Connor Barth comes on this week for very special episode. In honor of Shark Week, we're sippin' on Blue Shark Vodka. A local vodka brand that Connor is an investor in. In the podcast we talk about how Connor got connected with Blue Shark, his career in the NFL, and a few things that he has learned on the way that has made him so successful!
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This week we were sippin' on Blue Shark Vodka
Made with non-GMO, heirloom variety North Carolina sweet corn, distilled four times into perfection. Our small-batch process is a labor of love. After distilling the corn four times, our mash mellows for 28 days, allowing flavors to fully bloom and awaken.
Finally, each batch is triple filtered, giving the vodka a smooth, clean finish and making the “alcohol bite” nearly vanish. This has earned Blue Shark Vodka the clever nickname, “The shark that doesn’t bite.”
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Welcome back. You guys, to the lovely cargo district recording studios. This week, we have Connor Barth on with us. He is a quote unquote, former NFL kicker which I had no idea. I think it's kind of cool. And he's an investor in, in the area in many things. Yeah. And one of those investments was blue shark vodka, the best stuff, man. We call it the smoothest vodka in the world. I would agree. And we have it right in front of us right now. So it is going to be vodka and wisdom today. Yes. Switching it up. And it's actually kind of cool. They just won a bunch of awards. Just. Because they got the best vodka. Right. And I mean, I don't know much about, about vodka. I know it's gluten free, cuz a lot of people who mm-hmm are on diets can drink it. But I do know blue shark is actually really cool. Apparently cuz as usual we put these notes in here it is actually really chill. They won all of their awards. Just neat, but we are gonna try neat today and put it on rocks, mix it up a little bit, check it out. Their mash build is the classic sweet Carolina corn. And they work. I mean, I'm just looking at this. It's so pretty. It's just super smooth different. There it is. It's pretty dry has some notes of black and white pepper. And has a little zing on it with the lemon and lime zest for the acidity. And it's finish has vegetable notes. I learned that today's I was like, I don't even know I was looking at this word. I'm like, Ooh, that's interesting. Yeah. Who knows what that really means, but it's it's it's good stuff. Yeah. Good. Stuff's supposed to develop into a nice clean bitter, like a pleasant bitterness finish very short and it's just really clean in the mouth. So we're going to take a sip, see how you guys won these awards. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers. Appreciate you having me on. Yeah, thank you. You cheers. Try this great stuff here. That is really smooth. I've had blue shark many times before, but just kind of in the like traditional, like shark and soda type of way with a lime in there. Never even tried it or even thought to try it just straight. And that's really good. I mean, most people aren't drinking vodka straight, but right. I guess maybe John Daley, but uh, right. right. Um, I gotta get him. I, could he be a great sponsor for blue shard vodka? Because I think he drinks like he's a big vodka guy, so maybe I should, that, that should be our next, I'm gonna reach out to our owner and be like, man, we need to talk to John Bailey cause I think he just puts it in a styrofoam cup and just goes to work oh, wow. So that's yeah, that'd be perfect. Yeah. Can't beat that. No, it's no, it's it's it's this is how I tasted it for the first time and blew me away. I'm a vodka guy and that's how I met the owner. And I was like, after I tried it, I was like, wow, I need to, I have got to meet this guy cuz this stuff is this stuff's fantastic. Yeah. Yeah. Before we jumped on live here. I was asking you about kind of how you got involved. So do you mind kind of jump back into a little bit of. Little bit of the background, how you got involved in it. Yeah. I mean, I'm uh, like I said, I'm always interested in new things. I have a, I've always had a creative side and my dad and my mom always told me, you know, football's great, but have stuff outside of football and that you can fall back on. And I was home in the summer. I was living at the beach and I was at Neptunes resting peace Neptunes, but when it was open and Christopher, the bartender who's been there for, gosh, I think he's over at Dockside now, but he was there forever. I was in one night and I usually only drink Kele one. He always has a Kele one and soda ready for me. Yeah. And he goes, Hey, con, you need to try this new local vodka, cuz Neptunes was the first place to carry it the first, first place to carry it. And so props to them and he goes, man, it's, it's, it's really smooth. And I was like, well, I've had a few. I've had Bedlam, I've had social house in a few different ones and, you know, no offense to them. They