but my opinion, I think it's the mostimportant thing would be to be alongside your teammates. I think that's a goodit's very symbolic and it's a it's a good thing for people to see inthe country and if you're committed to not standing no matter what until things startto change, I think taking a knees the only other option that makes senseand I see it as a pretty respectful gesture and and that's where, youknow, taking a knee came from. And he did it that night andI stood next to him and some people booed in the stands and and youknow what, most people didn't and I think it opened a lot of people'sminds to and ears to what he was talking about. And you know,I was I was proud to be a part of the conversation and I thinkit's interesting to see how that kneeling is sort of spread throughout sports across theglobe at this point. Right and you see him. It come full circlewith George floord's George Floyd's death and everything and and the kind of the everythingthat's happening in America and realizing that, hey, there are injustice is outthere and there are a lot of people wanting to help, wanting to dobetter. So, you know, if you think back to that little talkthat you guys had and and helping with Colin Kaepernick, but to meet that'swhat our country needs, is just to it down and listen to each otherinstead of just hating on each other for doing something that you may not agreewith, because there's a lot of things that I don't agree with a lotof people, but doesn't mean I hate them or want them something to happento them. And so I really appreciate you and I want to thank youfor taking the time to listen to calling story and I'm sure he really appreciatesyour story, which I believe. Me, I've had many family members that werein the military. My brother in laws, an army ranger, youknow from you name it, from every war back I've had somebody in themand I appreciate you and I want to thank you for your service and Iwant to thank you for helping us through all this, because it's not aquick answer and it's going to take a while for us to understand how toreally get rid of the injustice has a systemic racism and things like that inour country, to make us a better country and it's about all of us, not one of us. Yeah, that's that's great guess and I completelyagree with you, and because you saying that, but that's the most importantthing to me. I mean, I think as a you know, asa soldier, as a veteran, a lot of times our our our storygets coopted and people try to sort of put us in a box and andthey want people to assume certain things about...

...us and they kind of want togroup us all together like we all feel the same way about things. Inreality is, you know, we have varying opinions and feelings about things andand I think, you know, when I look at when I look atthe country now and I look at my time in the military, the mostfrustrating part is that we fought for everybody in this country and you know,we fought for, you know, equality and justice for all, just likecalling sort of speaking about and then to come back for from war and seeus so divided and not willing to listen and have those conversations. That's whathurts more than anything, more than anybody taken a knee or whatever, theconversation about the anthem itself or the flag. The most painful thing is just howugly we are to one another. And it's not everybody in the country, for sure. Most people aren't like that and I'm glad, I'm gratefulfor that. But right in this social media era, we hear the loudestvoices the most and a lot of those loud voices are very angry and verycan be very hateful and and that's frustrating. So but I'm not giving up,you know. I got a lot of hope and what we're capable ofand this is a great place people like there's a lot of people like youand Marny and and plenty of others that you know are that are that arehappy and hopeful and you know, lead with love and understanding and listening andwant this place to get back to its full potential. And and it's beena tough year regardless of you know, beyond just the social justice conversations,it's just everything is two thousand and twenty is just nonstop. But maybe it'ssomething we kind of need. You know, it's like a reset button for usand maybe it will be a big turning point. I look at itand I am hopeful and I think that that things are, they are gettingand will be continue to continue to get better. Yeah, I think we'reall but could like. Oh sorry, guys, I was just going toI mean, my grandfather would always say civility is not a sign of weaknessand I really love that expression because it really does kind of define, youknow, the human nature of you know, being civil does not make you orbeing a compassionate person doesn't make you weak. People kind of sometimes seemto think that being able to have those conversations like you had, you know, with Colin and wanting to engage in more conversation and everybody's definition of somethingis different and I think that listening and those are the great things that willhopefully, like through this reset that we're now having, will take us,you know, to the next level. Yeah, no, I agree,Marty, and I think we're going to have a little fun here. Ithink we got a little serious for a moment. Now we're going to goto a two minute drill at the end of the show here. We'll seehow far you get down the field, nate. So put two minutes onthe clock, Sonar. All right, so first question for you, nateGat asked or electric car? I have a gas car, man. NowI feel guilty. All right, live or drive? Was it again?All right, when you're traveling some plays, are you flying or driving, althoughI yea why? All right, what's your pet peeve? I havea lot of pet peeves. We ating and I can't even like think ofone right now, but I definitely have a lot. How about my petpeople? By myself is when I can't think of a word or something likethis in this moment, when I know this, I know there's something thatreally bothers me. I can't think of it. So that's a pet peep. All right, gust I know you like this question, so I'm goingto throw it back to you. The Mount Rushmore question. All right,what's your Mount Rushmore of Texas football? Oh Man, I mean for meit was honestly, in two thousand and twelve we played in the alamobowl againstOregon State and my my best friend from the military passed away the week beforeand I was a pall bear in the funeral or a couple weeks before,sick, the Paul Bear in the funeral and we dedicated the game to himand his family and we were getting our tails whipped until the fourth quarter andwe came back, scored three touch hands in the fourth quarter won the game. It was incredibly emotional moment and like that, that was the that wasthe piece for me. That the biggest game in the biggest moment of Texas. Right, awesome. All right, Martie. All Right, your favoritesports movie? Oh, man, I got a lot of good sports movies. I mean I love Ruddy and I grew up a Notre Dame and fanand I'm an underdog too, so that's a good one. Yeah, Iwould say rudy for them. Good Call, all right. Favorite quarterback, JoeMontana. Oh No, we didn't...

...freeze up right now, did we? No, good, Marny. All right. So the last question isall right, what is your hidden talent? Dancing like Michael Jackson, even thoughhe's maybe got a tainted legacy when it comes to dance, and he'sthe man. Yeah, well, Hey, you know what, you didn't geta touchdown, but you made a perfect snap and we kick the fieldgoal. What do you think about that? Mate, that day, that's that'smy job, you know, you got to do. You got todo what you're good at, do what you're made to do. Stay inyour lane. Hey, we appreciate you sharing your story. Less please tellall of our fans what you're doing currently, how they can find you and howthey can donate to some of the charities you're involved with. Yeah,my website is nate at. Excuse me, my website is nate boy, orcomon social media at nate boy or thirty seven. MVP, which standsfor merging vets and players, is a charity where we bring together combat vetsand former professional athletes and help them find purpose and service together and that newidentity when the uniform comes off. Vets and players. Dot Org is thatwebsite and the movie I'm directing is called MVP and it's about that experience.And also water boys. Dot Org, which is water boys, are startedby Chris Long. It's a clean water project in east Africa and every year. This year due to covid but we're going to figure something out. Wego together, we go with combat vets and former and current NFL players andwe climb Mount Kilimanjaro and raise money for clean water wells in East Africa.In the process and that's a really, really, really special product to meas well. Awesome. I really appreciate, nate, that you came on findnate at nate boy orcom and everything that he's doing. Martie, Iappreciate you joining me today on huddle up with Guss and I want everyone togo to the sports circus, go to one, thus six and thirty one, digital news or RADIOCOM or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast and listento huddle up with gusts. Join US every week where we interview new guests, and you can find us also at huddle up with Gustscom, nate.Thank you so much, Marnie. Thank you so much. What a wonderfulshow and I look forward to hearing from both youtubes. Thank you for joiningDavid I in the huddle. We hope you enjoyed our podcast. If you'dlike to hear more podcast just like this, go to huddle up with Gustscom,where you can find our social channels, subscribe to hear more by our merchandiseand join our excuse of huddle through Patreon. Please join us next weekwhen we talk to more guests about how sports shape their life,.

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