Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years 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 joining us 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 how sports shape their life. Be sure to check us out on our website. How do up with Gustscom, where you can listen to more episodes just like 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 you doing today? I'm doing well. Thank you, guys. Thanks for that Nice introduction. Well, I'm glad you're here. So, Martie. People can find the show on the sports circus presented by AMTV, and we're also excited to be part of six thirty one digital news now and you can also listen to us on RADIOCOM wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. Today's show and today's guest is is an exciting one. For me, it's a you know, another footballer, another veteran, really excited former green beret. He walked Onto University of Texas when he got out of the military, so he was 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 to hear that story. Worry and also you may know him from the gentleman who helped Colin Kaepernick decide to take a knee, but also nate boyer is known for many Philanthropic and charity events that he does all over the country. Joining us in the huddle today is nape boy or nape. Thank you for joining us and I look forward to hearing your story. Thanks, guys. I appreciate 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 the bay area where I grew up and you know, I've got fires going on and all that stuff right now and it can be just you know, they can't be loud from pannatteralsis so here here like a siren com or something and all that, but this is the best wegard right now. But I'm just glad to be here man, and really appreciates you and thanks for having me on. Yeah, I know we should switch because I think you're lighting would suit 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 us about 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 it somebody in your family? That really why you fell in love with sports and what made you like it from an early age? Well, yeah, I mean I always love them. I was loved especially football and baseball, as far as I watchington when I was a little kid. You know, it was 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 know at the time the raiders were down Los Angeles anyway, so the bay are the only bay area team was the niners and sort of through that is why I adopted the giants, just because they're both the San Francisco teams, but the niners won five super bowls in my childhood, I think the year I was born and won the first one and then they won for more that I actually remember. And I was a huge I mean Joe Montana and Roger Craig and Ronnie Lot and Jerry Rice and I mean, you know, they were just unbelievable and they had all these superstars and when you win like that and you're a little kid, you know your team's always winning or very close to winning, 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, and as I got older I remember wanting to play, but I think I was just a phrase because I was I was a good athlete, guys. So I wasn't like you. I wasn't this. I wasn't a great athlete. I was 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 talented you are, you have to work your butt off. But I I you know, I just was always like that, you know, the coaches award for Hustle kind of Guy, not like the MVP and so, but I I 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 I still have that from kind of time with things. But so I didn't play and I remember getting up to the high school age and really wanted to play. Football, is my favorite sport, and the jest, I just didn't do 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 stayed with 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 some of my idols as as I got older. Now did you play? You said you play a little bit a little league. Did you play any other sports? 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 baseball player, but but I loved basketball more, probably because I think I've noticed this more as as I've become older, when I'm like not as good as something, it bothers me and I'd become obsessed with it and I want to figure 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 be interested in it, obviously right. But baseball, you know, it was more it was kind of ch it's more of a chill sport. It's I mean, you know, it's a pretty slow game. It's very fun to play. It's, you know, going to a high school baseball game maybe in the most exciting thing in the world versus watching basketball or watching football in high school. But then, but yeah, so, I mean I loved playing baseball, but basketball was sort of became my my sort of my passion in my pursuit and I had it set in my mind I was going to somehow 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 very I 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 really hard and, you know, didn't didn't have an opportunity to play at the 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 sounds like that you really liked being part of the team. Yeah, that was really what drove you to a perform that are on the court, but being part of the team. So what did that feel like to you to be included and to actually be wanted to be on the team? How did that impact you going forward? Now? 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 you know, that that that matters, and I know, like a lot of say, old sports it's game doesn't matter, but especially to a young person, it really does, you know, it really does. We all want to belong to something, we all want to 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 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 did everything 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 your teammates and they were working hard for you and you. Whether you you win or lose, if you put it out all out on the field, it is it is a good feeling and it's something I think. Oh we got a 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 but it was like, yeah, it's it's all about that and and moving through life, you know, and I eventually went into the military. There was so many of those similar feelings being a part of something that matters, you know, 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 different level of sacrifice, for sure. I would never compare playing sports to the military, but most of the guys and girls that I've heard with played sports growing up and understood that concept of team and sacrifice and work ethic and discipline and all those things. So like team sports, especially for young people, and it's really sad when I hear potentially that, you know, certain communities and and and school programs. They talked about having to cut back on team sports and I'm just like, man, I look back on my young years and education and I got way more out of that than anything else, and I know everybody's different, but than any other, than any class I took or anything like that, it was,...