were, they were okay, but I still drank Kele one and yeah, the higher end stuff. And then I tried this and I was like, I looked at my buddy and I go, no, this is not good. This is dangerous. And I put it on some ice then after I tried to eat and I was just like, man, how do you, I've never been able to drink vodka just on some ice. Right. So luckily the, the owner Knight, actually, I had a buddy in real estate who said need to meet him we're we had mutual friends. And so we had a, we set up a meeting and had a coffee and it kind of just fell into place and we kind, kind of became great friends instantly. I joined the advisory board. Mm-hmm, kind of on a role of just kind of helping, just just with different ideas and you can throw stuff at me. I was the youngest person. They wanted a younger person on the board. And then as it just continued, I was like, man, how I just, I, I gotta be like involved somehow of some skin of the game. This is just too good. This is gonna be a, this is gonna be a massive brand. And I just knew it was just the, the branding, the bottle, just the VO. It's just, the vodka is so good that like, I just don't know how we're gonna screw this up. And so I finally convinced him to let me invest. And it took a long time cuz he doesn't, you know, he's done very well in his endeavors and he wasn't really looking for investors, but I just kept pushing them and pushing them. And you know, we got a tequila coming out too. Oh no, I didn't know that. And that's what he wanted me to kind of like really focus on, but I was like blue shark vodka like means a lot to me because it's really it's from Wilmington. We, we distilled, we distill, we distill in Las Vegas now. But we, we started out distilling just literally over in Dutch square, off of market street. Like that's what, you know, that's what got me. That's why I just felt, cause I'm a big, I love supporting local being, being from here. I was like, I can get behind the tequila, but like, you know, tequila has to be made down in, in Mexico and I just was like, man, I really wanna be behind the blue shark Boer brand. That's just what, that's what feels good to me. So finally I had to break down some walls, but I got to it. And finally I was able to, but I, and I invested very early and when we just had our, the pretty shark in the bottle, and now we got a, I helped design the new fifth. We have, that's more at the Titos price point. And then we have the half gallon now, which we call big blue. And we're the whole, you know, when I sat, we literally sat in my in my beach house and we talked and I'm like, mark, that's the owner, mark. Bloomquist. I was like, what do you want to, like, where do you want this company to go? What do you wanna do? He's like, man, I want compete with Titos. I was like, alright, that's good. That's a tough that's that? I mean, Hey, if we can ever be close to them, we're gonna be very successful. Yes. And I just said, well, we're gonna have to get some new bottles cuz the shark bottle. Was beautiful. It's amazing, but it just seems very boutique and local. Right. So if we're gonna expand and be a big brand, then we gotta find something that people aren't gonna want to just keep and fill it up with sand or lights. And we want people to go back and buy another bottle of vodka. So what people do are doing now are buying the half gallons and then pouring the half gallon into the, the pretty fifth. Oh yeah. We're kind of keeping it filled up cuz it's just such a cool bottle. And we sell that at a very premium price. Yep. But people buy it. Like we can't keep it on the shelves for like you know, real estate presence for closings or just, yeah, it's just a cool bottle. So I sat there with 'em. I was like, man, we need new bottles. So I helped pick out the new fifth and half gallon and helped with the artwork and and all that. And then the rest is history. We, we we've just been, it's been nonstop. We are just, we are selling so much backer right now. It's insane. It's it's really. That's awesome. Was there a pretty big pickup after COVID with everyone getting back out there and just kind of a new push to I'm sure people were looking to add something new to their collection too, like even just businesses. Yeah. I mean, it's, you know, the, the greatest thing about the spirits industry is it's really recession proof. I mean, people are right when, you know, when people are having a great time and they're happy they're drinking when they're not doing well, they're drinking, which is never, you know, never a good thing, but right. It's a very recession proof business. I mean, the hardest thing for us was just luckily, mark you know, a lot of people get into these businesses, not really have any much experience. You're just trying to figure it out as you go. But mark was in Seagrams for, I think, 30 years or 20 in international sales. So he knew the Brotman's who started Seagrams and he knew the industry. So I trusted that he had the experience and he literally, I mean, he was, he