Hey, where'd you go?

Walter Thurmond - former Seattle Seahawks Safety, Super Bowl Champion

November 30, 2021 Collin Kushner / Walter Thurmond Season 1 Episode 17
Hey, where'd you go?
Walter Thurmond - former Seattle Seahawks Safety, Super Bowl Champion
Show Notes Transcript

Walter Thurmond was an integral part of one of the most feared defensive units in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks' Legion of Boom. In this episode of the 'Hey, where'd you go?' podcast, the former NFL safety talks about growing up in Southern CA; the importance of being curious, how family and friends had a difficult time with him leaving professional football, why listening is imperative to growth, and so much more. Today, Walter is a philanthropist, technology innovator, entrepreneur, film producer/director and consultant.

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YOUTUBE: https://bit.ly/3o3Nv8R
EMAIL: ckushner1@gmail.com

Speaker 1:

I had a saying from one of a DB coach when I was with the Eagles , he's like, no , you point the finger, pull the thumb. And it's, you know, it's one of those things to where were we? We tend to be so judgmental and we have to take a step back and to reassess our own cells and to be accountable within that nature. I think we con constantly blur the line of sympathy and empathy. You know, that's a situation to where they need to be more empathetic of what's going on out here and , and , and have a different understanding of the different environment that people are coming from.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

Welcome to another episode of the Hayward geo podcast on your hosts . Colin Cushner joining me now is former NFL safety and Superbowl champ, Walter Thurmond with all my guests. I always like to start from the very beginning and kind of weave our way to where we are now. So you're a Southern California guy. Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?

Speaker 1:

Uh, grew up in the west , the west Los Angeles area , uh, the Culver city and lived some time in Inglewood as well. Uh, LA was LA was interesting time growing up , uh, in going through middle school , um, uh, got into a situation of just hanging with the rough crowd and , uh, guidance's in trouble there. And I ended up moving to west Covina , uh, my eighth, eighth grade year, right before high school. And , uh, just took a different path and took some ownership from some actions that I, that I got into during that time. And I made the best of that opportunity to being in a new environment and , uh, set my sights on being a , being able to be a better person. And just trying to follow up some of my passions that I had , uh , for myself.

Speaker 3:

You said you got involved with the wrong crowd. How did you get out of that?

Speaker 1:

Uh , you know , uh , my mom made the decision to, to, to make the move out to west Covina there, to stay with my , uh, my grandma during that time. Um, you know, it was again , uh , life's about, you know, living and learning and being accountable for your actions. And that was a time in my life to where it was, you know, taking ownership for those situations and , uh, being able to not let it define me and being able to move forward and , uh, you know, just being able to progress and just find different interests and hobbies. And , uh, at that point of being out in the west Covina area, I was able to , uh , become friends with , uh , a bunch of different group of individuals out there. And , um, and so it was , uh , it was, it was , uh , it was, it was needed during that time could easily took a different trajectory of life , uh, you know, stayed , uh , I guess it's really hard to tell. Um, cause it's just how things kind of just play out and, you know, maybe I could have been influenced in a different type of way and manner also being done in Los Angeles area.

Speaker 3:

How important is it to take ownership and then to continue moving forward? Because I think both, both of those go hand in hand

Speaker 1:

Almost definitely. They go hand-in-hand and I think it's, I think we're kind of in with everything that's kind of going on in our society right now. You know, everyone wants transparency. Everybody's looking for accountability, especially if you're in the public eye. And I think people are looking to hold individuals that are, have some kind of status or on the TV in some kind of capacity in a real public figure to be accountable. But I think the biggest thing is that individuals need to be accountable as well. It's not just a one-way street. I had a saying from one of a DB coach when I was with the Eagles , he's like, no, you point the finger, pull the thumb. And it's, you know, it's one of those things to where were we? We tend to be so judgmental and we have to take a step back and to reassess our own selves and to be accountable within that nature.

Speaker 3:

I love that saying pulled up . You said, what? Pull the, pull the finger.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, you put your thumb right back at yourself. So again, it goes back. If you make a judgment, you have to judge yourself as well. And so again, it goes back to, you know , not having any judgment and being able to accept people for who they are and their actions. And , uh, it's , uh, I think we con constantly , uh, blur the line of sympathy and empathy. Right. And I think, you know, that's a situation to where they need to be more empathetic of what's going on out here and , and, and have a different understanding of the different environment that people are coming from.

Speaker 3:

I'm totally with you on that. Well, well said, well said by your DBS coach in Philadelphia as well. I mean that, that is eloquently put in something that we can all learn it at a much younger gay age. Cause I don't think I ever got to that point until I got older. You know, as you get older, you accrue new experiences and you meet different people. And of course that changes you along the way. I guess that's the beauty of growing up, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. You know, enlightened in life is about experience, right? I mean, you're , you don't know what you don't know. And so again, you're a product of your environment and what you're constantly being around , uh, from your household, from your neighborhood, from the community and see that's , you're living and even by your state, right. Because each state has their own governing laws , uh, within that. And so it's a , it's one of those things to where the , the more you're being exposed to different things and being open-minded I think is the biggest thing because we get so caught up in kind of having that, you know , uh, cognitive dissidence of, you know, not wanting to accept other people's viewpoints and it's not , I don't think it's a matter of a , I think it's a matter of hearing it out of what people are coming, coming from and being able to best assess it, how it based off of your life and your values that you have for yourself. And I think , uh, values are becoming lost , uh, as we continue to progress forward in life. And I think you have to get back to some of those fundamental situations.

Speaker 3:

You're absolutely right. Can you hear somebody out, somebody else out and they're in their opinion and their prerogative because you may not agree with it, but can you at least listen, put your stuff to the side? And that's something actually I've been personally working on and it's quite beautiful when you can get to a space and you can listen and you can just turn off your opinion, just hear them out. And in kind of an unpartial unbiased , uh, arena, it really is a beautiful thing.

Speaker 1:

You can listen and speak at the same time. And I think that's where I think people are so quick to have a response before someone even finished their thought or finished their question. They're already answering the questions before the questions even complete. And so I think it's, if you take that step back and take that moment to listen, it's like, oh wait, you know what, Hey, we're actually in the same path here. And I was about to go a totally different direction and be against you. But as it came out, I was like, oh, we actually have the same ideology on, you know, say a topic, whatever that may be.

