Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Nick "The Kick" Lowery

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Nick Lowery or Nick the Kick,  played 18 years in the NFL.  The Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Famer and 7-time All Pro is the Chiefs all-time leading scorer. Nick helped launch Americorps for President Clinton, and his humanitarian work with youth earned him the NFL Players’ most honored award, the Justice Byron Whizzer White Award.  And there is much more. Nick’s father was a pilot in World War II, Stanford and Fulbright scholar and his Mother was in the first class of women at Oxford – in Honors. His father was head of station for the CIA in London and Bonn during the late 60’s. He literally grew up next door to a Supreme court justice (Byron White) who was best friends with John and Bobby Kennedy, and won the NFL’s highest award named for him. Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Famer Nick Lowery’s message is Focus, Passion & Purpose. He tells Dave and I all about how sports has influenced and shaped his life. You can hire Nick as a speaker.   http://loweryspeaks.com Visit his Foundation here... http://www.nicklowery.com       See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Welcome to our podcast huddle up with gusts, where we talked to guests about how sports helped shape their life. I'm your host, former NFL quarterback, gusts Frad, and I'm joined by my longtime friend and coast Dave Hagar. We are a RADIOCOM original podcast and you can find it's on the new RADIOCOM APP or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. Now let's get in the huddle. Hello everyone, to another episode of huddle up with Gusts. Today the show is sponsored by the Western bonoventure hotel in Los Angeles. If you have a chance to visit and stay, definitely go to the western Bonaventure Hotel. It's a great place to stay. Hello again all you huddle up fans, and thanks for joining us on huddle up with gusts. Today I am joined, as usual, by my sidekick and Co host, Dave Hagar. Yeah, I like the term sidekick. You like it better than cohost? I don't know, it sounds more fun. Well, sidekicks great for our guests coming up. Yeah, no, Pun intended, open intended, but he was no sidekick. No, he was nick the kick. Nick the kick, but another guest Dave, who is just blows us away of their intellect, where they go to school, just his background. I mean to understand that his dad was like running the CIA and he really never understood that until he he learned about it after we passed. Yeah, they couldn't really talk about it. Right. It's like Thanksgiving was just like talking about the lions game, basically, not what's Dad doing at work? Right, right, then, like it was great. And then his neighbor, he played basketball with a Supreme Court justice, wizard white with right was an NFL player. Yeah, Supreme Court just, I believe when the heisman. Yes, yeah, steeler, it was a steeler. Yeah, but just that's who you're like, I'm going to go from school and shoot hoops with you know, the Whiz for a little bit. Yeah, he calls a lot of fouls, but whatever. Yeah, you weren't going to go hands. Yeah. And then, but that alone would have been a great existence. Any goes in, plays eighteen years in the NFL. Right goes to St Alban's and DC goes to Dartmouth as a baseball player and a football player. And then didn't just make the NFL. Struggled, Oh, it took it there were some rocky steps. Early on, thought about just going right into politics, going to have a career in politics and yeah, the chiefs called and it was he's a legend ever since. I mean one of the most accurate kickers in the history of the NFL. Well, yeah, and just a great, great story. And what was his favorite barbecue place? Oh, Jack Stack in Kansas City. Right, that's those are those are big words for those that are familiar with Jack Stuck. We Love Jack Stack. We Miss Lunch today. Some of my stomach's growling a little bit for some Jack Stack. Yeah, I'd some fruity pebbles at midnight, but I'm hungry now. So joining us in the huddle of day. please. Welcome Nick lowry. Valet, stay and play in your next getaway to Los Angeles. The Western Bonaventure Hotel suites offers effortless access to all the city of angels has to offer, whether you're hoping to catch a concert or sporting event. Our hotels just moments from all the action and accessible to Hollywood, beaches, museums and theme parks. The package includes a guest room and valet parking. For reservations, use Promo Code PSF and the code box when making your online reservation or call one, two hundred and three, six to four one thou and asked for Promo Code PSF Nick. So we want to hear a little bit about your story. So when you were young and growing up, I think you came over to the states from Munich, Germany's at right. Well, actually...

...it made look like that my dad was. I found out when my father passed away ten years ago. My Dad wasn't just senior CIA. My Dad was chiefest station in London. So he was literally the American M for you know, the James Bond types, if you remember the m figure in James Bond sells. And so I was born in Germany because my dad was working for the CIA and Munich. We lived there for a year, but I've always been American all but my mother was actually in until Leigence officer in the women's world, maybe in World War Two. So I had that British background as well, but I'm American through and through and and honored that my dad served as country and, as you might know, with CIA you can't talk about what you do a whole lot. So we found out more about my dad and how powerful and important he was. And and that early post war Europe, you know, and the time of the Iron Curtain and and the competition between the Soviet and the United States and and that's why I was in Germany. Wow, we just interviewed last week Martin Anderson, who I held for one year with the Minnesota Viking so hearing his story and then seeing that, so we weren't quite sure we might we might have to but your stories definitely different than morten's, and so tell us a little bit how you fell in love with sports. You know, I think we all know a lot of kids today that are sort of add they're all over the place and I think a lot of kids growing up there filled with energy, and I was one of those and I just loved I played music, I played drums, I played tons of basketball, I played soccer back in London, when I told You my dad was chief a station there when England won the World Cup way back in one thousand nine hundred and sixty six. was playing soccer and rugby and cricket and and then I played a lot of baseball. I was actually a college baseball pitcher and a guy named Harry Wilson was who's the became the father of Russell Wilson, was my baseball and football teammate at Dartmouth. So I played lots different sports and, you know, all of them were, you know, that outlet that we all need, and so that was to me. As I look back, sports was helping me learn how to express my energy, to try new things, to adapt, Lord knows, to adapt to unpredictable things, to come back from, you know, defeats as well as victories, and to express myself. So and that's how you develop as a social human being too, you know, when you move from school to school and suddenly you're an athlete, that gives you a little bit more reason to connect with other people. So I think that's sort of how it evolved, just in Europe, moving to England when I was came back to England when I was nine and I was here a tall American, you know, Swanky Yank as they called us, at same Paul School in Kensington in London. And you know, how do you relate to kids that you know, you have a totally different background from? So sports ends up being that common ground that you learned to, you know, get on the same team with Nick we've asked this question to a lot of our guests and we have a really high batting average. And on this affirmative answer here. Um, when you're playing sports with the kids in the neighborhood, did you ever play whiffle ball? Sure, of course I did play. We're hitting like nine hundred and fifty on that question. Yeah, Oh, you bet. You know, you played whippleball and then you played with a little you know, stick with a tennis ball, I mean anything, and of course build your hand eye coordination. You got to be able to react and of course with whippleball it's a little safer, so you're not break it too many windows. Yeah, I think Nick's our first cricket player. Also that we've got...