was a one man show keeping us alive in COVID. I mean, he just I mean, we're, you know, he got glass, he got shortages everywhere, glass shortages, everything, but I mean, Dale de who's, the king of cocktails reached out to him and said, mark, I don't know how you guys are still in business. Anyone that started when you did during COVID is not in business anymore. And mark was able to, he found bottles, he found caps, he went places. He just, he was able to keep this, the company afloat. And now we're you know, we started out with like a, you know, maybe a, not even a quarter truck truckload full of glass. Now we're like truckloads full of glass at once. And we're now, you know, more premium type partners with the glass company we use. So we have grown tremendously and it's been I mean, I mean, that's, what's cool about Wilmington. Everyone's pretty cool about everyone supports local and has been great supporting us and, and we're super appreciated of, of it. And it's just helped us so much. So it's been fun to, to, to enjoy, to jump on the ride and enjoy it. So it's been great. That's neat. So, okay. I was just So you said you're from Wilmington originally? I am. Yes. And so we'll get into kind of your professional career path here in a second too, but you've been around the us and I'm sure you've visited many places. So what brought you back to Wilmington? Just kind of how it started. Just the beach. I'm a beach guy. I mean I think that's kind of, what's helped me. We moved here in 96. My dad taught at UNC w for 20 years. Oh, okay. So he was at Memphis, I guess it was Memphis state back in in the nineties now it's Memphis university of Memphis. Yeah. But he had, he could, he had to choose between UNC, Charlotte or UNC Wilmington and nothing against Charlotte, but I'm glad he chose Wilmington. Yeah. I just think the vibe here just kind of the low key, just kind of chill, not super fast paced kind of helped me. You know, paved my career path and kind of helped me with the way I kicked and helped my career. And just, you know, traveling, playing in Denver, Kansas city, Chicago loved the big cities. Yeah. Awesome time. I love when my friends come and visit, but I always was, as soon as the season was over, you know, unfortunately I wasn't on the best. Didn't have the best results on the teams I was on. So I didn't get to go to the playoffs much. So I was home pretty quickly after the season, early January. So I was always itching to get back. Cuz I just, I dunno, there's just an aura about Wilmington and resol beach and it's a, there's a calming feel. And I just felt a peace here and I've been to a lot of beaches and I still think rights full is just something about it. The sand, the water. Yeah. It's not Rocky, it's just, you can get out easily. It's still very residential. It's not overly commercialized yet where you got all these huge high rises. Right. And I think that's what makes me feel at home the most. So I. I just try to get back here and now I'm back full time, but I would always try to get back as quick as I could in the off season. Yeah. Just cuz all my friends were here, my family and, and just all the support systems around, around the area. So it's it's, it's a beautiful place. Nice, cool. Because I am also from here. where did you go to school? I went to, I went to haard. Okay. Where'd you go? I went to Laney. Okay. but haard did have a better football team. Soccer. Not, not when I was there. Oh, you guys were, you guys were really, you guys had our number when I was wait, when did, when did you graduate? I was 2000, 2004, so okay. Yeah, it, it was like that weird transition. Cuz I got Elaney at oh four. Okay. Or, oh 3 0 3 to oh seven. And that was the year when like the, the varsity team was like, eh, but the JV team was just kicking everybody's ass. I was like, oh, this is gonna be good. And then everyone just like disappeared. I'm pretty sure y'all went to the state championship. My sophomore, freshman or sophomore year y'all went to the state champ. Elany did. I can see that. You guys had some, I got moved up. I got moved up towards the end of my freshman year. Varsity mm-hmm and I got to play at Lany. And you guys you guys destroyed us it was you guys, you guys had some, absolutely had absolute stud studs on the team. And a couple of guys went to Virginia some big time D one players, and then, yeah, I don't know. I mean, Lany, my dad's the kicking coach now at Hagar. Okay. Oh, wow. He kind of, he volunteers, cuz he's got probably the most experience of anybody in this town just between cuz my brother kicked as well. Yeah. Okay. And so he volunteers and helps with the kicking, the kicking, the kickers. And this past year I went to the game Lany y'all were tough, man. You guys had our number and we were able to pull it out, but you guys are getting y'all are getting better. I feel like the schools do those, like the wave. Like in every sport, it's like either the team just like, just stays on top or the town just has these waves