Speaker 3:

That's why I love being a journalist because it forces, it forces me to work on the art of listening and obviously listening to my guests like yourself and then pausing as opposed to just jumping, jumping over you and , and, and moving on to the next topic.

Speaker 1:

And I think that's what I love so much about football. Again, you have a hundred guys that are from all over the country. Uh, they kind of set your locker up with somebody that's not from your region or area. And you're spending all this time with this individual and you're , you're out working hard each and every day, you're sweating, you're in pain and you have a moment to be able to talk and get to know somebody, you know, that you probably may have never even decided to talk to. And, you know, this is a guy that you're going through it day in and day out. And it's a , it's a , you know, sports as a common ground in some situations is beautiful. And I think even in a workplace, you kind of have that situation, but I think it's so much work. You find your , your little, you know, your little groups that people hang out with and, you know, everyone was just kind of trying to get in and get out. And, you know, there may not be a lot of passion there depending on the work that you're doing, because you're just doing it for work. And you're just trying to get that you can get your paycheck and you're , you're kind of going on with that space. And I think with football or things that you're with a group of guys or a group of girls or whatever the situation may be that you're passionate about, and you have a bunch of people that are passionate about the same thing. And I think it just breeds a different type of , uh, interaction.

Speaker 3:

I love that connectivity, that connectivity point that you probably, again, you can't get it in the workplace. If you take the time to chat with the person to your left or to your right , uh , or, you know, since we're remote, you know, maybe top zoom, the zoom meeting a little bit earlier longer to get to know them. But I never really thought about that from the professional football perspective where you're being placed next to somebody, that's probably as a , as a different upbringing than you different part of the country. And you get to take the time if you choose to listen and to learn and to hear about their , their , their life and where they're from,

Speaker 1:

You know, I'm a city boy and I'm, you know, next to an offensive lineman, who's from the Midwest. And he, you know, grew up on a farm and I'm getting to know like, Hey, you know, what, what , uh, CA what certifies as being Angus beef, you know, and like, you know, how much cattle is going forward. And I, you know, it's a perspective that, you know, I've never been a cousin to, or never had the experience of, I mean, obviously being in the city and, you know, here's this moment of having this interaction and giving me here this individual and where they're coming from and, you know, their way of life. And he's like, oh yeah, I just bought a, you know, 80 acres, a hundred acres over here. And I'm like, oh, what I was like , you know, I was like, it's just a different perspective. It's like, I, you know, I just got a house over here and it's on, you know , uh , 8,000 square feet.

Speaker 3:

You're like, now I'm in Los Angeles. I bought myself a really nice, you know, 1300 square foot condo. And they're talking about, they're talking about the acreage, w what you just said. I kind of attribute that to curiosity. How important is it for people to be curious?

Speaker 1:

I don't think we do enough of it. I think everyone, I think we kind of been taught as well to not be curious, you know, in , in some aspects are wanting to learn and being beat to the rest ourselves in that capacity. And I've just kind of, for me as an individual, have constantly wanting to learn and , and sought out that experience in , in, in, in wanting to listen and hear for the longest majority part of my life, I was very quiet, always just kind of an observer and just took a lot of things in. Um, and I think that allowed me to, you know, be open to other people's experience in their , their upbringing. I'm constantly wanting to learn because it's, again , these are, these are experiences, things that I don't know, and I want to have , uh , have , uh , more, more tools in a tool belt. If you, if you say, if you can say

Speaker 3:

There are multiple ways you can go, you can either accrue experiences the way that you've been doing it. Or you can have somebody just say, oh, like, they can just kind of lay it all out for you. And I think that's the more traditional approach. I like the approach you're taking, where you kind of, maybe your parents tell you about certain things or they give you their viewpoint, but then you go out on your own and you really explore for yourself, like what resonates with you?

Speaker 1:

There is another same firm firm , same coach, again , uh, having a white belt mentality, you know, is your white belt. And karate is like your beginning stage. But if you take this , this perspective and this approach to constantly learn, because you don't have that understanding, I think it just, it , it sets you up to be more successful. And then I think it sets you up from a , from a human aspect of just being more understanding. Because again, we, we, we don't know everything. Um, you know, you're, you're a liar. If you say you do know everything, and that's the false assumption of a situation, because there's always an experience. There's always something to be learned. Um, and I think that's the approach that we have to take. And I think that's where on the political aspect of things get tough because it's so divided. And when you take a step back and you look at the whole spectrum of space, no, both sides are actually saying the same thing, but it's just because of, you know, the aspect of not wanting to hear, you know, and not being able to take that approach to be able to listen, you know, things get convoluted

Speaker 3:

As you're going on this journey of learning, growing up, you moved from LA, you moved to west Covina. When did football factor into your life? Was that something that you grew up playing in LA and then transitioned in west Covina, or you , you hadn't touched the sport until you moved to the west coast?

Speaker 1:

I grew up playing baseball , uh, some soccer and little basketball. I didn't play football until my eighth grade year. Uh, we were living out in like actually the north valley there. Um, cause the , our family house , uh, uh, got burned down through electrical fire. And so we were kind of relocated and I was my first year playing football. Uh, south valley Panthers were terrible. Um, but

Speaker 3:

That's how it always starts though.

Speaker 1:

Yeah , yeah. You know, and so it was, you know, it was a fun experience. It was the first time that, you know, being able to play, you know, a physical sport in that capacity. Um, you know , my mom was always scared that my brother and I would get hurt and then fast forward, I have, you know, a handful of injuries later , uh, through the end of my college career and professionals . Um, but I think that's just the nature of the beast there. Um, and then once I got to west Covina dove into playing football, basketball, I stopped playing baseball and gravitated towards track, just wanting to get faster , uh, have a different experience and things of that nature. So that's kind of how it just took off from there. And then just had great coaching, you know, and all three, all three of those sports that have been very , uh, impactful , uh , fundamental to, I guess, my growth and development through the course of , uh , of my life in that situation as well. So , uh, again, there's lots of learned from , from football, but it's a lot more to be learned from the coaching staffs . I think coaches have more responsibility than just teach us X's and O's, and this is where my DB coach in college , uh, his approach was, you know, his, his job was to create, you know, help build young men for, for life and , and to be upsetting men of society, as opposed to just football players. And so again, we had a very cerebral , uh, DB group in there. Uh, I mean, you can play with TJ ward, Harrisburg, Patrick Chung , you know, guys who played what was six plus years and some of those guys, even 10 , um, and handful of Superbowls in there as well. And, you know, he didn't , he wasn't really teaching X's and O's too much, it was, we watched him game tape and everything else was kind of, you know, just real life stuff. And he figured that the guys that were going to take the initiative to learn the playbook outside of the classroom, and those are the guys that are going to be able to play and sure enough, that was kind of his approach. And that was just the mentality and shorten up . We had a bunch of guys that were, went off and had successful careers in NFL.