...the show. Yeah, what is cricket like? You know what, I think I still have the record for the longest cricket ball throw. When I was nine or ten, I through its seventy yards and at St Paul's crickets different. You got to catch things with your hands. You got to catch a ball that justice hard or harder than a baseball with your hands. It's spread out more to it's a you know, three hundred and sixty degree field and you got to protect that wicket right. So what the bowlers trying to do is bounce that ball in a weird way, fast enough and unpredictable enough that it misses your bat, hits the wicket and you're protecting that and it's not impossible to protect it. So some people you know, will score for thousand and five, thousand and sixty, even a hundred, two hundred runs sometimes. And then you got to be able to react because you don't know what angle it's going to come off in the batter. There's no foul territory, so you can hit it anywhere you want and the spontaneous grabs these guys make are pretty pretty amazing. Of course it's can be kind of slow. Takes a while and you got to learn to focus. You know, think about all the kids when they're five and six and they're looking at the dandelions in the grass. That's not going to be the sport for them. Now I've heard, I don't watched a lot of cricket, but I've heard sticky wickets. What's a sticky wicket? You know, I have no idea. I would think it probably means that what happens is they're three polls are stuck in the ground and then there's a thing on top of it that's balanced. So you've got to hit the wicket, but things got to fall off too. So maybe a stick a way, sticky wicket is simply that it doesn't react quite and get damaged as much. Right so, but I don't I don't really know. It's been a while or it has nothing to do with cricket. Maybe that I might be asking something I shouldn't be asking. Maybe that was that same bar you were talking about before the hockey player beat you up in yes, I could also be result of the sticky so so, Nick, we talked a lot about the show of most of our guests have great stories about when they were kid and a lot of them talk about when they were young and they would go out and play with all their friends and there were no parents, there were no coaches, there are no referees and and some of the stuff that you learned from those periods. What was some of that that you took away from being a kid? You were in multiple countries, so I'm sure you learned a lot from from different from background. Well, you know, you know what sports does is it teaches you how to interact with other people, right. And so today kids, you know, they're always been supervised. So we weren't supervised. We had to develop our own rules. We had to be able to come up with a set of whatever you want to call them, rules, ethics, you know, standard so that you, you know, you felt there was some level of fairness applied to everybody, and you had to figure out how to resolve disputes, you know. So that's that's pretty darn important. And I think what happens today when you compare what we had then, you know, you might get into a fight once in a while. That's but not that often. But what's in a while? That might be something like that. And you had to figure maybe I don't like that, maybe that's not the best way to do it. And today, if you're always waiting for somebody to supervise you, and parents are worried that there's some molester out there and so they never let their kids go out. And we go out. We play in the where I grew up in the says to Maryland. You know, I'm from the DC area. So as the Redskins Fan, in fact, I kicked two field goals in the preseason, giving Mark Moseley a little break back in seventy nine. So in the fat of Maryland. Yeah, so, and in the Fez the we were sort of an area with her some construction. So you know, we we go wander around, check out these homes and develop that imagination. You know, that's the other part is your imagination has to have some internal machine in you know. You don't wait for other p people to stimulate you, other people up other things to give you ideas.

You have to come up with that. So, you know, I think creativity and also the ability to relate to others. That was so important. So we were lucky that way. And you're not thinking you're lucky if you get in the fight with some tough kids for the other side of the neighborhood. Not that that happened too often. As I remember at St Paul's I had a couple of grapes and you have to learn and you know what, what is most important to yourself, and sometimes it has to happen in an intense environment like that. But I think that was really good for us. I think when you have to learn to adapt and you have to meet New People and ask questions and find out what you know they're about. That's really important today. I think a lot of kids, you see kids with there's a suicide issue in this country. There's a kids adapting really poorly to going to college because they haven't had that experience, that sports taught them, that getting out there, you know, with strangers to taught them, not with any perfect textbook, but in that random way, you begin to figure out here's a good decision and here's a terrible decision, and I like the good decisions. I want to do those more often. And let's look at what's going on in the NFL. Man, you got players that are incredibly physically talented and yet they don't know how to handle their success. They're all being paid ten times more than we were. So they, you know, they're feeling their oats, but in the end they they often, and unnecessarily, I mean completely unnecessarily, set fire to their careers because they haven't learned. They haven't learned those skill sets and I think that's missing today. Right. So, Nick, if you came home, you got into the scuffle with Jimmy Downa street and you said Hey, dad, Jimmy, you know, late into me today, and then the next day, everybody to go, where's Jimmy, like, you know, the head of the CIA, to do some of that stuff? Yeah, Jimmy. No one can find Jimmy anymore. Himmy Judn't bother me. So funny. And I liked Jimmy, I mean I really did. Know I will tell you I've done quite a few anti bowling events and I'll never forget. And this is not what I recommend, but you know, there's a there's a fine line between you have to learn to honor other people, you know, to to have a sense of inclusivity. I think that's really important, as any team does. But there was this kid, and ironically this isn't Betheza to there's a family called the gross family, and this kid, rose, would come by and he punched me around and and I was only five or six. You know, I didn't have any skill sets, I didn't know what to do. I was never taught to be violent and never taught to fight, and so I came back to my older brother, who's five years older than mark, and I said what do I do? He said next time, punch of any organs, which he meant the stomach, and and I didn't know, we know what else to do. So this kids coming and he's going to do the same old thing he's done before. So I just punching this talk this up can in the stomach and there was there was this two or three second pause where he sort of like couldn't believe what had happened, and then he burst out crying, ran home and he never bothered me again. Now, I'm not saying that's what you do in bullying, but I am saying to some degree, you know you got to stick up for yourself, not hurting other people. But you know, that was one of those early lessons. Now did I get into more fights? Not A lot. And I like to think most of my life today, and I think you guys probably echo this too, is about figuring out how we can all get along better and develop better and use this stage as athletes. You know, this wonderful spotlight help other people and make the world a better place. I mean it's never been a brighter never been a brighter spotlight than it is today. Know that that's true. And you probably weren't getting many fights, and be sets the right that's not like. Not Too not, not too many. Not...