where people move in and like this team gets really good. And then the other team gets a little bit bad. And then you kind of go back up and just, cuz I don't know. Can you do more like recruiting in this county? No, you' got I don't know if there's open there used to be open enrollment for, for athletes. I don't think they're, I don't want to get in any, no trouble. I don't think there's so there used to be. Yeah. I think they technically stopped open enrollment for a couple years. Okay. Because some of the schools just got too big. I can see that. Yeah. Like when I graduated, every single school in town had minimum 2000 kids. Wow. And I mean there's only four high schools. Mm-hmm and then my little sister graduated four years ago and I think they had just started open enrollment again because everyone had shifted to the north side of town and they just haven't re. And so Laney had almost two to 300 more kids in like some of the other schools and they were still playing each other and Laney was kicking their ass mm-hmm So you had to like do the balance. So yeah, I mean, Ashley wasn't open my freshman year, so yeah. We had like the trailers out there and we, I mean, it was like a college campus. It was like, you could barely walk down the hallways. That's crazy. And that's probably one of the reasons my brother won stay a championship, but we did not. Cuz my sophomore year actually opened and that took a lot of our really good players. Oh yep. But they were such a new program that they just weren't able to compete yet. Right. And I mean, there's a couple guys like Levi, Neil, and a couple guys that went NC state. And man, if we would've had those guys, we probably would've won a state championship, but we'd always get to the third round and then get, get knocked out. Cuz there's some man, those, some of those bigger teams are, they got some, they got some players. Yeah. Yeah. Well it's crazy cuz everyone's like, technically you're in the same bracket. I'm like, mm. But does that town have how many schools. You get everybody pulled into work, right? Yeah. Like if I think that'd be kind of cool. If every county could just do a whole, that'd be crazy. Do an all star team and just that'd be too much work, but that'd be a lot of work. So how'd the transition go for? Going from high school to college football? It was pretty it was pretty seamless. I mean luckily coach Scott Braswell, our high school coach really kind of, kind of coached us like a college team, like a small college team. Okay. So he kind of, I felt very prepared. I felt I wasn't overwhelmed when I got to college. I went to so many camps in the off season. I played in the all American bowl. I had to kick off against Adrian Peterson. Oh, wow. I mean, literally my senior year of high school in January. My yeah, I was kicking off and the dang kickoff returner was Adrian Peterson. and I'm just like, and look what that look, what that guy's done. I mean, yeah, like Ted gin was our kickoff return guy. I mean, we've, I mean, there was, we had some absolute, like, there was some studs in my, my 2004 class and gosh, so I got, I kind of played on some bigger, I, for some re it's crazy, I went to the all American bowl and I was an all American in USA today, but I didn't go to the shrine bowl in our, in our, in, in North Carolina versus South Carolina. That doesn't yeah, doesn't make, so I didn't play in that, but I got to play in the, you know, at the, there's a bunch of, there's a bunch of bull games now for like, there's the, I think there's the under armor bowl game, but oh, that's right. When you got invite us army was like the game back when I, I mean, if you got there, you were one of the best players you, I mean, there was only one kicker and one on each side, so east and west, and so yeah, being able to kick off to him and like, you know, you got to play down there and in, in the Alamo bowl and all that, that game, it set me up for kind of, you know, the ACC is, I mean, is, is an amazing conference, but mm-hmm. I felt like I could transition very easily into it. And you know, that, I mean, the SEC's a whole nother, I mean, it's just a whole nother level. It's and I heard these are some rumors out there that oh, I did too. That UNC might be, it got invited to maybe the big 10 maybe. And then like the sec or something. I heard that out there too. Murs I'm not sure, but that's. I mean, my, we have a brand, so two questions, one, because I know zero about you. You went to UNC. I did, yes. Okay. I was trying to figure that out this whole time. so it was between I mean, I had a, I had probably five shoe boxes full of letters all over the cause I was the number one kicker in the country coming outta high school and I wish I looked back. And one of my wi my words of wisdom is like, you know, I wish I would've really taken advantage of the opportunities to go and visit all these different schools. Mm-hmm I committed so fast to Carolina it was little, I was the first commitment of the class because