Speaker 3:

How do you get players? And especially now with, you know, looking back on your career, how do you get players to understand that it's more than X's and O's, and it , and it's more about life and accruing again, experiences and life experiences to help you out as you, as you, as you bought through.

Speaker 1:

I think the generations that are coming up now are getting a better insight of that. I think w I think I was, my group in generation were a little bit on the cusp of that, to where it was starting to transition over, to be more cerebral and understanding , uh, there's a life after football. And I think that's a Testament to the older guys who have come before giving back and giving them knowledge. And, and given that inside of, you know, being, trying to be smarter with your , uh, with your money, understand your life experience on what to expect, cause the whole aspect that once you get into the professional space, it's not real life. And so I think that's where I think a lot of fans , uh, have trouble seeing in some aspects and B and how guys need to be accountable, but you know, the things that are coming at these individuals , uh, men and women that are professional athletes that it's, you know, there's people that have ill intent that are coming after, you know, coming after us and there's people that are wholehearted and they're, they're, they're, you know, they're genuine in their approach and genuine in wanting to be able to help and give back. And, you know, when you're in your early twenties in no very, you know, not much life experience, right? Because you just spend all your time at this, you know, at this university or college, that's usually in a small town and, you know, and begin in , you're probably coming from a small town and you become from the city, you know, you almost, you know, you forget that previous aspect because now you're in a different environment. And so it's , uh , there's, there's a lot to take in from , from those experiences when you're , uh , transitioning to that professional space.

Speaker 3:

I just think it's so difficult to decipher between the two, because if you are very young and if you don't have family mentors or coaching staff that are preparing you for those extraneous situations that could pop up, like, I don't, I have no clue, like how, as an 18 year old you're , you're deciphering between like, what's maybe a good situation and what's something that maybe isn't conducive to learning into growth .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. No, you're , you're , you're absolutely right. And I think a lot of , uh, athletes that are going into college, I think come from low socioeconomic backgrounds. So then you have that aspect coming to the fold as well, to where you're, you know, you had a different outlook in different environment. And like you said, it's, it's, it can be tough to decipher, you know, you know, what's right. What's wrong. And I'm not , obviously you're like, oh, we should know what's right. Or what's wrong. Right. I mean, but then again, it's like the person who's , uh, who's, who's poor and living on the street, that's been growing up that way and all, they, they don't have any food and they still something, you know, to, to eat, you know, there's that, you know, that ethical question of like, was that a wrong per situation? Cause he is for survival or, you know, obviously the stealing component is that there's, there's wrong in that. But then yeah. It's , uh , it proposes a interesting questions for sure.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I think like a lot has to do with your environment. Just like the question you just propose , because if you, if you grew up maybe in a not , and you didn't have a great childhood, maybe you didn't, your parents weren't really existed and you didn't have any mentors or anything. And then you have recruiters and coaches coming at you and you know , maybe other people on the side dangling money or saying, Hey, you come here, you'll, you'll have X, Y, and Z, maybe things that you haven't had, you know, throughout your life. Like how do you turn away from that? And how do you even know what's right. What's wrong. I mean, you , you really don't,

Speaker 1:

Again, it goes back to just the experience and, you know, when you , you make a wrong choice, it's being able to learn from that choice and being able to move forward and not constantly repeating those same habits ,

Speaker 3:

Um , with that a hundred percent, at what point did you know that you had a shot to play football in college and then obviously go on to play in the NFL? Was that something that you realized early on in high school?

Speaker 1:

I would probably say after my sophomore year, going into my junior year, just dizzy , you started getting some of the letters and schools showing interest in you, which, you know, they're just sending letters and showing interests , you know, as you look back at it now, and there's no scholarships attached to it, but at that point it was like, oh, you know, I have an opportunity to probably get my school paid for, you know, and , and education was always something that was, you know, was important. And for me during this time, I didn't see myself per se, oh, I'm gonna go to NFL. Like in high school, I like, oh , I'm gonna go to college. And no , maybe I was still be a part of sports and do an athletic training, you know, do kinesiology for my degree and things of that nature. Butch , Oregon didn't have a kissing , uh , kinesiology program there, they have a graduate program. Uh, and so again, it was kind of progressional for me, even when I got to college, I think it was after my, after my sophomore season and seeing guys better in my class that are, you know, getting looked at an NFL, getting drafted making teams. And I'm like, you know what, let me see how far I can take this in because it was, so it was close. It was tangible. I'm seeing guys that I'm playing with, you know, practicing with every single day and they're getting opportunities to be out there. And like, you know, it made back in, you know, make it set next level. And so at that, that those moments , uh, the group of us, especially in that BB room, you know, decided to, you know, just kind of the wheels just clicked and turned and, you know, let's just really started training a different capacity to prepare ourselves for the next level.