Too many, yeah, yeah, but obviously that was a place the redskins. They would they would never tell us to stay out of it. Says that, but like some of the other places, like don't go wandering around our FK right. You don't want to be in those neighborhoods. Yeah, exactly. So, Mike, you're playing as you know, let's say you're in the middle school now. Are you playing soccer and the soccer team and other sports or when did you start with football? So I went to Potomac school and the clain Virginia. So I was played soccer. I played baseball and you know, when we were nine, eight, we nine, I we went to England. So, but before that I was playing soccer and baseball and I don't know if I was playing any basketball at that point. Then went to England, played those those British sports and soccer and rugby and cricket and actually did some swimming, some track and and that was kind of neat to there's another subject altogether, which is you know, there's so much pressure on kids today to focus on one sport. Laugh, there little pros and it's just used the purposes away from enjoying sport, learning the lessons to sport, loving sport, loving participating, just being engaged and making it this sort of mini professional league. And then we came back to the states and I was playing baseball, I was MVP the basketball team and, you know, soccer and football. I just started to kick fuel goals just like I had in England and wow, I was pretty good and it really became a process. I'm sure Morton Todd talked about this maybe a little bit, where you know, physically there's the action you do a quarterback that throws the ball and the handing off and all the different skill sets, but it's also the mental side, learning and noticing how you handle people expecting a lot from you, learning how to relax under pressure and how to focus. When I talked to kids today, I did definitely a lot about concentration, learning to focus when you're bored, learning to focus when you're exhausted, and and so all these different sports, I think, teach a different part of your brain how to focus, how to work through being completely, you know, incompetent as skill set when you're new to a sport and working through it, love in the hard work, you know. So I played. I Love Baseball, went to St Alban School Way by the Cathedral in Washington DC, in ten to eleven and twelve and was MVP the baseball team league champion. I had an o seven, eight and no, point, three, nine earn GREN average. I thought I was going to play pro baseball and I had a smart coach, you, Gerry Gardner, Wonderful Coach and Wonderful Mentor, and a guy named Dick Johnson, and so I just focused on punting and kicking. I was not a very good wide receiver anyway. And you know, in the end I played college baseball. But there was that link as a pit between that and a kicker where you d're on an island. You got to learn how to focus, you got to learn spotlights on you get it done. You know, manage your state, manage your mind and your nerves, and and NA's really to me, a lot of what we're learning in education is, you know, where do I put my mind? How do I resolve a situation and learn about it and then make the decisions? Well, I would I assume that there are similarities between like your closer and a kicker because, as you see exactly, you know, you guys are called up with two seconds left of the game, but you may not have kicked the ball the whole fourth quarter right, and then all of a sudden you got to go out and win the game. Exactly. You've been kicking in the net and thinking about things and then you got to be able to focus and go out there and put everything make it all white noise and go out and just focus on putting through the uprights. And also hero or goat. You're put on us. You can either you can win the game or lose the game. In People's minds, especially you know, it's there's not a lot of oh, he had a mediocre keep kicking game. It was either I kick the game winner or now I miss that and we lost. Well, as right, nick, as a holder, for me and all the years that I played and holding all those years, no one ever knew that...

I held until I screwed it up right, right, and so that that's got to be a hard but exactly, I do see those similarities. So you went to Dartmouth as a baseball player and a football player. Yet all I did, and I, by the way, just just connect. You know, just a few days ago Greg's air line, you know, one of the better kickers in the NFL right and he's kicking off crushed rubber which is a little bit more mushy sometimes, and he doesn't come through, doesn't attack the all just slightly, kind of comes off at a little bit early and he loses that Little Hook, that too, three foot hook, which would have brought that inside the upright, and they lose the game they really should have won. So you know, it's tough, man. You go to bed, you wake up at night a few times literally dreaming that Ball Hook, left, hook, left, damn, it go through and in. You live with it, but it but then I think you also realize this is only because I care, I give a darn, and and so then you use it to motivate yourself to get better. There's the way any athlete does. You learn to use the adversity to get better. I had a terrible game against the Cleveland Browns, I mean and the field conditions were horrendous, but doesn't matter. All I thought was I'm never going to feel this feeling again, and it made me I went in the s. That was an eighty nine and it was a tie game. Marty SCHOTTENHEIMER'S RETURN TO CLEVELAND and important game, and I kicked the a forty one yard or with four minutes left to tie it. But and then I missed a couple kicks. I felt horrible and I just said I'm never going to have that feeling again and I kicked eighty six percent after that in the S. is most acurticker in the S, in the NFL as well as in the S. and that was coming from adversity. That was coming from feeling horrible letting my teammates down, you know. And that's going to be days when you aren't perfect and learning to live with your humanity. There's another thing, then, where how good you are. You're not perfect, and that's just the way it is tiger woods, you know. I mean what how good you get, you're going to have moments and sometimes, if you're not careful, they turn into years. And there's the other thing. The guys that have that ability to not let something brand them for a lifetime as being a loser, but just to keep learning, keep growing, keep working. So what was experience like a Dartmouth as Ivy League football player like? Who is dartmous biggest rival? Well, we when I got there we had won five straight Ivy League championships. They had a guy named Bob Blackman, who still is a true legend, who sort of like the John Wooden of the Ivy League back then, and Jake Crad Hamill had replaced him and we jake played in it. It happens that way. I Love Jake. He was great that. He was an honorable man who went on to be a tremendous athletic director for Syracuse actually, but he was different, you know, and there was such high expectations and we had a talented team, buddy, but we kind of played not to lose rather than to win, and you probably been there before. You know where you're playing, not to make mistakes and and that in the end that's not where all the best energy is. But I will say this. In playing in the Ivy League there really was a commitment to academics. They understood that it was not for debate, and I got to give him credit that we so. Our big rival I had my best games against Harvard. Harvard and Dartmouth and Princeton are probably the best teams right now, I guess. And Buddy Teevens, who moved my holder briefly. He's been their head coach twice in the early s and now he's their head coach again. It was great and you know, speaking of what sports does for you. As an example, Dartmouth College started to ask the question, you know, where all these concussions? What are we going to do? And and we challenge, thanks to Buddy Tevens, a challenge that their engineering school to develop a robotic dummy and that robotic dummy can run twenty miles an hour,...