there, cuz I was kind of the biggest recruit at the time. And they were like, if you, if you commit now you're gonna bring a bunch of other guys. I see. So they got me and you know, I wish I would've looked at like Oregon was recruiting me in Notre Dame and it ended up being between a, it came down to Ohio state and UNC. Oh, okay. And I would've had a red shirt my freshman year behind Mike Nugent, who was a very successful kicker in the NFL. And, and then coach Bunning John bun at UNC was like, Hey man, you can start as a freshman here. I was like, well, it's close to home. My parents can come. You know, my we're big on, on education in our family. And that's a great, you know, to have a, to have a degree from UNC is amazing. And cuz you never know if you're gonna play in the NFL. I didn't. Think at that time I was gonna do that. Yeah. And so there, as soon as he said, I could start as a freshman, I was like done. Yeah. And UNC is just a, I mean the now we're Jordan brand, which I wish we were at Jordan brand when I was there. I mean, the, the stuff they get now, I can't even get a pair of Jordans. I'm like, come on, coach. I'm like boys with our equipment guys still. And I'm like, how does Mitch Trubisky? Mm-hmm well, obviously he's the man. He was the second pick in the draft. And I'm like, I'm sitting next to him in the locker room in Chicago. And I'm like, man, look at this big bag. Like you got this whole box bag. Yeah. He's got like a box of swag from UNC and I don't ha I don't get anything. I'm like, come on, man. I just want a pair of Jordans. Exactly. Right. Well, when I went to Laney, technically Laney is a, a quote unquote, like the basketball. Team's a Jordan brand. I, I don't think legally they are, but Jordan like donates money. And if you made varsity boys or girls basketball, you got a pair of JS. And I was like, wow, I was so mad. I mean, you should see the, like now when like, we'll go up my brother and I, obviously we go up cuz my brother's like the all time he's got the most field goals in the history, even UNC. Yeah. He broke my record. Oh no way. Which is pretty cool. That is cool. So we'll go up to a, he's got a, you I'm a, I'm a, I'm an uncle now, which is awesome. He's got a three month old daughter now. Oh. So, and but we'll go up to a couple games a year and just the difference now that Mac Brown's come in and just the money that we've gotten in from just people donated from donations and you know just the, like it used to be this like video room we'd go into just to like, but they play like a video. Yeah. For the recruits. Now it's like this insane. You got the huge UNC logo. You got every pair of Jordans. Yeah. On the wall. Wow. It's just like the biggest recruiting. It's a, it's another level, you know, that's how we're competing now with the sec and these bigger schools. Cause like, when it was literally, when I went in there, it was like a theater room and it's like, come to UNC, like they play like a rah video, but now it's literally like lit up every Jordan, every Jersey it's insane. It's the coolest, if I was a high school, I'd be like, yeah, I'm coming here. Yep. Yeah. That's crazy. Mean Laney, Jordan donated and he, they helped build the second gym Elany and the second gym has a wall of all white versions of every Jay that came out. Oh wow. And I was like, oh, that's so sick. And probably ones I've we've never seen, you know, like I didn't even know that one came out. Yeah. He's got when he came out. Yeah. No, you get people. I mean, he is got his boat. I mean, he, he always fishes in that big rock tournament. He always, he has his boat wrapped in the, one of the shoes he's got his G six, his plane wrapped. It's just, it's pretty cool. It's I mean, he's, like I said, he's, I mean, he's, he's the man, Jim he's. He is the legend. So, I mean, so currently, I mean he is the guy who's from Wilmington. But outta the people that I've met, you're technically the, the guy who's done a bunch and left and come back. So you played at UNC, which is rumored, cuz they're always rumoring to mix up conferences. Yeah. There's no way they're leaving ACC. I don't care what anybody says. money talks. Exactly. I, I think they're trying to just ruin the NCAA somehow and just completely just get 'em out of there. And it's just these big mm-hmm, huge super conferences now, but we'll see, because I saw something, they were like, well, Clemson in Florida and Miami are trying to go to se I was like, oh yeah, I think it was gonna be like, I think they invited UNC Clemson, Miami and Florida state maybe. Yeah. Where that sounds maybe Notre Dame or maybe Notre Dame was trying to get 'em to the big 10. I don't know. Dame's weird cuz they're like in a conference, but not really conference. Yeah. They got their monster deal with NBC to do their own. Yeah. They literally aren't like, I didn't know that. Yeah. They have their own like they're in their own, you know, they're they ACC I think now for other sports with football, they're still