...you know, the going to practice every day, you know, studying a playbook, pushing yourself hard in the gym or that on the field with other people you know of your age that are trying to get better, and then you know the results, the little victories that are either per personal ones or team victories or whatever. Those are the 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 not always 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 my life 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. Part of it was probably not having those team sports, not having that that that that thing 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 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 kind of lost the passion, you know what I mean. And and so then once I I sort of shifted into that next phase and started to feel that passion again and started to accomplish some things, that's when I started started to really believe that that anything is possible. Son. Did you have? Like you made many transitions after high school and that's a big transition for a lot of people. Some go to college, I left to work. Some don't know what they're going to do. It seems like you had a little bit of 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 college that you could or after high school that you could call on to really bounce some things 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 at the same time as them. You know, my dad's a race wort Venarian, my mother was an engineer and both of them, you know, which graduate school at good universities and like, did it all themselves. Like no thing was handed to them. They came from blue collar backgrounds and they worked their tails off to get where they were and they wanted us to do the same thing and and they, you know, led by example. 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 and there was something that wasn't a harmful in our life, they encourage us to 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't know if it was part of me sort of bound or part of me fearing that 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 parents work so hard to give me these opportunities and like I don't think I'm good enough, I don't think I deserve them, you know what I mean. And that's sort of a it's not a very healthy mindset, but that's sort of what I had, because I think I saw a lot of other people that didn't have that. I had a lot of friends that's that's really something I hadn't really thought about, but I had a lot of friends that didn't have a good family situation, they didn't have good guidance and mentors from their parents necessarily. So, you know, I felt maybe guilty, like man, and what did I do to deserve this, you know, and so I think what a naturally, what a lot of people do, special young people, is they sort of intentionally sabotage themselves in some ways because they feel like they don't they don't deserve it, and that doesn't help anything. I mean that's that's a selfish way to live really, and and so I think all those things sort of took its toll, took their toll on me, but I always had them to turn to, both of my parents that, you know, they have different opinions and ideas about things, like they're very they 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 super graceful and they knew I was screwing up a lot and they didn't didn't want to, you know, put when you gamplment, said I'm going to go to Sudan and I'm going to try and and help the people that are refugees there. What the day? What was there? I mean that that had to be a is that something you talked...

...to about or is that a big shock for them? Because I know if my kids came and said to me, well, how can I would say, how can I help you? I know this is a very good project for you, but you know also nervous 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 of that was the big ship for me and Marty. You mentioned it earlier. You know about that. Anything as possible, believe, I think, after that trip, after wait, had wait, how did you even decide Sudan? Like did you just take a dart and throw it at a map and say that looks good her like people, Hey, they were going to go to Sudan. Like, you know, I one moment so to n and eleven had happened a couple of years before, right, and that was sort of the first time I'd kind of I know about the first time, but it was like I definitely took a hard look at like, okay, what is my purpose? What am I doing in this world? Like, what what am I going after? And also, like how is something like that possible? Like how do these things, these things really I I just almost didn't believe me, like that could happen. And then, you know, you start 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 day and 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 and it 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 men are off fighting been killed already, you know, women like the most horrible things you can imagine happen to them and their children and they're sort of like left with, you know, not a lot of food in the in the Sub 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 a place and and sort of hope, helping them, hoping to help them get through 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 a college degree or any special skills, like it's not that simple, like there's a lot of red tape, there's a lot of it's a process to get over there. And I'm like, but do aren't you guys understaffed? And they were like we are, but it's just not that simple. And I you know, at the time I was and I think I I was twenty three. 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 going to 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 long ways 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 there 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 an empty seat on this plane and I got on it and I flew out this little prop plane, out to where the camps were and once I was there, I convinced those people and showed them like I'm not here for any other reason, but it just help. They did put me to work for a couple of months and it completely changed my life. I mean just being around those people. They were so grateful. They had nothing and, you know, like if this group of twenty kids had one soccer ball, like they were set, they were happy. Everybody was just like this is great, and it's like these are a lot of orphaned children, you know what I mean, that probably don't have a lot of there's not a lot of hope or mentors or things to look up to or all these things. I had, you know, Opportunity and 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 realization that, you know, that we tell our kids at all the time, like money things, you know, that doesn't buy a happiness, that doesn't make 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 the little 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're actually got malaria. I got really sick and this family took care of me and they wouldn't take a dollar from me and they put this little radio in the room I was like quarantined in and...