...runs a forty. It's two hundred pounds, it's all the weight is mostly in the bottom of it. But teams, for about sixteen or seventeen NFL teams use it now and instead of practicing headtohead where they are the collisions that can cause these concussions and later Cte potentially, now they've got an option and it works really well. Teams that use at Dartmouth got the entire Ivy League to be the first league to vote to eliminate teammate on teammate tackling. And you know, that's kind of a subset of what we're talking about. Man. We're trying to help our little brains grow and they can't grow if they're getting pounded. Yet the same time, you don't want to hurt the game itself, and Dartmouth Defense was getting four and five times more tackling practice because they didn't have to worry about getting hurt. And so that's that's an example of what it was like Dartmouth. Instead of just saying hey, this is the way it is, some level of innovation and Dartmouth and Buddy tevens and the MVP is what it's called, the mobile virtual player, won the Innovation Award at the Super Bowl in Houston a couple of years ago from GE in the NFL. So remember the you know that. That that, to me, is that's kind of cool about Dartmouth is, you know, and Ivy League schools is, you know, using learning to use your weaknesses and turning them into strengths. I think that's happens with Ivy League players, as they may not always be physically as good, but they do tend to not make mistakes and repeat them quite as often. Start Your Day sunny side up at the Weston Bonaventure Hotel and sweets and enjoy breakfast for two on us, no matter how you plan to spend your trip to Los Angeles, started every day with a hearty meal to kick start your morning enjoy breakfast for to on us for each day you stay. For reservations, be sure the Promo Code S for B appears in the Promo codebox when making your online reservations at Marriottcom. BACKSLASH LA xbw or call one hundred eight hundred two to eight ninety two hundred and ninety and ask for Promotional Code S for B. So did you play both sports all four years of college? No, actually, I stopped playing baseball after my second year. My wonderful coach wanted me to change my motion and it just wasn't. It hurt and didn't didn't work too well. So I just said this is what I got to do. I'm going to focus on football and next year I actually ballet in the summer with some of my teammates. Felt like a Hippo Rhinoceros in the ballet class, but but then I was a more graceful hippopotamus that season. And that was the first year in NCAA history the kicker never missed any extra points or or field goals, and that was my junior year. So I knew that that was a I had a shot at playing in the NFL. And it was harder coming from an ivy league's because you weren't scattered as much, you didn't have quite the level of pressure, but in the end it worked out. What was your most memorable kick at Dartmouth? My sophomore year I hit forty nine yarder at Harvard that that could have cleared by twenty yards and then I had a fifty two yard or it at Dartmouth against Harvard the next year. So there's a memory one, I guess. My senior year I had a forty one yard or to beat Holy Cross, you know, in the last seconds of the game and the rent it was kind of raining. That was a good memory. Yeah, that's great. You know, some of the things you were talking about with that MVP is really nice, because I wish it was more horrible when I was coaching high school because I hated if we were practicing and you have to learn how to tackle the right way, and there's sometimes there's no other way to do it than to tackle. But if you lost a player in practice because of that, and those kind of tools and technologies that they created at Dartmouth are really good for the game and really good just you...

...can tackle as many times you want. You're not going to hurt yourself or hurt the machine. Yeah, and and the funny thing about repetitions. I always find it interesting on special teams, you know, you know a lot of teams the model is in practice you practice a new plate two, three, maybe four times. But you know on a special teams when you doing an on side kick like the chiefs had last night, and it's literally those plays decide the game. I mean they're those are game changing plays. You should practice at a few more times. And you know, repetition makes a big difference. That's one of the things that the MVP does. I'm really proud that Dartmouth has done either. They're developing a smaller version so that, you know, pop warner can get into it a lot of you know, there've been a lot of kids that have parents made their kids play it flag football or another sport, and now there it's going to be an opportunity for them to learn to complete tackle in the right way. By the way, what's happened to tackling in the NFL? I mean it's terrible. Guys, guys don't know how to tackle it. They're just Seattle's a good tackling team, but not too many others. They're just trying to strip the ball. Now. Yeah, well, I mean they're trying to create hernovers, but I used to show my kids in high school, when I coached in high school, a highlight film, am not a good highlight film of Troy Paul Malo, because he used to come up from the safety position, never break down, just try to make the big hit, which she was really good at. But if he missed, he missed big instead of I said right, this is not what you want to do. You want to break down, and then I would show him like there were some really good tacklers in the NFL who always broke down, made the play and besides that, it protects them as a tackler because when they're out of control, anything can happen. You know, the game is is crazy and it's really physical and you know those kind of things are so important. So me, you leave dark miss you go on to get into the NFL. What was that transition like for you? I know it wasn't easy. That would tell us a little bit about it. Wasn't easy. Yeah, well, you know, I grew up in the time of water gate. You know my senior year in high school. Those Senate hearings was Sam Irvin and Howard Baker and those amazing legendary figures, by the way, open air, not like this, these private things you see now and nobody you. You had some time and DC buddy, you know what I'm talking about. I mean these hearings where you don't they aren't televised anymore, which I don't like, you know, but I grew up in the water gate era and I wanted to make a difference. I grew up, I mean, who grows up next door to Biron wizard white, Supreme Court justice for thirty one years, led the National Football League and rushing for both the Pittsburgh steelers and the Detroit Lions. Let the NFL and rushing the same ere. He finished number one at Yale Law School. I mean that was my next door neighbor, my next door neighbor, and so, you know, you ever have a conversations? Make It a difference? Oh Hell Yeah, all the time. We not all the time, but we did quite a bit. And played basketball with them. We had a we shared, we had driveways where we had basketball hoops in both driveways and and one time I played with him against my two tall brothers and Nancy White, his daughter, who was Stanford's athlete of the year, with a guy named James Lofton back in like one thousand nine hundred and seventy seven or something, or seven eight and and Byron. And I beat those those guys. And then the next day he never complained. He was playing his dress use, you know, just come back from the Supreme Court. They, you know, opened up his took off his tie and we played basketball. And next day he's on crushes with a car picking them up next door. But he would never complain. He was one of the toughest so so beas and he had also one of the greatest minds. And so I had this interesting thing where I got cut by almost made it with the jets, wasn't really tough enough yet and missed a couple field goals in the third preseason game and they cut me. Then went up to Dartmouth. I was going to be a drill instructor in French and and the Patriots Kicker, whose name...