considered. Independent. Yeah, because they have a monster deal with NBC and that's kind of their, yeah. Their, every home game they're on, they're on NBC. Yeah. Every home game, technically they can, they play in the ACC, but that's part of the reason why they've lost bids to like the big, like the big bowl games is because they weren't technically part my dad's ND my dad's in or Dame grad. So we're we're definitely, no Notre Dame comes to, comes to chapel hill in September. This year. It's gonna be a, it's a win-win for him cuz you know, his kids, his kids went there and he went there. So it's a, that's where I wanted to go to college, but they did not want a scholarship, a kicker in my class. I got a handwritten letter from Tyron Wellingham he's like, man, you know, we love what, you know, we love your tape. You're an amazing kicker. Yeah. We just, we just signed somebody. So we don't. And so that was pretty cool cuz, but I'm kind of glad now. Yeah. Cause after kicking in Chicago, mm-hmm, this playing in North Carolina a little bit nicer weather. Right. And it was grass, the Notre Dame stadium is now field turf, which is nice. You know, if you're up in the, if you're in Chicago up. Field turfs nicer, just cuz it's not getting as messed up. You know, the grass isn't getting torn up. So mm-hmm it was grass back in the day. Cuz I played there my junior year and I had one of the worst games of my career so I'm like, I'm very glad I went to chapel hill and not Notre Dame. Yeah. Well maybe you, you would've gotten better playing on the bad grass. That's True's why I kick it. You know, I kick I just go practice at Hagar now and just, that's just, that's the closest facility for me and it's you know, the, the grass is okay, but it's not great. So, you know, it kind of teaches me to, you know, to work with the conditions and then I'll go up to chapel hill maybe once a month and get on the field tur there, go to the indoor and actually get some good, some good work cuz the facilities up there now are that indoors fantastic. Wow. Yeah. They've yeah, it's a lot different than when I when I went there, we were, yeah, it was, we didn't even have the, it was just a big jumbotron on the visitor's side at UNC stadium. Now they got the big blue zone and. And all that. So it's yeah, it's a, it's a heck of a lot different, I mean, everything they're doing a whole outfit on the, I think the training room and stuff now this year. So that'll be cool to see that. Yeah. Yeah. So you said that when you're starting at U UNC as a freshman, you didn't really think about like, oh, NFL or anything like that necessarily, right? No. I mean, I was just kinda in the moment enjoying being a freshman, my hair was down on my shoulders. Yeah. everyone thought I smoked a ton of marijuana. Right. So, which I don't, I've never, I, I don't smoke. Yeah. I just, I just think everyone thought, Hey, he's a beach surfer guy. Looks like, I mean, I surfed a little bit. I'm not like a hardcore surfer, but the hair like curly hair down on my shoulders, everyone was like, this guy smoked so much marijuana. that's why he sit. That's why he's so chill out there on the right. But now I just enjoyed it. Struggled my freshman year, just especially in the C. Yeah, I don't care what you say high school does not prepare you for college. I mean, not at all. Yeah. Very good. Especially when you go out on your own, you don't have anybody telling you mm-hmm Hey, you gotta study and all that. And then trying to pair that with football and practicing and trying to, you know, balance both of those things. So I think I'd like a 2.2, my fr fall freshman year and a 1.8, my spring semester, my dad's a professor. Right. He, he sees that he goes, cuz you have to have a certain yeah. To play GPA to play. And I'm just like, cause I, I had like a 4.0 in high school, no problem. Like cuz just wasn't I mean, no offense to ha it was just, you know, you don't have to do, it's not same cowboy. Yeah. And it's just UNCs, like going to a biology class at UNC it's like, pre-med like, mm-hmm I failed it. I failed so quickly I wasn't even close. But then finally I was a, I got Dean's list like the last, I think most of every semester after that, so I got it together. Right. But it just take, you know, it just takes time. So I was really just enjoying the moment. I wasn't much of a party or just really focused on football. I was always really big on making sure my scholarship stayed intact. I was always worried that if I messed up got caught drinking underage or something that mm-hmm you know, I'd mess up my scholarship. So I was pretty straight edge. Like I really just focused on football, had a lady. Yeah. I, you know, she went to east Carolina, so we were long distance, but actually was good. Just, it kind of kept me just really just all I did was really study and play football. So, and it worked out and obviously paid off. Yeah. Big time down the line. So I knew freshman year really. I just kinda had fun and didn't really understand how big it