...the only station that got was the BBC News Network, and it was like the second battle of Felujia was going on and I was listening to, you know, the United States Marines that were going over there fighting and they were fighting for those that can't fight for themselves, and it made me think of these people that I was working with and 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 I what job and what branch, but I just knew that's what I was going to do. And then when I came back to the states is when I started exploring learned about the army, Green Berets and that kind of led and the next chapter. Yeah, so that that's amazing, that chapter that you just explained 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. I mean, I've never gone over there and experience it, but I can't imagine what that experience in life and how you it changes your life because, like you said, these kids they come from nothing and you give them a little a ball that where they can go out and play and and they're extremely happy and they forget about everything else that's going on in their life. And you know, for me, just you know my kids, and I'm always saying the same thing that you're probably telling your kids, like it's not the money that 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 somebody giving 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 total of about ten. I did five on active duty and then I had think almost a year off between when I first went to college, but then I re enlisted in the National Guard and once I joined the National Guard, I did for more years in Texas National Guard, still serving as a grammar. Actually have the mud right here. See that Texas National Guard nice and that's got our day press Eli Bear, which is the special forces motto. It means to free the oppressed, and that was one of the reaings that reasons I actually be going to become a green bad serving the special forces. was that motto to free the oppressed, like really stuck with 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 wanted to fight for, you know, and obviously you're when you join in the United States military, you're taking the oath to defend the constitution and also, you know, 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 who are volunteering and really to sacrifice for people like that in the Darfur, you know. So we're fighting for them as well and maybe the hope of some of the freedoms that we get to experience in America. Well, even just the soccer ball. So it all is about sports. It all comes back to having just 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 soccer ball obviously really meant so much to them, similar to you being on the basketball team gots you playing football, you know, me being a cheerleader and a manager of the football team, the high school football team. So just being included, those are things that make anybody who is oppressed feel a little bit lighter on their feet, I would imagine. Yeah, no, definitely, I mean that's that's definitely an international thing, you know. I mean we all want to belong to something, but we also think everybody's got an element of competitiveness in them and you need to exercise that. You know what I mean? I mean kids do it nowadays more on video games 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, 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 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 are deployed overseas, some of the good, you know, the Nice Est scapes that we get are watching football, watching guys like us go out on Sundays and Saturdays in college and compete. You know, we've all got our team that we pulled 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 go play together, you know, go out in the on the dirt lot and like 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 they are human, you know fabric, but...