...was John Smith, was injured. showed up there. Convinced them to take a look at me in the in the fading light, at what was called Shaffer Stadium and Fox grew back then and I got the job and I've played two games for them. One, the first game ever was the first Sunday night game on national TV with Dandy Don Meredith and Howard Co sell and and frank effort against the raiders in Oakles and we won that game and went down to the final seconds poward co sell was doing. There goes the tall Angelo one from that at College Kenny and fresh and I was and I was I was pooping in my pants, man. I tell you what, I could not handle it. It was it was a process. That's why I'm so passionate about you know, what we've talked about is sports teach you to hang in there and love the work, and so I went to a process of being cut by eight teams eleven times. I then would work for Senator John Schafier Rhode Island in the United States Senate in between seasons and then came back and went with Cincinnati, trying out with different teams through red skins that second year. Took those two field goals in the third and fourth preseason game and you know, I'll never for this is a good story. I was I was working out at St Alban's. The redskins have cut me. The week before. We've gone down to Atlanta and I'd hit a field goal and then I missed an extra point, which I never did normally, and I'm worked out. I've kicked it's, you know, a hot and Hu would it get from Washington? And somebody's running over from the tennis courts saying hey, Bobby Bethard, who was the general manager, legendary gentlemanager. Really, Redskins want you to play for the redskins tonight. So I drove home, James Quick shower, drove down to the stadium and got what was the name of that defensive back from the locker room, like with two hours left. I sound a quick goal contract and they go mann it and we practice all week. Head shows up for the game and buddies. Yeah, and Sissman Weisman help for me. He was great. He was really positive, really and that began a friendship with him. And kicked the field goal, missed another extra point. Ironically, I went on to have the highest not only field goal percentage but highest pat when I went to twenty yard twenty yard extra points in history. But I hadn't made that adjustment to kicking without a tea. And when you kicking off the ground you got to get dig down. So like kicking a hit in the wedge, shut out of the SANDTRAP, you have to dig a little deeper and and if you're not careful, you don't open up your hips and you leave it high into the right and I remember running off the field and arth case stadium. These two guys wearing reskins Jersey's were leaning over the that dug APP and I thought and they're smiling and I'm running towards them. They go lowry, looked at because you suck. Yeah, those are the special memories. But you know what, it just makes you better. And you know, I wasn't ready yet. I was getting there. OUT BEGINNING TO OUT KICK kickers. I was getting stronger mentally and physically, and then I got a job. I was going to quit. I got a job working for Senator Bob Packward on the permanent job on a Senate committee on commer science and transportation, work on aviation deregulation and aviation safety, and I would that was it. I was not going to play anymore. And I got a call from the Kansas City chiefs and I literally kind of hung up on this guy, Jimpsong, you just had back surgery and it was the wild car weekend. I said, I done another great job, but maybe another time, who knows? And then I as I hung up, I thought dam I didn't find out what they had to offer, but I didn't know where to find this guy. Didn't know how to to I didn't know how to spell his name, did not know his phone number. There was no you know network of Verizon and team mobile, etcetera. Come back to his hospital room and bloom away that I could find them about...

...an hour later and I just knew I'd always wonder. I'd always wonder if I didn't find out what they had to offer. And they flew me out a week later in Snowy Kansas City. They gave me a twenty five hundred dollar bonus and for those people that are listening, you know today that would have been a, you know, a hundred thousand dollar bonus, but back then I just needed something right to make me try one more time, and I thank God I did because, you know, in the end I played eighteen years. You know, I beat out Yon Stennerot, who went on to be the first kicker in the NFL Hall of fame, Broken Shit and shattered all of his records. He had a career sixty seven percent. I was eighty percent, the first guy. Eighty percent. I had the most Accura seen the S and and S, most fifty yard field goals. None of that would have happened if I'd given up. And and so many people give up. One step away from greatness and the greatness is not a postcard, it's not a snapshot. The greatness is loving the work, every day, working to get better, never being good enough, never being satisfied, but at the same time loving the process. I think that's that's the sort of initiation you go through when you get cut eleven times by eight teams. Right. So you go to the chiefs and you know, I'm sure you were going through training camp and saying, okay, I still got a figure out if I'm going to make this team. When did you know that? Hey, I'm going to have a job here this year? You know what? They brought me in and May and they first I drove out and I would that big twenty five hundred dollar bonus. I bought a silver bookswagon Sharroco with spoiler and a good, good stereo system, when I drove out on root seventy all the way out through Dayton Ohio, all the way out from St Louis Down to Kansas City. And that month of training and may help me get less intimidated. And because you know it's just show up a training camp and your rookie, you haven't made that had two games out of my belt, but still, you know, it's different. It's much better when you get that early exposure to your teammates, to the environment, and I just knew. I talked to one of the actually was the chiefs conditioning coach, and he's like you just going to have to add kick this guy. Get Ready. I kick this guy at everything every day. And so I set my mind to that and and that's that's where they what happened. And on last night we had Brian Waters initiated into the Kentsidy she's hall of fame. When one of the great offensive lines of all time with Willy wrope and will shields and Brian Waters, right and and Clark Hunt was there. Clark Hunt was a sixteen year old ball boy charting me every field goal against you on standard. So what happened was I just began to you know, Yan started to get a little frustrated and I got the ball off a little bit higher, a little bit faster, and and it was. It averaged a hundred and seven degrees at in Liberty, Missouri and William Joe College that summer and you know, we had long practices and too long practice full pads. You know, I like the way it is now. And so about the third, fourth week, I knew it and the sign was a very special one. I came back to my room and pulled up the covers and I had fresh, warm cowmonore with worms in it and graphs all over my bed and I knew that the guys that you know Yan was sort of the father figures, the oldest guy on the team right, and he was thirty six. He still played seven, six, seven more years. But I knew I must be jetting closed if they were going to do that. And a week later they let me do all the kids against St Louis and I hit my kicks and they cut you on after the third preseason game and Marve Leavey, who had been special teams for George Allen. And you know we're lucky to have him. He appreciate it a he took that really, really gutsy move. I mean what how do you cut a hall of Famer for a buddy? I was really happy to prove prove him right and in my first...