Speaker 3:

What an exciting time , uh , especially when it's not when, obviously when it's on a tablet or like , great. Like if I go, if I can go ahead and achieve this awesome. But it also seems like you had your eyes set on things away from football as well, where you at it's like, Hey, if this works great, if not, there are plenty of other interests and things that I would love to

Speaker 1:

For me. I have a , I have , uh , a lot of passions, I guess you can say, and I guess , dreams in that regard. So it allowed me to be open for that. And I think what's tough with , um, a lot of professional athletes, as you, as you see post-career is, you know, that identity issue, because that was the pinnacle. That was their dream of pursuit of playing at the highest level and has become almost an identity to them. And being able to figure out what they're going to do afterwards is it is a struggle and it's tough in a lot of cases. And so I think I've always allowed myself to , uh, be open-minded to the situation that, you know, the sport was going to have a shelf life. And I think when I tore my knee, my senior in college, I tore my ACL MCL PCO , uh, the fourth game of the year. And, you know , that allowed me to take a step back and like , okay, I'm , I'm , my mindset was still, I'm going to go get drafted just because of the body of work that I put together in the four years that I was at in college there. But it was also that me figure out, you know, what am I passionate about and what I want to do once this is all over. Uh , cause then you start looking at the statistics. Uh, the average careers is less than three years. Um, and you know, that's not a long time, you know, just mid twenties and, you know, in a lot of cases, depending on when you're coming out of school. And so that's where I started diving into interest in the film, the film, the film industry, and wanting to learn the industry and , uh, from a to Z essentially, and kind of been self-taught and continuing to progress through the course of my early career there. And I also, I've always been a fan of technology as well. So I think that's what was , uh , a huge foundation for me, I guess, going from high school when I moved out to Western arena and progressing on was, you know , having these, these foundations in the background, outside of the sport, that kind of kept me, you know , level-headed in a lot of cases,

Speaker 3:

It seems like you, you kind of skip that identity crisis. That's so many top-notch athletes go through and there's some guests that I've, that I've had previously on the podcast, you know, when I went through those, that crisis, so to speak, and it wasn't when we kind of dove into it, like it wasn't a pretty road. I mean, it almost like blocked out the fact that they spent, you know, 10 years in the NHL or NBA or NFL, and it just became this like really dark, dark place. And it's almost like it was, it was, it was scary just, just to hear it,

Speaker 1:

Even with my, you know, my mental approach to the situation, you know, I encountered something similar to when I retired, I retired , uh, I guess in the prime of my career in a lot of respects at , you know , 28 there. And for me, it was, I already knew what I was doing at this point. I have, I have executive produce a handful of documentaries and feature. I have pans and technology going into this, going into , uh, what , which would have been my seventh year. And, you know, I've accomplished things off the, off the field. And I wanted to pursue these things. And the , the , the biggest challenge for me was family and friends by care , living through me and living through my experience of wanting me to continue to play. And this regarding almost the, the residual effects of the sport on my body, on my mind and things of that nature. And that was tough because I'm here, I am looking to , uh, pursue this film project that I wanted to be more hands on with producing and directing and , uh, even developing this technology that I have pans for. And, you know, everyone's looking at me like, why are you quitting? Why are you? You have so much time, but they couldn't, they could not see the other things that I had accomplished and were doing and wanting to do. They just seen just no football, football, football. And for me, it was tough because it was, there was, I don't know, that lack of support in a, in an odd way , in a weird way of, you know, doing something I'm passionate doing something that I care about. And it was, you know, a lot of forceful type of situations for me to go, continue to play a sport that again had, you know, physically took a lot from me. I mean, I played six years, but three of those years where I was injured reserve. And so, you know, I mean, it's, again, like, you know, people are seeing that, but people aren't really seeing that people don't understand the, the , the mental rigors of an injured athlete and how much time it takes to get back healthy, get back. Right. And then be able to get back to that top notch , you know , professional athlete, no caliber. And, you know, you you're actually working harder than it would be if you were healthy. And a lot of people don't realize that. And especially depending on the nature of your injury, to where again, you have an ACO , again, you're on the shelf for nine months, you know, just being able to get your, you know, your, your leg and body to get the operatory back , uh, within the muscle there. And then you're actually having to go physically now train to be an elite athlete. And so, you know, it wears on you, especially if you're going for me, it was like almost every other year. And it wasn't like it was all my injuries happened to be in the course of action. It wasn't like he was a freak accident here and there , it was, you know, a Powell landed on my leg. I break my leg, I'm going for a strip. And, you know, I tear my, I tear the tendon off the bone there. Uh, and even when I tore my ACL oncology, it was a straight hit to the knee that just, you know, blew up. And so it was, you know, it's just been very interesting of the course of that trajectory of my career, along with the injuries. Um, but you know, just that wear and tear of having to rehab they'll do through the course of the year and being able to get back and it takes its toll

Speaker 3:

From a psychological perspective. Why do you think it's so difficult for friends or family or just fans in general to, to not be , uh , to not be okay with you leaving the game behind for these really epic, you know, other ventures, you know, whether it's producing films or, you know, with your patented technology. I mean, to me that the other things that you've done outside of football are , are amazing and quite fascinating. And I've always been interested in like, why do people have such a hard time letting go of this, this game? You know, that again, like you, you got hurt, man. Like, and it's , you have to rehab.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. You know, and mean even for some of the players, you know, players will go get cut and still constantly work out for years on end waiting for that opportunity to get back into the NFL, get back into their sport. Because again, it's the, there's a, there's a lore with it within that, around of a place. And again, it's, it's not real life, you know , it's , it's almost a fantasy in a , in a , in a lot of respects. And I think that's where, you know, you know, friends and family, how they, how we, how society views , uh, professional it's professional athletes, it's celebrities, you know, we, we put them on a, on a pedestal because they're on TV stream and we have this fascination with a TV screen that, you know, anything that comes through the box, it, you know, it's the truth in, you know, they are, they're bigger than life when reality. Everyone's just people, you know, they, they, they, they, they go to , they remove their bowels the same way and eat in the same way as you do. You know? And , and so it's like, it's, you know, the , the, obviously that there's aspect of the monetary and you can go out there and have different experiences, but, you know , you know, that's the separating aspect of that. And I think the friends and family being pulled into that around , uh, for, for a moment or instance in whatever type of capacity, you know, it's , it's a big thing, you know, or it's like, oh, I, you know, I know somebody that's , that's in there, that's out there, you know, they, it's still living vicariously through the individuals. And so I think that's, what's tough because it's like, okay, they can almost see it a view as a situation of being selfish too. It's like, you're taking this away from us too. And it's like, you know, it was like, but you know, but your body's not in the line though. And I , you know, and I think it's , uh , it's, it's tough. And I think it's a , it's just a framework of how we view these individuals that are here to entertain us in quotes.