...also like the American fabric. That's really important and you yeah, it's it's just a good way to to sort of shut off whatever you got going in your life. Everybody's got challenges and tough stuff they're going through and and it's a good way to like help in a healthy manner. You exercise some of that stuff out and and I do some of my best, I think, internal problem solving when I'm in the gym, you know, when I'm sweating and I'm like you know, or going on like a tough hike or something like that. It just sort of clears your head and for whatever reason, at least with me, it's sort of removes blocks that I put up or it kind of opens my mind in a 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 doors mentally and emotionally that that are often sort of callous and closed up. So yeah, I hear you. Oh, sorry, that's now. I'M gonna say that my wife and I do these long hikes as well and it really helps us as a couple to you know, a lot of times in you're just at home, you don't communicate, you know, just because you're in the same spot all the time, but when you get out in the woods and you start hiking, things just come out and you just thinking of other things 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 a little quick break, but we want to thank you for listening to howd up with guts. We'd make bloyer. cohost. Marty will be right back. Hey listeners, thanks for joining David I in the huddle. We invite you to join our excusive huddle through Patreon, where you can get access to content made just for VIPs like yourself. Head to our website, huddle up with 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. Hey everyone, welcome back gust right, your host, and we're joined by Nate Boyer. Nate has been explaining his life currently up through the military. Now we really want to hear about the nate story after he leaves the military and goes into his college life. You know, nate, you you weren't a normal college student where you're coming right out of high school. Was a different situation for you. And please tell me why you pick Texas. You know, yeah, I was at I was a twenty nine year old freshman by the time I finally with the college, and I picked Texas because part of it was Austin. Also, University of Texas is a great school. But honestly, my you know, my head coach Mac Brown, when I was over and Iraq act about a year before I ended up going to ut I'd heard 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 sports wise. I'd say that, even though I'm not a cowboys fan, the cowboys star you see, you know, and easy the Longhorn logo and a lot of people join the military from Texas, so it makes sense. It's a big state to with a lot of people. But I'd heard from some people over there that like he went there on a Uso tour before I was over there, like the year before I was over there, and he like he went to this one base and they flew in with some other coaches and stuff, and the other coaches were very gracious as well. But of course everybody wanted to meet Mac Brown and this was, you know, not long after they won the national championship with Vince Young and that team, and everybody wanted to meet him. You know, they had these people, these soldiers lined up at the airfield or whatever and he would not let the helicopter take off until he's like signed every autograph, shook every hand, talk to every single person. I wanted to talk to him, and so he 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 going to go try and walk on and play football to school. 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. But I also I wanted to play. I wanted to go to a college that had, you know, a legendary program and I knew the odds of me actually playing working to be super high, but I wanted to be a part of, you know, that big, big school that had a great, you know, football program and also a good school. And Austin was a good choice for me too, because it was a you know, it was 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 town and I'm ten years older than the other freshman, I just I thought it might be a little tougher for me to...

...fit and kind of find a group of friends. I ended up get along with them and can hang with but the reality was once I went to school, I mean most of my friends who I'm still friends with from college were guys on the team, guys I played with, even though I was a lot older than them. You know, it ended up not mattering. I did make friends of people my age as 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 plus you 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 of these kids were coming around of high school where the're getting recruited. You're a walk on, and tell me about your experience in the military how that helped you 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 these things. But you're also older. You know where I went into college and I saw these kids coming in, I'm like, Geez, I, how am I going to compete with these guys? So tell me about what your military experience gave to you help you compete with these people. Yeah, you know, one second meters of water. And also, obviously you had developed a lot of confidence from leaving high school, the confidence that you didn't have to join 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 to go do that. That is quite a leap nate from not having confidence in high school. Yeah, for sure, I mean it was. I think that was through the military experience. I mean after spending five years, and almost all of it in the special forces and going overseas and some of the challenges we face, and through the training process of becoming a green beret and then deploying, you definitely built a lot of confidence. When you you Exu you 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 at that point that is with my work ethic, I was going to make it. I was going to find a way to make the team. Still I don't want to see doubtful, but still understanding the challenge of actually being a 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 size and 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 to the point where I was like I have to find a way on the field and I identified the long snapping position because it's a thankless job that I was willing to do after doing playing of thankless jobs in the military right and there was an opportunity there. The starter was a senior and he was graduating in the backup was a senior and there was other guys that could do it and I know they were recruiting, you know, people to come in. Every year they're recruiting a new long snapper to come in at a high school that's been doing this since he was eight years old or whatever. And but I was like, you know what, I'm going to figure this out, I'm going to learn it, I'm going to just going to give it a give it a shot, I'll put a little bit of weight on and we'll see what happens. And I ended up having a bit of a knack for to mean I definitely I snapped a hundred balls a day every day for a while until I started to figure out how to get the you know, a spiral and how to add some PSD to it and how to had a block a little bit and but it's started to Kinda come naturally. Didn't, but it started 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 I was going to come back and be ready to compete for the long snapping position and he was like, okay, sure, you know, and I think he was 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 let you compete for the spot. And I came back and it was probably five or 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, slowly kind of CREP my way up and by the first game of the season I was the backup and in that first game the snapper who they recruited, who was a he was a freshman, that was starting, you know, he had a couple not great snaps and in the game. And so that next week at practice they let us sort of have a snap off competition, right and I ended up winning and being able...