...field goals in the NFL, my very first one was a fifty yarder. And then in the fourth quarter, with eight minutes left, were at midfield and I told Mar let me try this and I hit a fifty seventy yard to hit halfway up the net. So it was an NFL record to fifty yards in the game for the first time and just made a big statement, basically saying you know, maybe this guy's got some got some new staying power. And it took stay in with it long enough and then being in the right situation, having a coach like muggly right. So you go onto three pro bowls and eighteen seasons in the NFL. I mean that's that's amazing. After that, hearing that story and it just goes to show you that you have to think of back to when you were a child and you're playing all the games at all the different sports and what it means in and I think we grow up and you had another opportunity to have a different type of job, but sports, I think it just somewhere inside you just says I love to compete, I love this chance to go out and be on top. And and you're at one of the hardest positions because if you miss any of those kicks, you're not going to be there in the next year. And you know, instead, I would say that too. You know you're just one or two miss kicks away and that's the thing you got to live with. So it teaches you, here's another word, responsibility. It teaches you two things, accountability and responsibility. And I know you know this as a quarterback, because you know make an excuses, nobody wants to hear it, and so making the excuses the kicker, it just it. It doesn't work. You just have to figure out how do I find a way, even my bad kicks, that they go through, and that's what I you know, and practiced. I've practiced it. Extra narrow goal posts, all these things. So when you get on the field you are ready for anything. So you practice as if it's coming down to you. You have no excuse that you're not ready for that situation, because that's what you're paid to do is be ready in those situations. So you just rehearse it in your mind and your heart, in your nose. What's it going to smell like? How am I going to be in that moment? And Rehearse at and like that process of what I call healthy pressure, and that's how you get but I think that's really what the Patriots do, by the way, and that's what Pete Carroll does. I think you got to make it like game like conditions and help your players, you know, take some responsibility for it. So playing over all those years, though I can't imagine this, the holders that you had coming through there, did you have a certain routine you like to put them for through? Because I know when I was help for more than that, the first time ever held for a left footed kicker, and we filmed everything. I mean we went over and over. He's like I like a big ball straight up, you know, and I can still remember him drilling me and I'm like more to you know, I'm like twelve years in the League at this point and they I get it. Just tell me what you want and I'll do it. You know what I mean. But we had a film it. He had to make sure because just just like he had a lot of holders and it can't imagine how many you had as well. I had about fifteen holders, but I had I had about one for every year. But I also had, you know, streaks where I had bill Kenny for a while, I had Steve Pulur for a while, I was teeth fuller for a while and I had Brian Barker. So but in between, you know, I had run to our ski and I, you know, I had steve the Berg and I, you know, all these different guys and so it's really interesting. When I first started I thought there had to be like a mystical relationship with your holder, you know, sort of magical chemistry, right, and by the end you know it's just who's going to enjoy doing the work during practice and if you do, you can get pretty good at it. But yeah, you got to be precise and you only get some coaches only give you one team field goals a week and I told Marty I had to have two a week and don't do it for five. Make it ten or twelve, because that muscle memory, frankly, for that field goal protection unit also helps a lot. Otherwise you're exhausted.

You're in the middle of the game and now you got to do something very different. And those kids, they always mad at mean, look at how many extra points. Just a missed extra point changes the game, changes the notion. You know that particular game, in the script of that game, every kick matters and and so yeah, Morton was precise and now I tried to be precise to and and do whatever it took to be ready for any situation. Did you think that the kickoffs will will change again, because I don't know how much they're adding to you know, seems like that almost has taken away from the game a little bit. Yeah, kick cos the kind of strange no, mean, back in the S, you know, they moved it back to the thirty and I'll never forget I had a strain Patella and my my last you were the jets, and I had actually my second last year's that right now, my last year with the jets. That's right in ninety six and I'm trying to kick the ball off into the end zone seventy yards and and I actually average to the one yard line with a string of Metella, with a for one hanger's pretty proud of that. But now that would have been four yards deep, you know, and and now the balls are broken in by a quasi referee figure, and so there're a lot there more. I'm in that Dryer. Yeah, so you know, that makes a big difference. That helps and you can see it. I mean kickers are better today over all. The trainings better, the fuel conditions are better, but the balls easier kick to. I mean if you look at the average net punt, the average kickoff, average field goal, the long field goals, they've all gone way up. And then that's that's definitely helped. Nick. What's the biggest difference between ticking for the chiefs and then going to the jets? Like that's a that's a change in scenery for sure. Well, I was a big change, but you know that was also kicking for Marty Schottenheimer and Joe Montana and Marcus Allen and Derek Thomas and a team that went to the ASHC championship game and a confident team. I was just talking to Bruce Arians, who was one of our coaches with Marty and now, of course, is Tampa bays and t's is similar kind of coach. You know, we had confidence as a team. We had cohesion, we had a toughness. went to the jets and we had Pete Carroll. So it was pretty cool because you had a young coach. He had learned everything he needed to learn, but he was he had the positive energy, which is what you got to have playing in New York and stuck out there at that point on Long Island, and we were, you know, we were really good going to December of one thousand nine hundred and ninety four. We had boomers science in the quarterback and we had art monk and Ronnie Lot. We had some guys that, you know, were legendary leaders, each with their own style. But for some reason we kind of fell apart in December and they fired they fired Pete. Now, if you ask me what it was like with Richie, coach quit the jets, oh my gosh, you God blessed the guy. It's just he was not a good coach and and that's when it began to fall apart because the general manager, Dick Steinberg, also died of cancer. So the two main guys that brought me there and the gentlemanage in the head coach, the guys that create the culture of the organization along with the owner. They were gone and that was really horrible. We had the worst record in the NFL the next two years and it was as dark a time as you can imagine. And the you have to learn a lot from that too. You know who's going to run for the hills, who's going to keep working, who's going to stable oil, who's going to make excuses? And it's tough and it's tough. It's great in New York when you win and it's just as bad when you lose. No, that's true. I played when year in the angles on. I know what it's like in the dark times. So Nick. So now you've gone through your career. You play with the jets, you're you're seeing the hey, I played a long time this league. Got A lot out of it.