Speaker 3:

That's the thing that I hope changes over the course of time. Is it, we, that fan, whether you're a fan or whatever, a family member of a professional athlete that you could always pull it back and remember, like they have thoughts and feelings too . They put their pants on just like we do. They go to the, what'd you say, they go to the restroom and it's not, yeah, they're on TV and they're, they're elite at what they do. But at the end of the day , um, you know, it's, we're , we're people

Speaker 1:

When you look at professional sports , uh , it's in a, in a S in a frame of business , uh, the athlete or actress or actor, you know, they're a commodity essentially. And I think that's where it gets tough because in most commodities like this, you know, like this cup here, or, you know, this phone, they don't have feelings, they don't talk back. You know, they just, you know, they get used and abused and , you know, you go buy another one. And I think with professional sports, no . What the athlete kind of being that commodity is what's being sold to the masses. What's being sold to TV, you know, it's, you know, it's, I don't know if there's a psychological aspect there that's, you know, it's like, oh, well, you're making all this money. Why are you complaining about being out there? Well, it's like, well, you know, well, you know, we spent spend a lot of money to make a car. You spend a lot of money to, you know , to make whatever good or service, you know. And so, you know , it's an interesting, it's an interesting space of where we , where we are at two . And I think we have taken for granted the individuals that are playing these sports or entertaining us on, on the TV screen or in a movie theaters of not make and not allowing them to be human and taking that away from, and it's, it's an unfortunate type of situation. And it's , uh , I don't know . It says a lot

Speaker 3:

As well said. I mean, it's, it's dehumanizing and I mean, it's, it's, it's sad. And , and it's, I can only imagine what it's like to be on the other side of that, to be the professional athlete and to see, to be viewed as if you're not human. Like, like you said, like a commodity, like a cup or , or a phone, and you're just interchangeable.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And , and, and, and ironically enough, with the NFL, you don't , it's a young man's league, so it's only three years. So like you get in and, you know, we don't want to pay the veteran because, you know, he's slowing down a little bit, even though he's smart, but you know what, I can get this younger guy for the minimum and he can do the exact same job as the veteran. And so again, it does get cycled out, constantly looking for the, you know, the new model of the iPhone, you know, you're, you're, you're, you're the iPhone seven. We need the 13 now. Sorry, buddy. It's true. Yeah. You know, you just don't have the camera features and we need the camera features now, you know? And so it's , uh , it's very interesting on how we view things here. And I think, you know, with professional sports, it just kind of just has blown up to the , to the level that it is. And there's a lot of great things that come from sports in general. Um, and I think it , it also helps with the morale of individuals and, you know, the downtimes of the economic situations, or even where people's, you know, socioeconomic backgrounds are. And so, you know, it serves a purpose, but I think there too , for the betterment of our country, there needs to be, there needs to be much more, I think we need to re we need to reevaluate how view these situations and we to just have a better use of critical thinking.

Speaker 3:

I completely agree. I like to say that we should all view sport through the lens of how you viewed it as a child, as a child, for me, growing up, playing ice hockey, that was my time. That was my sanctuary. That was my place where it didn't matter what was going on, you know , in the outside world, it was like, I was focused in, as soon as I hit the ice and everything around me went black and it's just me and the game in front of me. And that was it. All my worries went away. And I know that's like a very child, very childlike perspective, but I think that's a , like a , I think it's a great foundation of how we've used sport instead of dehumanizing and looking at you as like a commodity and no , you're the iPhone seven. Now we want the iPhone 24.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yeah. And it just, it's just ongoing type of situation.

Speaker 3:

You had a fantastic career at Oregon. You were a dual sport athlete, football and track and field. And then you went on to get drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round, in the 2010, the 2010 NFL draft. When you got drafted, can you kind of walk us through like the thoughts, feelings, and emotions on that particular day and moment in time?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I guess leading up, you know , again , like I said, I tore my ACL MCL PCO. I had high hopes of, you know , being drafted high, especially with the , the season that I was having at that point. And , um, you know, things didn't go that way. Uh, going on that, on that third day on, on that Saturday, I got a call seven o'clock in the morning and you know, it's a , it's a Seattle number and Nope , P Carol hops . I mean , me and Pete, we had an interesting , uh, career from college, USC, Oregon being an LA guy wanting to go to SC wasn't big enough, didn't pass the eye test for one, the recruit , the recruiters that came down there, you know, they, they re they gave scholarships to , uh, like two of the top 10 corners in the nation, you know, no big deal. And, you know, so every time I play a C you know, I was, you know, I would come after him . And so we kind of had like this understanding and the first thing he says, he gets on the phone. He's like, there's no more ducks and there's no more Trojans. It's just Seahawks. And so I was like, oh, okay, no, fair enough. We're Seahawks here. And so, you know , it was, it was a great experience. It was a great organization. Um, I think for me being able to progress my game , uh, I wanted to have a more solid press technique , uh , I guess a different type of technique in the press coverage. And Pete is very famous for, you know, his, you know, old school way of press technique, which I, which I love his step kick board approach was allows you to be very physical at the line of scrimmage. And so I think, you know, the things that I wanted to better myself for my personal career, I was able to get that in Seattle , uh, being able to, to be drafted, you know, along with, you know , uh, Earl and Okun and Tate in cam and, you know, all these different guys that, that were part of that draft class and, you know , being able to redefine, you know , that team and going into the, you know, the year of the super bowl there and win the super bowl for Seattle, then I was just a great experience. And , uh, you know, everything happens for a reason and it would be one of those things to where even if I went earlier, you know, maybe didn't have the opportunity to , to make the playoffs, or you didn't have the opportunity to go to the super bowl. And so, you know, can, you know, can't always dwell on things that should've, could've would've, and , uh, I've always been fortunate enough and thankful for the knee injury, because I know it sounds so odd, like, oh, how do you think for, you know, you know, destroying your knee and costing you, you know, draft , uh , rounds in the draft there. But for me, it was, you know, it allowed me to put things perspective on life. Like we , like we talked about earlier and being able to get back grounded and have a different foundation of, you know, what I want to do outside of life. And again, the , they experienced there in Seattle. And a lot of the, again, the 12th man is the 12th man that the fan base is, you know, it's pretty, it's pretty insane there. And, and so it was , uh , it was a great time, great time and great experience that I had when I was playing in Seattle and , or just being able to go on from there and go into the east coast , uh , playing with the giants and then playing with the Eagles there , finishing the career out in , you know, okay. You know, everyone asks me to go what's what was the best city in all the cities had something unique about them that I just love so much. And , uh , it was a great time, great opportunity. And ultimately just a great experience. And I just learned a lot within that six years of playing in the NFL

Speaker 3:

During your time with Seattle , uh , you're a part of the Legion of boom, Brandon Brown, or Richard Sherman cam chancellor, Earl Thomas, Byron Maxwell. What made the Legion of boom so successful. And were you able to take away anything from playing with those guys into your post football life?