...to snap for field goals and extra points, and so I did that for the rest of the year and then the next year I won 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 never had a bad snap, I never had a disaster, I never never went over the punters head or you know, or I rolled it back to the holder or anything like that at and so I am proud of that and it got 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, your your overseas. You're in the toughest of toughest situations. You go into your first game to snap it. Was it at home game? All Right, game, it's in Texas. There's a hundred thousand people there. Did you have butterflies? You know what, my first snap was maybe one of the worst snaps I ever had because I think I did have those butterflies and are like. Even coach Brown was like, how are you nervous man? You been shot at before, and I was like, coach, there's a hundred one thou people in the stadium and there's other ten guys in the field are relying 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 was an extra point. We still made it. But you know, I was definitely my hands were shaken when I had him on the ball and I was just 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. But once 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 that are come trying to come through and block it. 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 was able to focus a zero win and use a lot of the same, I guess, mental queues I use when I 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're throwing a ball, like you're getting chased by line and you got all these things going on, but when it's time to cock your arm back and throw that 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 leading him to or whatever it is. You know and maybe not maybe it's so second nature that you don't do that, but like for me, I had to look. I had to look at a very specific point of that holder's glove, you know, or a very specific piece of cloth on the Punters Jersey, 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 every year I was in the NFL for multiple kickers. You know, my last kicker was a hall of Famer, Morton Anderson, and and you had to be 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 understand where you're coming from. And I had to work with the snappers for a long, long time. So then, you know, in Marnie, I don't know if you know this, but into two thousand and twelve, nate was named the big twelve person of the year, the sports person of the year. What do you think about that? Yes, and he was the Disney spirit person of the year as well. I think that it's amazing the amount of accolades nate and go, you know, going from maybe somebody who didn't really have a lot of confidence again and wasn't really sure of what you were going to do and I think definitely felt like you didn't want to squander all 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 and I bet that many people who are fans of yours it's you know, it's so relatable because you don't necessarily know what you're going to want to do when you're one, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years old, and then having but people 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 incredibly also because you do so much philanthropically aside from, you know, being like a renaissance man and climbing Nacilimanjaro and snapping footballs and so forth. That's really I mean, out of all those things, what do you think if you if somebody said, all right, nate, we're just want you to do one thing? You know, every day, what would you have? What would you 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 focused on now. I I'm I want to tell stories. I want to tell great, you know, inspirational stories, and whether I'm part of that story or 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 film and TV and I'm going to be actually...

...directing my first movie coming up in the next month, which is kind of crazy, especially in the midst of the 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, but it's an ultra low budget movie, so in the movie world it's not a lot of money, but this is what I love to do and it's a important story about actually about a veteran who's really fallen hard times and a former NFL player who's also struggling with that transition, which is, you know, something we'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 of helping 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 time in their life where they need to know, they need to be inspired, they need to see that other people have persevered through tough times and other people dealt with, you know, a lack of confidence or belief in themselves and then 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 one thing, I think, if I had to pick one thing, you know, for the rest of my life, it would be that, because that encompasses a lot. There's so many different stories to town, so many ways to tell them, and so that's and it's something that I've always been passionate about. I've always, always really loved deep down. Well, so 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. 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't know if that's a record that you're proud of. Hey, the cool part of the coolest part about that to me was when I got to when I got you know, I was signed as a undrafted free agent by the seahawks and when I went up to Seattle gotten that locker room, not only was that 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 that was crazy. And the second oldest was the punner. So it's like I was thirty four, he was thirty three and everybody else was like in their tent s pretty much. I mean it's just it was crazy and it was but it was really cool. I mean I am proud of that. And I got to play in one preseason game and I only played you and I played five snap APPs somehow I'm credited with the tackle, but I don't think I made but maybe I kind of ran somebody out of bounds and they gave it to me. You got you got it to just take it. Yeah, it's on wikipedias. How must be true. So but yeah, I mean that was that was an awesome experience, you know, going through training camp and all that, you know, spending spending five months up there with the Seahawks, and then not to mention that one game we played in which will 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 the American flag for every game. Right. So for this game, even though it's very easily we had a packed house in Seattle and the equipment manager asked me if I wanted to, if I wanted to be the team out of the tunnel with the flag, and so I took the flag, let the team out of the tunnel and we're on the sidelines when the anthem starts playing and 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 still find overseas and those that didn't make it back and it was just a really emotional 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 the moment I remember, right. And then a year later was when a Colin Kaepernick, first started sitting on the bench and, you know, during the anthem, in protest of racial inequality and and police brutality and all that stuff. And you know, it really hurt me to first see that. I was 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 was doing 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 of our service and doesn't understand, you know, the freedoms that we have and blah, blah blah, and not really taking into account that my experience is completely different than anybody else's experience,...