What was your next transition like for you? What you talking about? After my career? Yeah, after you got done, like you know, we all go through that as athletes. Were like, okay, I played, I played, Oh yeah, yours, you know, and then what am I going to do next? You you have a background in in you know, being on in in Congress and working with these people and being in politics. Did you understand that that's what you wanted to do. You just said, I'm just going to figure this out as I go. What was that like for you? Well, I first of all I didn't. You know, you don't write your own script and you try to do everything you can to but then you realize that some things are not always in your control. You just do the best you can. And you know, I had knee surgery on my right and left let like hoping to come back and I thought I was pretty much over, but I kept, you know, kept training, not kicking, the training, and out of the blue in two thousand Dick for meal calls and said Hey, we need you to come in for a tryout today because our kicker, Jeff Wilkins, has is actually, ironically, a strain to tell us, and I find out later, by the way, my knee had a tourmniscus, not a stream. To tell us. There's another example of playing for bad team. was misdiagnosed with a much more serious injury. Played by last eleven games the season with a turnmniscus. But having said that, you know I'm healed up and I'll kick three and twenty five year twenty five year old kickers and almost kick the rams in that famous Super Bowl for Dick vermio against Tennessee in Atlanta and but that didn't work out. To this day I don't know why they didn't have the on the sidelines because if he'd been injured and he missed his first two field goals in a game, I would have been there. But I thought I was time and I went up. I was invited. I read a lot of poetry and I was invited to read my poetry at Harvard and I went up there and I thought I'd been doing a program called native vision, which I started in ninety six with the interfol Players Association, Clark Gains and Alison Barlow in the people at Johns Hopkins Center from an Indian Health and I was really fascinated by what why native American populations have not moved on as much as they could and have not been as healthy in his vibrant how do you revitalize that? And and so I met with the head of the Harvard Day of American program, Robin mcclay, and he said, you know what you should you should apply to the Harvard Friar Program. And so I did and I spent two years at Harvard, got my master's in public administration at the Kenny School of government and we had we had a hundred ninety nine people in our program a hundred Americans, ninety nine from eighty different countries. Just a fabulous way. This just, you know, put an exclamation point on your NFL career and move on to something else and that felt really good to do that and I actually that first year I did three games for ESPN, which was asking a lot while I was doing studies, and but then after that I've done three years of college football for ESPN and the EBC. But then really enjoyed that. I was about leadership and developed the Leadership Program for Native Youth that I've been doing for twenty years and just looked at how do we develop in the healthy human beings. How do we find our purpose? God's given us all unique gifts. How do we find that? How do we live with that sense of mission in our lives? You know, Tony Robins calls it lived with passion, but you know, live with mission to what do you want to do with your life? Don't just have unbridled desire, but have it focused on something that makes makes a real contribution. So that's where I am today and I love the work I do with helping kids find their purpose. We have a program called champions for the homeless and have a bunch of NFL players come. David Craig comes quite often and Larry Fitzgerald. We have it on Thanksgiving, Christmas and eastern in the summer and I've never seen kids...

...transformed, the kids that are six and ten and twelve, just seeing how they can help a homeless person feel some purpose in their lives and some sense of love and and reinforcement and kids. For me, that's the divine power everybody has and then once you realize you have that, not what am I going to do with it? And that program is just exploded and we love that program. And sort of an offset of that is helping homeless veterans and we're doing a major summit with the president's director of the prevnced Task Force on suicide prevention, because you probably heard, there's a officially a twenty two suicide per day rate for veterans, which is just just so unspeakably wrong and it's actually, we believe it's actually close to twenty seven a day. It's not going down. It's actually still going up. So we're doing a big national town hall with Dr Barbara Van Doll and, who is one of Time magazine hundred most influential people in the world a couple years ago, and getting the governor and getting senator cinemas and governor Doucy and experts on PTSD and Drug Abuse and addiction and mental illness and financial strain and just thinking all the different things that that these incredible soldiers that have given everything, suddenly things are taken away away from them. As Clark Hunt said to me last night, the owner of the chiefs, you know, I think you relate to this, gusts. I mean you know it's not the same. We didn't put our lives on the line, so to speak, but we put our bodies on the line and we had an immense pressure and once that's taken away, it's hard. Suddenly all those things disappear to some degree and that transitions really, really difficult. So if NFL players can help veterans kind of join hands and say hey, we're in this together, we have something, some unfinished work to make the world a better place, that's where I'm at. So it can. Can everyone find that through your foundation you know, you can go. You can go to Nick Lowry Dot Org and I see K Lwroy Dot orger. You can put spell out nicclock foundation dot orgeat away and there's a donate button there and we do that in Phoenix, but we're talking about doing it. We're going to do a big fund ranger in San Francisco and there's a huge Holm was issue there and in Kansas City. And you know, to me it's not just helping the homeless, it's helping ourselves. To find me. The funny thing about any and I'm sure you've done a tenfold, is how often you feel so much better about your life when you've, you know, left your comfort zone and helped other people. It's just part of the recipe for a balanced life. Exactly, exactly. I know that. I've, you know, talk to Eric hipple bunch and listen to him speak about suicide prevention everything that he's gone through in his life, and I don't know, I'm not sure if you've ever heard Eric speak, but I know he speaks to several military organizations into their soldiers about that and you know how powerful what are the signs things like that. It is powerful and it is important. My Son's actually in a movie, Dave, you got to see it last night, about suicide. He was a lead actor in a movie called Solo Wow. Yeah, he was a lead actround movie called Solo Orange, and you know those. It was a put on by the School William and Mary. The producer of the show, Isaac Davis. He that was his best friend who committed suicide. They've always wanted to make movies, so gut our got the lead role. It's a very powerful thing and now my wife and I want to take it out the college campuses across the country, show it and create a program to help kids, because we know that suicide is a problem and there are ways out and you need to talk to people and it's good when kids can see themselves and somebody else, and so it is powerful. It's great that you're doing that and everyone could go to nick lowery dot Org and follow nick and and please donate and help him out in his...