was. And then my sophomore year, I just, I had a tough year. I started like I had a really good freshman year. Yeah. And then I just, I think I was so nervous that I had to like repeat that and didn't really know I was like kicking for the fans and for everybody else except me and not really. And I really was just like, worried about, wow. If I miss one what's gonna happen. So I lost focus there, but then. Towards the end of my sophomore year, I got it back together. And I think after that, I missed only three kicks over the next two years. Wow. Geez. So you just living, but I, you know, I got super lucky cuz my head coach stood behind me and he could have put somebody else in, but he kept me in there and and that was great cuz like I said, I think I was like 50% going into like towards the latter part of my sophomore year, which is not a good, yeah, no, that's not bad for like a quarterbacks percentage, but for yeah. For a kicker you do not have a job usually after that. Yeah. And but after that I, I went a hundred percent my junior year and then I missed three kicks my senior year. So it was, you know, ended up being like 31 for 34 or something. Wow. So it was a good, it was a good like good run. I learned a lot of lessons and sure. Yeah. All that. So you grow up, you grew up, you grew up super fast playing, you know, at that big, that high level of a, of a sport. So at what point did you Started getting like more serious or getting the recruiting letters or from the, from the NFL? I mean, after my freshman year, after I kicked the game winner, mm-hmm against Miami that night. I just kind of, I kind of put me on the map. I think, I think that kind opens the mind, like, whoa, this guy as a freshman had the, you know, the, kind of the what's the word, the, he was, the composure was over to wherewithal. Yeah. The wherewithal like, wow. That's pretty big time. As a freshman at 18 years old to kick against the number four team in the country probably costed him tons of money and and I still it's hilarious. I mean, I played with Devin Hester was on that team, Greg Olson. They were all, so it's hilarious. Like I saw Greg Olson, like years ago on my buddy's tour bus. Who's a big country singer. And I'm like, how about that game back in two, four he's like, come on, man. So it's funny. Like, I mean, Miami's obviously was one of the premier teams back. They still are, but like that's where all the guys went back, you know, I remember. And so it's cool to see like, Those guys in the NFL, like playing against them. And then, yeah, I think after my freshman year, and then I just had to, like, people heard tell me, Hey man, you might have a shot at the NFL. So I just kind of buckled down and really just continued to compete and just go to camps and see my coaches. And cuz you have to have, you don't really have a kicking coach on the, they don't have, they don't really have the space on a staff to really have a true kicking coach. So I'd always go see my buddy Dan Orner, who kicked before me at UNC mm-hmm he's still my coach today. Oh cool. So I started working with him when I was like 15 years old and he's still my coach now. Wow. So he kicked at UNC before me and then kind of recruit was one of the guys that kind of helped recruit me to cuz I would go up there and kick in the off season when I was in high school, up there with him at the facility. And when you could actually do stuff now everything's so sanctioned and like right. You can't step foot on the campus anymore. You know what I mean? Yeah. It's just, they're like, oh you're you're ineligible Yeah. But but yeah, I think my junior year after I went, I went 11 for 11, which is, you know, Not many kicks. Yeah. But I had a 54 yard or some longer kicks within those 11. I was gonna say, it's still there. So after that year, I was like, man, I might have a shot to, to kick in the NFL. And that's kind of what I want to do, but man, I'll tell you, I graduated in three and a half years and colleges flew by. I feel like I didn't, even for sure didn't even enjoy it because I was just so focused. And I mean, you really have no off season. I mean, you play in the fall, you're immediately into like workouts in the spring. Then you got spring ball. Then you go, I think you have like one week home in the summer and then you gotta go to summer school and it's just cuz they want you up there. Yeah. The entire time I never got to study abroad, which kind of was a bummer just cuz so many, so many students get to do that. And it's such a cool experience. So I didn't get, you know, obviously after playing the NFL and making some decent money, I was able to, I got blessed and was able to do that and travel and right. Cuz you got a lot more downtime in the NFL. I'm sure but yeah, I think, you know, after my junior year I was like, man, I think I got a shot to maybe do this at the next level. If I just keep, you know, keep a straighten arrow and really just keep kicking. Well. So how'd that kind of since you kind of really