...especially. So maybe somebody of you know, a different skin color and all that, and even if he didn't necessarily experience the same amount of oppressionist people in the Darfur or even other people in this country, he's still standing up for for people and have giving a voice to people that don't have one maybe, and so I had to kind of check myself in that moment, you know, and I ended up writing this open letter to Colin just saying Hey, look, this is why I feel the way I feel, this is why I stand, but I also need to do a better job of understanding that those are my emotions and feelings based on my experiences. And you know, I I you are exercising a First Amendment right that I fought for and I look forward to the day that you're inspired to stay and once again, hopefully we can figure this thing out as a country. And you know the the letter went pretty viral and Colin read it and was inspired by it and he actually reached out to me and said he wanted to meet. So the next day I met with him down in San Diego. They were playing the San Diego chargers in the final preseason game and we met in the lobby of the team hotel and talked about all that stuff, talked about our experiences and background and really about, you know, why he was doing what he was doing, and I listened. I listened to better at that time and and I think, more importantly, or just as importantly, calm listen to me. I wanted to hear about my experiences in 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 men and women the fought for this country, and he's like I just I think there's a good number of us that don't experience the same amount of freedoms and and there's a promise that that flag is supposed to represent. That's not being that's not being met, you know, for a lot of people, and I think that's not right and I respected that. You know, I didn't agree with everything he said, but I did agree with wanting to make this country better. I still do. And so he asked me finally the end of this conversation, do you think there's a better way a I can protest or demonstrate that won't offend people in the military besides sitting on the bench right and I said well, you know, no, matter what you do, some people will be offended, but my opinion, I think it's the most important thing would be to be alongside your teammates. I think that's a good it's very symbolic and it's a it's a good thing for people to see in the country and if you're committed to not standing no matter what until things start to change, I think taking a knees the only other option that makes sense and I see it as a pretty respectful gesture and and that's where, you know, taking a knee came from. And he did it that night and I stood next to him and some people booed in the stands and and you know what, most people didn't and I think it opened a lot of people's minds 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 think it's interesting to see how that kneeling is sort of spread throughout sports across the globe at this point. Right and you see him. It come full circle with George floord's George Floyd's death and everything and and the kind of the everything that's happening in America and realizing that, hey, there are injustice is out there and there are a lot of people wanting to help, wanting to do better. So, you know, if you think back to that little talk that you guys had and and helping with Colin Kaepernick, but to meet that's what our country needs, is just to it down and listen to each other instead of just hating on each other for doing something that you may not agree with, because there's a lot of things that I don't agree with a lot of people, 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 time to listen to calling story and I'm sure he really appreciates your story, which I believe. Me, I've had many family members that were in the military. My brother in laws, an army ranger, you know from you name it, from every war back I've had somebody in them and I appreciate you and I want to thank you for your service and I want to 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 to understand how to really get rid of the injustice has a systemic racism and things like that in our 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 completely agree with you, and because you saying that, but that's the most important thing to me. I mean, I think as a you know, as a soldier, as a veteran, a lot of times our our our story gets coopted and people try to sort of put us in a box and and they want people to assume certain things about...