...cause. I think it's a great thing that you're doing. Is there anything thanks to their yeah, is there anything else that you're doing right now that we can help you promote on our show? You know, Gosh, I just like to share that look at the one of the chances that your son is starring in a movie about suicide prevention. Right, and just a serendipities of life, I think you know, some people call it the power of intention, the law of attraction. But when you get your values aligned these coincidence has happened more often and it's a beautiful thing and it helps you realize maybe we're doing our thing. God's helping make sure that happens even better. And and that's where I think the which just experiences of life happen and they only get better. I really believe that we've got this divine or this eternal whatever you want to call it, whatever religion you are, inside us is sort of filing cabinet of how great it feels to make a difference. And you know, I like to think, having grown up next door to Byron White and who was close friends with John F Kennedy, that whole vision of asking, as he said in his inaugural address, what you can do for your country. That is where you sow the seeds of life, of happiness and impact, and you get over yourself, you don't let you in the end, US athletes have to fight that battle to learn to overcome our ego and let our spirit transcend, and that's what it's all about. No, I agree. I agree. It's so nick. One of the last things we love to do in our show we have a little segment called no huddle where we go through a two minute drill and we fire a bunch of questions at you. We kind of like to have a lot of fun with it's okay, Dave always starts us off. Okay, nick, if you were NFL commissioner for a day, what rule change would you make? I would allow CBD, non non toxic, nontaccbd to be a regular part of the players to make their brains more than neuroplastic. That's one of the things that I'm working on very passionately, is reducing concussions and and the power of TVD to help with joints. We've had an amazing results with people like Christian to Kryer and Eric Dickerson and Derek Canard, and that would be the something I take. They could help protect the game. You can make a great helmet that's never going to be designed the same as an inner cellular helmet where the neurons in the brain literally or five to ten times better at resisting impact. Right, great, no, I agree. So what is your biggest pet? PEEVES continue to make the same mistake over and over again, not listening and just making the same mistake. You know, I try to be patient, you know, and maybe my thing is patient. Made my petteevens is learning to be more patient. But, but, but learning, learning, paying attention. You know, that's really how you get better in life, and I'd say that's what it is. All right, nick, if you're making a mount rushmore of kickers and Fiel, free to include yourself. But if you're going to chisel that out of stone, who would your for kickers be? I definitely be one of them. I'd say on standard, Morton Anderson, and then I'd think then Atieri and maybe in Tucker for the Ravens. He's just extraordinary. Tuckers, unbelievable. Yeah, he crushed the stealers. Oh, he's just so deadly. That's that's a great one. What is your favorite sports movie? Risky business, really, it's not really sports, but but you know, there's Tom Cruise. He's a football player and I'm not sure I shall remember. The titans is a great one. There're...

...a lot of great sports movies. I like it. I got to interview Dy'd hands it from the slap shot. That was so much fun. That was that's my favorite sports movie. I don't know if you've ever seen slap shot, the hockey movie with Paul News that would Paul Newman. Yeah, that was great. It was a good one. All right, Nick. I used to work for company that was based out of Kansas City and that discussion at Home Office was always what's the best barbecue in Kansas City? I was sort of like Jack Stacks or there's a there's like five or six that always been thrown around. What's your favorite barbecue out us? That's so funny. That's so funny because I you just said Jack Stack. I had Jack Stack. Is My pregame meal yesterday. I'm with Jack Stack. Yeah, it's all he would have. It now is it's pretty game meal, but when he was playing you could eat jack snack before the game. No, no, yeah, that would know and that's not what I that would not be what I'd have before as a fan. What's your most memorable sporting event that you've ever been to? Oh Man, well, I actually went with Tony Robbins to the the Stanley Cup playoffs. That was really fun. That cinny club championships with when the LA kings were big back in like ninety one or whatever year that was. That was to the super bowls pretty cool. But I don't know if you feel the same way, but if you're not playing it, I'm not sure it's really as fun. You can you can watch it on a K television with your friends and when your player, you know you played all those years. It just watching the game and not being there it's just not the same. So yeah, and I went to the seventh game with the NBA. I went to the seventh game of the NBA Championships in Oakland a couple years ago. That was pretty cool. Yeah, that would be a lot of fun. Yeah, no, I agree. I'm not a big fan of going to those super bowl but I've taken my kids. Ryan Fitzpatrick and I took our boys a few years ago when it was in Minnesota. We had a lot of fun. But I then really you know, the game didn't really matter to me. You know, I was just there with my kids and they were enjoying their exactly the whole thing. I Nick if you could go back in time for a day, step into the time machine. Where would you go and when would it be? Time machine for just anything? Where would I go? Yeah, Oh, man. Well, I've always admired Winston Churchill and my mother's side of the family, you know, having that British roots. I just, you know, to have seen what it took in England, with all of your up taken over by the Nazis, except for England, twenty six miles away across the English Channel, and to have, you know, watched, to be able to watch him, unto circumstances, find a way to rally what was, by every single review, pretty much hopeless. Wow, that would that wouldn't be bad. I wouldn't mind going back to the time of Jesus and just being able to witness how one person could change the world. That would, betty, pretty fantastic, just to witness the truth of that. Yeah, without twitter or facebook, he's a grammy change the world. Yeah, think about that. Yeah, you know, the people were writing books and stories about this, this man, and how significant it was and has been to our world in society. All right, nick and I thought of this question on the way to the studio today because I there's some real bad ones. But what's your least favorite sports cliche? Oh Gosh, I'll start it off. This is I'm so sick of hearing next man up when they are like next man up. I don't know if I buy next man up.

I think it's a good thought in your head. You know what? I know what it is. It's will get them next week. Shut up today, man up today. Don't get them next week, get them now, now, man, this is your day. I mean, George Down, the future is now. The future is now. Is a hell of a good cliche, man. This is it. This is the only two time we got. Is Right now. Right, all right, nick, last one. Anything. Who's your favorite band? What's your favorite music group? What do you like to listen to? Oh Man, there's so many. You know, I love the Beatles, that love John Mayer, I love Eric Clapton, love I'm actually pretty close with santanatlite singer. Santana's guy named Andy Barkers, is a good friend. I just was there a couple weeks ago to see them perform. So I'd say Santana Right now, that they're awesome. That's a really good one. Their battle tested. They are tested a nick man we really appreciate you. I'll let you know when it comes out and hopefully you can help us and retweet it reshared on social media. Absolutely, it was great. We learned so much about you today and good luck with everything and hey, I'll do whatever you need me to do, guys, I really appreciate it. Thanks for what you're doing. Thank you nick. Thanks Nick. Have great play by. Thank you, boobye. We want to thank you for listening to huddle up with gusts, a RADIOCOM original. You can find our show on RADIOCOM, the new RADIOCOM APP or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. Please leave us a review or comment if you enjoyed the show. We are on facebook, twitter, instagram and Youtube at huddle up with gusts. You can also visit us on our website, huddle up with gustscom.

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