Speaker 1:

You know , it was , uh , it was all about a mindset. You , you had a bunch of guys that had a chip on their shoulder that had something to prove in some capacity. And there was just an, a level of accountability that was in that room. That was, you know, that I hadn't seen since, you know, since my time at college would plan with, you know, the group of guys that I mentioned earlier. And so it was very comfortable and it was, you know, if somebody went out there and made a play, you know, you wanted to go make a play. If you didn't have good technique or you miss a tackle, you know, you know, you wanted to go back out there to , to make up for that situation. And so I think just the , the , the high IQ, the high understanding , uh, obviously the physicality with, you know, cam back there and, you know, Brandon and insurance , you know, and even, you know, Earl, mighty mouse back there and just no hitting everything that walked and he's fine around 110 miles an hour. And, you know, just the level of play was just elevated because of you wanted make the next plague of someone else made the play, and it wasn't a envious or jealous type of situation. It was a, it was a genuine, you know, he's, he's doing his part. Let me step up to do my part as well. And, you know, that's a very rare thing that a group of guys, you can have that type of situation in, in a , in a , in one position, which kind of trickled down and bled till , you know, linebacker group, you know, which , you know, it came down to the defensive line group, which depends in line group. You know, they were like the , the older veterans, you know , of the whole unit and, you know, and we're kind of caught in between. And we had a very young linebacker group too during that time. And so it was just, you know, this , this , it was just this mentality that the whole defense had of, you know, why do they have to score points? Even the , no one said they had to score points. And so like when you start, when you start thinking in this capacity and having this belief in yourself, and you , you believe in , you actually absolutely believe in the next guy that he's going to do his job, and everyone is communicating everything that's going on, you have outcome like the Superbowl and, you know, and that was really the game was won , you know, through the course of that year. But the game was one of the week prior because we were just so dialed in on the play concepts and the routes, you know, the checks and audibles, you know, we were in tuned to all those different things, you know, the week, you know, the week prior, before the super bowl even happened. And as the Superbowl came about, you know, it just kind of just fell in our hands and, you know, Earl in can play a great game of disguising our coverage, you know, to against pain there. And, you know, we ran cover three, the majority of all our snaps, we know we weren't changing what we're doing, but, you know, he thought we were playing quarters out there and that, you know, that, that threw his whole thing off . Cause he was overthinking it . Now he's playing a chess game with us and he's looking at our thing and no guys are moving how they're supposed to move. And they're just standing there black pudding and, you know, he just couldn't grasp, you know, what was going on out there. It seemed like

Speaker 3:

You obviously had a fantastic football career, Oregon. Uh, you played six years in the NFL, like you said, of course you , you dealt with a lot of injuries along the way. You ended up winning a super bowl , uh, taken down Peyton Manning and the Broncos. When you look back on your football career , um, how important have those lessons been in having instrumental? Have they been kind of, as you, as you've moved forward into, into the really exciting portion I'm really excited to dive in .

Speaker 1:

They are very fundamental. Um, there was a great saying a great concept that helped us as well as a mentality standpoint for a lot of the DBS there. And it was brought about by Roy Lewis, who was a cornerback , uh , play with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was out in Seattle as well , uh, UWM, which I won't hold that against him . You know, it was, it was a concept that had been training. Uh, it was called you say , you know, get more and, you know, get more of a concept of know we had a set of call it 10 on a bench and who said , get more you'll, you'll pop out, you know, two or three more I for running split sprints. And , you know, we only had six, he'll say get more real one, run another six. And so there was this concept of, you know, push get into your, how I took. It was, you know, the further you go within this kind of concept, it's, you know, you get to your limit and get to your boundary. And then even though you're tired, you're fatigued and you can't go anymore. You push through that because you, you, you constantly have more in the tank than you think. I think we're human beings. We limit ourselves because of, you know, our mental capacity. And when you're you unlock your mental capacity to endure that pain, to endure the tough aspects of life and, you know, persevere and push through that, you know, you , you can surprise yourself and how successful that you can be. I think we see glimpses of it in the business aspect of individuals who create innovative technologies , uh, who create, you know, different types of, you know , uh, dynasties and industries in , you know, in, in different spaces there to , you know, what does it take to be able to achieve some of these things? And I think being able to learn, you know, that concept and being able to apply it, not just from a work standpoint, but even just as being a better person, you know, from your, you know, philosophical or religious, spiritual backgrounds as well, you know, how can , how can I do, how can I do more? How can I get more out of something? How am I out of myself in life? And I think there's always something higher that we can reach and strive to. And it's never, it's never limiting ourselves. It's always understanding that, Hey, I can learn from everybody. Like literally everybody that come in for me personally, everyone that I come in contact with, no matter how old, how young know their, you know, their background, I'm learning from them in some capacity. Because again, I don't have that experience. I may not have that experience. And I think the more we're able to be open and understanding and take the things that we didn't know that it's positive for us. I think the better we're off as human beings.

Speaker 3:

I love that. Get more , uh, I mean, your , your , uh, it's, it can be applied, like you said, in so many different facets of your life.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah. And this is , this is the really exciting part. Of course, you know, the, the NFL career is, is something that I know people are gonna enjoy kind of getting that behind the scenes look. But once you, once you left the game in Walter, I think in some ways you've been busier, you're a philanthropist, a patented technology inventor, a filmmaker , um , you have United champions of change , um, which is dedicated to providing educational resources, programming, mentorship, and sports training to underserved communities around the world. I don't even know where to start, but , um, how exciting have these post-football ventures been for you?