...us and they kind of want to group us all together like we all feel the same way about things. In reality is, you know, we have varying opinions and feelings about things and and I think, you know, when I look at when I look at the country now and I look at my time in the military, the most frustrating part is that we fought for everybody in this country and you know, we fought for, you know, equality and justice for all, just like calling sort of speaking about and then to come back for from war and see us so divided and not willing to listen and have those conversations. That's what hurts more than anything, more than anybody taken a knee or whatever, the conversation about the anthem itself or the flag. The most painful thing is just how ugly 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 grateful for that. But right in this social media era, we hear the loudest voices the most and a lot of those loud voices are very angry and very can 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 of and this is a great place people like there's a lot of people like you and Marny and and plenty of others that you know are that are that are happy and hopeful and you know, lead with love and understanding and listening and want this place to get back to its full potential. And and it's been a 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's something we kind of need. You know, it's like a reset button for us and maybe it will be a big turning point. I look at it and I am hopeful and I think that that things are, they are getting and will be continue to continue to get better. Yeah, I think we're all but could like. Oh sorry, guys, I was just going to I mean, my grandfather would always say civility is not a sign of weakness and I really love that expression because it really does kind of define, you know, the human nature of you know, being civil does not make you or being a compassionate person doesn't make you weak. People kind of sometimes seem to 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 something is different and I think that listening and those are the great things that will hopefully, 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. I think we got a little serious for a moment. Now we're going to go to a two minute drill at the end of the show here. We'll see how far you get down the field, nate. So put two minutes on the clock, Sonar. All right, so first question for you, nate Gat asked or electric car? I have a gas car, man. Now I feel guilty. All right, live or drive? Was it again? All right, when you're traveling some plays, are you flying or driving, although I yea why? All right, what's your pet peeve? I have a lot of pet peeves. We ating and I can't even like think of one right now, but I definitely have a lot. How about my pet people? By myself is when I can't think of a word or something like this in this moment, when I know this, I know there's something that really 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 going to throw it back to you. The Mount Rushmore question. All right, what's your Mount Rushmore of Texas football? Oh Man, I mean for me it was honestly, in two thousand and twelve we played in the alamobowl against Oregon State and my my best friend from the military passed away the week before and 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 him and his family and we were getting our tails whipped until the fourth quarter and we 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 was the piece for me. That the biggest game in the biggest moment of Texas. Right, awesome. All right, Martie. All Right, your favorite sports movie? Oh, man, I got a lot of good sports movies. I mean I love Ruddy and I grew up a Notre Dame and fan and I'm an underdog too, so that's a good one. Yeah, I would say rudy for them. Good Call, all right. Favorite quarterback, Joe Montana. Oh No, we didn't...

...freeze up right now, did we? No, good, Marny. All right. So the last question is all right, what is your hidden talent? Dancing like Michael Jackson, even though he's maybe got a tainted legacy when it comes to dance, and he's the man. Yeah, well, Hey, you know what, you didn't get a touchdown, but you made a perfect snap and we kick the field goal. What do you think about that? Mate, that day, that's that's my job, you know, you got to do. You got to do what you're good at, do what you're made to do. Stay in your lane. Hey, we appreciate you sharing your story. Less please tell all of our fans what you're doing currently, how they can find you and how they can donate to some of the charities you're involved with. Yeah, my website is nate at. Excuse me, my website is nate boy, orcom on social media at nate boy or thirty seven. MVP, which stands for merging vets and players, is a charity where we bring together combat vets and former professional athletes and help them find purpose and service together and that new identity when the uniform comes off. Vets and players. Dot Org 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 is water boys, are started by 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. We go together, we go with combat vets and former and current NFL players and we 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 me as well. Awesome. I really appreciate, nate, that you came on find nate at nate boy orcom and everything that he's doing. Martie, I appreciate you joining me today on huddle up with Guss and I want everyone to go 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 listen to 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 wonderful show and I look forward to hearing from both youtubes. Thank you for joining David I in the huddle. We hope you enjoyed our podcast. If you'd like 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 merchandise and join our excuse of huddle through Patreon. Please join us next week when we talk to more guests about how sports shape their life,.

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