Any Given Sunday
The NBA is back and my wife isn’t thrilled about it! HAHA. Seriously though, the drought of no sports to watch has been insane here in America. Super Rugby Aoetearoa has been a saving grace but this paragraph isn’t about that right now. There are many things I love about the NFL, NBA, and occasional MLB or NHL; the skill, the competition, the speed, the athleticism. But the real joy is in the experience. On any day I could be watching the team, or player, I dislike the most (for a variety of completely irrelevant reasons to who that team, or player, is in their heart, such as but not limited to, their body language, their post game interviews, the fact they always win) and spend my time in hoping that I’ll get to see the good guys win. Or maybe Goliath gets taken down by David today. Not to mention the pre and post game hype with built up drama that is similar to a boxing match, it’s like gasoline on a fire. I don’t want to miss out! I genuinely get inspired watching other athletes play too.
In my 20’s, a sports psychologist encouraged me to think about the athletes I love to watch compete. Kevin Garnett, Russel Westbrook, Brian Dawkins, Sean Taylor (RIP), Antoine Winfield, I loved hitters; ruthless individuals. That sports psych highlighted that naturally we see things in others that are also in us. Especially in athletics, we see a similarity more so than an admirable trait. We root for the similarities not the differences. I could identify with ease that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady weren’t my kind of guys because the “brain gamers” wasn’t something I considered a strength of mine. A step further, I enjoy watching players who are more willing to take risks, almost to a fault, rather than to watch the “Steady Eddie”. It’s because I’m that dude, the Farve esc, I may make some great plays but you are going to have to live with the times were it just wasn’t the right call.
Things change though! Now as I mature and my game matures, I spend a lot more time realizing how I am becoming the things I haven’t always been. Eventually experience starts catching up. As a scrum half, I’m getting into what most would consider the prime of their careers. It’s the beauty of having longevity in a career. I definitely consider myself to be a smarter and better decision maker now than I was back in 2017. Let’s set the record straight, if you are trying to become distinguished at something in your life, start with finding your strengths and hold onto how much you value knowing them. It’s a lot easier to take a L and keep it moving when you know that you can bring XYZ any day. We see it in professional sports all the time, especially from the great ones! Brian Dawkins knew he could have his faith, be a leader, make his tackles, and bring his contagious energy regardless of the circumstances in and around him. Even when he was injured or felt at his worst, he brought his strengths as a bare minimum. Now add the interceptions, his pass break ups, his forced fumbles, his TD’s as a defensive player. Hall of Famer.
You can’t take for granted the occasion of competition. That “Any Given Sunday” of sports. Have a look at this guy playing for the Indiana Pacers right now, T.J. Warren! I didn’t know this brother before the bubble! But now he is one of the MVP’s since the bubble games began. Or look at what the USA Eagles did in the summer of 2018, when we beat Scotland, our first ever win against a Tier 1 nation. That’s for me any day of the week. What creates the experience for me is the competition. Of course, the food, the music, the flags, the fans, the uniforms, are amazing. But competition alone can create a memorable shared experience for spectators, players, and everyone involved on any given day.
New To This
I’m Nate Augspurger.
The life beyond rugby has been at the forefront of my focus since the pandemic. Training, coaching, and a podcast… I think I’m livin’ the dream.
The podcast has been making me very aware of my relationships, how important is it to be personal before political. Our show has developed into the “highlight of the week” for me, spending time with Tom, Cj, Chef Roc, and all of our guests. We have had some amazing people brought onto the pod. Outliers in the sense of the word. The target is high in my expectations, but so far each episode has its own learning moment. I have been able to enjoy that part of my growth in the areas of talk, radio, and tv. Especially when I have A LOT of experience surrounding me on the show. I am in good hands!
One of my people from NYC, Uncle Stevie, had once told me that you gotta’ stay relevant. This was usually the response in regards to doing interviews, being accessible, and don’t feel shy in the media. I always trusted him as my coach and mentor. He has a knack for finding peoples talents and knowing how to help us use them. His advice has always kept me open to doing what I am doing with the podcast right now. A step further, he has encouraged me to go out of my way for things around rugby, like coaching and exposing our youth to rugby.
My heart stirs for giving back. I think taking a step, a deep breath, from the competition of rugby all year round, has given me the opportunity to refocus and harvest a new perspective. We need to get rugby in our city schools. We need to feed our global game to America. The testimonies are all over the place, we have discussed them on our show. Bring up rugby and watch a stranger become a friend. Thats the magic we need in these days. My teammate said to me, “ Every kid in America should be listening to your podcast bro”… so I know I’m not crazy when I say we need rugby. Our sport is a sport of unity. I hope this inspires someone today. Have a listen, like, share. Quick Tap Out!
God Bless Y’all!
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