Speaker 1:

They've been great and it's , um, being an entrepreneur , uh, it's always a tough situation. It's being able to be able to establish and build teams. And for me personally, how I got into these particular different types of spaces, obviously, you know , stemmed from my passion, but it also stemmed from my purpose in life. And it's something that I've been combing through and figuring out through the course, you know, over the course of these decades of, you know, what's my purpose and what's my, what's my mission here. I think everyone has a purpose and I think everyone has a set of passions and things that they're good and great at. And I think it's just a matter of figuring out and finding those situations. And for me, I've been able to dwindle it down to, you know, help create, inspire , change, and know change that lasts forever. And I think when we take a step back and look at our, our societal construct and seeing the things that are negative within it, it's, you know, there's a lot of change that need to happen. And I think there's a lot of growth from individuals aspect that needs to happen. And I think for me, it's being able to create a cohesive ecosystem of things that I'm passionate about from a, from a business standpoint, from the technology, from the entertainment side of things. But then also we've been in that aspect of philanthropy and being able to utilize the various resources, being able to utilize some of the connections and experiences that I've been able to, that I've been blessed to have through the course of planned professionals , forts , and being able to use all those things for, to be able to help assist and create that , that future change. And so, you know , being able to take a lot of this time , uh , especially in the philanthropic space and understanding from my perspective of growing up , um, I guess how, how important it was for, you know, whether it was coaches, whether it was, you know, older peers and how influential those individuals were for me, for my development and my overall growth. And it's understanding that, you know , everyone doesn't have, you know, positive role models because of, again, with going back to our, you know, our experiences and things of that nature. And so it's being able to connect with like-minded individuals to be able to share their experiences with individuals who may not have those experiences. And so I think it's much more than just a socioeconomic aspect. Again, we've been talking about, you know, the constant pursuit of growth, the constant pursuit of learning, the constant understanding. And so it's not just meant for just the younger individuals, even though they are the future of our future societal construct, that things. But I think from a, from an adult in older, you know, aspect, I think we're still constantly able to learn and to be able to grow, to become better. I think that's where I think that's where we're at right now in our society with all the things that are kind of going on, everyone's asking and calling forward, you know, from different individuals. But now it's, you know, as, as an individual, we have to take ownership of that. And I think that's the biggest thing that's lacking is, you know, the billions of people with the billions of people that live on this cup in this world need to take ownership of their actions and need to be accountable for those actions. Just as much as we want to point fingers at whatever that person is, that's on TV and the hold them accountable. We have to hold ourselves accountable again , point the finger, pull it up

Speaker 3:

If the words were out of my mouth. No, but, but it's , it's the truth. And, and I think the, the, excuse me, it starts with looking inward to , I mean, again, going back to point the point, the finger pull the thumb, it starts, it , it goes back to, we talk about it, start , it starts inward. And that's, that's where the change in the growth begins, period. I mean, I,

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And then, and that was, that was that Seattle Seahawks team there, you know, it was a bunch of guys that weren't, that weren't pointing fingers. They were just pulling the thumbs , you know, what can I do to not be a liability? What can I do to help progress this team for ? And I think that was from the players to the coaching staff, you know, all the way from the top to the owner, to all you can all what's it down to the janitor , you know? And I think everyone kind of had that mentality of, you know, how, what am I going to do to do my part? And, you know, here's a snippet, a small snippet of a business organization of individuals doing it now, how would that look if you know, our whole country did it, the whole world did it in that aspect, in that situation. Right. Again, being able to be accountable, being able to maximize their potential, you know, it's, you know, it's something that we haven't seen in, in history. So it'd be exciting to see

Speaker 3:

Maybe that'll happen because I've actually thought about it some times from taking a walk here in the Santa Monica area, I'll actually think like, what happens if everyone was accountable? What happens if everyone did the right thing? Like, what would this, what would this world look like? And I mean, it's of course, like, I don't want to go too down in the weeds, but it's just like, it would be pretty amazing if like that , if that's the approach that everyone took. And unfortunately though I'm an optimist, you know what I'm gonna say? It'll happen maybe more .

Speaker 1:

And I've been the same web in a very, you know, very optimistic through the course of my life. And it's like getting through the , through all the injuries. It's like, Hey, there's something to be learned here. There's a positive situation. That's negative. You know this negative outlook. And I think that's , uh , I think there needs to be more of that. I think it's so easy to, to go down the path of being negative and being pessimistic. I mean, I think that's the easiest thing to do. Obviously we see a lot of things that are, that are negative around us. You know, whether it's on TV, if it's on a social media feed, you know, wherever it may be. Uh , and I think like you said, Hey , what if you know, what , what if everyone, you know, can be accountable and, you know, worry about themselves in a positive aspect, as opposed to, you know, the negative aspect in, you know, down their SAR roles and , and looking, you know, to, you know , self lobe and just kind of go down into the abyss there,

Speaker 3:

You know, maybe this is something I've learned, I'm going back to hockey. I got to say there, I mean, there are tons of lessons you obviously took from football on your journey. And for me, a lot of lessons from hockey, and I remember I was a goalie. Um, and if someone scored on me, I remember I'm like, look, you know, I'd be like, oh, this isn't good. You know, everyone's booing. And then you take a second kind of replay it in your head, then you gotta move on. And so I've always tried to take that in everyday life, or if something happens to, to not spend too much time, you know, just dwelling on whatever happened, but to kind of take it. And again, I'm not, I'm not great at, I'm not perfect at this. I have my moments, but okay, what can I learn from this? And then move forward, you know, and , and not look back again.

Speaker 1:

You sound like a DB, you got to have a short-term memory out there.

Speaker 3:

And it's the truth because, you know, if I'm still, you know, if you're still thinking about a, a passive Peyton Manning through and you're like, oh no, I wasn't in the right positioning for that. And I'm thinking about like, on that one time, or what could I have done? Or, you know, you spend too much time, like five more touchdowns or five more goals.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. We're going to come up kind of out. Yeah. It's it , you know? Yeah. You have to have that short-term memory. You have to be able to move forward and progress forward. And I think, you know , like you said, I think it's the same thing in life, right. I think it's, you know, Ken dwell on the negative choice that you may, you already made the choices, you know, you have to be a cop , you have to be accountable for those actions. And I think, you know, being able to take that step back, I think that's, what's been, I think the positive out of the, the, the situation of, of , of COVID taking place in Selma , what's a positive thing . COVID but I think it allowed us to be able to take a step back. I think it allowed us to be able to reassess some things and get back in touch with ourselves and, you know, we constantly vibe just, you know, just go, go, go, go, go, go, go. And we don't take that time to worry about our mental health, worry about our physical health. No worry about the things that we're passionate , uh, and care about, you know , care about loved ones. We're constantly thinking about ourselves and, you know, in a different type of manner. And I think, you know, that kind of allowed us to be able to take that step back in some regrets to be able to, you know, hopefully grow in some aspect.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. The hope is that you could take something like COVID and you can kind of think back and change your perspective because we're, we're not here forever. You know, I think th the only one of my guests, Joe Holly, he was an offensive lineman. He said, I think he said the only, the only like constant isn't is I think it's impermanence . It was something along the lines of that. And I don't know if it's exactly, it could be totally botching this, but it made a lot of sense because, I mean, we don't have an infinite amount of time here, and of course it's easy to get lost in the social media scrolling or, you know, whatever's going on. Um, but it's important to, if you can take a step back practice, mindfulness and gratitude and, and really getting tuned with yourself and , and be self-aware. I think that's where I think that's where you live a fulfilled life, but it's getting in that pocket and realizing you're not always going to be in that space and when you're not it's okay.

Speaker 1:

You know, and it it's , uh , you know, a human human beings are, you know, very resourceful. You know, we persevered , we have persevered through a lot and we're survivors, and that's the thing that we have to realize and understand that, you know, this is not our first rodeo, you know, from a historical context, you know, this may be our first rodeo Libby here and going through something sets like this, like in reality, like this is not our first rodeo. Like it's not going to wipe us all out. And so it's, you know, that's something that we have to also put in perspective as well, because we are stronger than we give her credit ourselves too . Right. Again, it goes back to that our , our mental capacity limiting, you know, what, in who we really are as, as human beings. And I think that's where we have to get back to which there's so much to have learned in these past couple years. And as we continue to move forward is that, no , we are resilient. We're strong. We are able to persevere and we are, we are able to survive. And we , we are, we also have the ability to maximize our full potential to, you know, to be better than we once were. And I think that's, you know, you know, that's something that we have to always keep in mind and negative. It goes back to us being optimistic and positive, right. Cause it's always the bit about the adverse event. It's like, no, we're all going to die. And it's like, well, you know, we are gonna , we are all going to die. That's a given fact with this is, this is very true. We start dying once we come out the womb. And so it's, you know, that's , that's already a given fact, but , um , I don't think we need to live our life in fear because of, because of the unknown again, that's where being able to educate ourselves, being able to live through our experiences and ultimately having that optimism and positivity that, you know, this will come and go as, so as all these other diseases that have been around for the course of the last thousands of years, that human civilization has persevered through

Speaker 3:

As well. That's well said. I mean, isn't life crazy, dude. You know, it's like, we're growing up and you know, we're, we're eating goldfish and we're like, oh, like, this is, this is easy. Right. You go to school, eat your goldfish or fruit roll-ups and then you're hanging out and like , life is a trip, but it's also a beautiful thing as well. And it's , it's a really amazing journey to , you know, when you're, again, going back to what we talked about. Cause we dove in kind of early on the podcast, just being aware and being open and listening to other people. I mean, it's, it , it makes it a, a better and a smoother ride. Of course there are bumps along the way, but, but that's life it's. How do you, how do you navigate those and what are you going to do? And , and sometimes with the short memory, sometimes it takes a little bit more time. If you lose somebody close to you, it's going to take more than just a minute to , to kind of recoup. But I think the important thing is to, to look back and reflect fondly and to take that with you moving forward and when you have a bad day, it's okay . It's okay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . It's all, it's all, it's all a matter of perspective, right? It's all, it's always, it always comes back down to a matter of perspective. And I think our perspective is, is expanding. It's Whiting . I think, you know , the use of social media and internet has made the world smaller. And so we're able to Pierce the veil through a lot of different situations and obviously, you know, we're, everyone has an opinion and everyone's opinion, you know, wants to be heard. And, and , and it's , uh, we're, we're , it's a very interesting time that we're , that , that we're living in right now , uh, on the, on the, on the, on the , on a broad scale. And it's a again, it's , I think we also need to just remember, you know, where we live are the perspective of that and not getting too enamored in , in something , uh, or a situation or a country state or whatever that we don't have any foundation in. And we don't know their culture and don't have an understanding of that situation. And I think that's, again, it's just respecting cultures, respecting people , uh, most of first and foremost, and I think it's just better educating ourselves , uh, and having, and utilizing our critical thinking, which means to do more of ,

Speaker 3:

Um, without a hundred, 150%, my friend, last thing I want to ask you, Walter, when you hear, be like water, what comes to mind?

Speaker 1:

Oh, be like water, little Bruce Lee. I'm a be like water . It's just being able to adapt. It's being able to not get caught in one confinement, a way of being, I think it's allowing you to get going back to what we've been the center of center , where our conversation has been , uh, being able to be adaptable, to be able to live, to listen, to be able to sit back and have an understanding or not an understanding because you don't know something. And I think it's being open to that situation and not just being closed off of like, oh, I'm a square. And I can't fit into this other shape here. And it's like, well, be like water. You can go mold yourself and be into that other shape if you allow yourself to. And I think comes back to the mental capacity of the want to , and not having that cognitive dissidence of disclosing ourselves out to , uh , whatever's being presented to us,

Speaker 3:

Walter Thurman . I appreciate you taking the time super bowl champ member of Legion of boom. I do doing amazing things away from the game of football. How can people get in touch with you? And if you can, you know, tell us the links to some of your projects and some of your philanthropic work as well.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Yeah. Uh, United champions for change.org is the philanthropic site there. Um, you can reach me on Twitter as walked through three and then Instagram is king Walt six. And so , uh, yeah, just looking to make a, make a change, looking to make a difference.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much for taking the time. I really enjoyed the conversation and in your perspective, man, really, really appreciate the time. Thank you.