picked it up at the last kind of two years of college, that transition straight into the NFL, or was there some, like growing pains to that as well? Man, I probably got the crazy, I mean, I've you're probably talking to the most, I've seen it all. I've been through every ups and up and down of any kind of, I mean I wasn't drafted, unfortunately. That's kind of your dream obviously to get drafted. Sure. I always tell, I always tell buddies and I'm like, don't draft a kicker. There's just no point in wasting, you know, because I mean, you can find a really good kicker in free agency. Yeah. Besides maybe Jenna Kowski or Justin Tucker was I think a fifth round pick, obviously he's we had the same agent. He is the best in the business. He is the hall of Famer. Yeah. Through and through. But I went to a couple of pre-draft visits. I thought I was gonna get drafted to Seattle in the seventh round, but they ended up taking a different guy who never even never ended up making it. The two guys that made it in my class were both. We were both undrafted guys. Oh wow. So the two drafted guys didn't make it, which is pretty funny. That's which I was saying. I just don't think you really like what, what's the point of wasting a, you can get a, you know, you might be able to find a sneaky, like running back or something in the sixth, seventh round. You just never know. So I don't waste it on a kicker, but I'm not trying to downplay the kicking position, but playing the GM role here. Yeah. but then I got got lucky enough. I had a bunch of private workouts with Baltimore, Kansas city, Atlanta. And I had a really good workout for Kansas city mm-hmm and so they ended up signing me as like a priority free agent. So literally they called you like five minutes after the draft was over. Oh, wow. and I got a, I got a whopping $5,000 sign of bonus. I was the most happy I was the happiest person. I've you know, coming outta college, dude, I'm rich. This is amazing. And it was pretty cool. So I went in there and competed, there was two other guys that were veterans and they were just trying to decide, we wanna go with the veteran or we wanted to go with the rookie mm-hmm I kicked just as well as they did, but ended up releasing me and keeping the veteran guy. So I was back home in chapel hill renting a place and I worked at the Finley golf course. So I was one of those guys in the, the, in the cage driving, picking up rain. Oh yeah, yeah. Picking up driving range balls. I was the guy. You were like hitting the ball out, right? That was me. So I was back home just like trying to, you know, pay the bills and make ends meet and just stay in shape. Cuz I knew like the path for a kicker was like, you could literally be working in a super, he could be working at the supermarket and then like that's what happened to Matt Bryant. He was working like bagging groceries and then got picked up by Atlanta or Tampa. Wow. So I just kept working out, kept staying in shape. And then I got a call from Kansas city. Again, they brought me back like. I ended up playing 10 games with him. Mm-hmm and I ended up going 80%. I had a good geez. Yeah, a good rookie year. And then they they drafted my, one of my really good buddies, Ryan zup who kicked at South Carolina. Okay. And won a super bowl last year with Kansas, with a Tampa or excuse me, two years ago with Tampa. Yep. And they ended up drafting, they drafted him as Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick in the draft. And so I was like, well, if they draft the kicker, I'm probably gone. So, I mean, I go 80%. I got cut. So it's just like, dang. Ugh. I'm like, what the heck? So yeah. How much better can you do at that point? My rookie year was pretty it was, was a good year, but then I was back on the, back on the street again and, and trying to figure out, get my agent to get, get on the phone and find me a team and all that. So that's kind of what my kind of my story's been until I got signed to Tampa where I really like stuck in. Made a really big name for myself. Right. And but for a while there you're literally, like, I think people don't realize that like 90% of NFL players or athletes mm-hmm are living out of a suitcase in a hotel trying to just, hopefully, maybe you're on the roster the next day. Yeah. And you don't get paid, you only, you don't get paid in the NFL until you play. Like you're not getting anything in preseason or in like off season workouts. I mean, you're, that's not paying enough for your rent. I mean, living in these big cities, like good point. Yeah. You know, there's no way, like, you know, it's so it's people don't realize that like you really, like, there's only, you're only seeing like the big time guys that are signing these massive deals and yeah. Or really live in that true, like that ball or lifestyle, you know, like big houses and cars. Right. I mean, we can go on parking lots. The it's crazy. What you see in the parking lots of these, I mean, rolls Royces, Bentleys are like, you know, Ferrari every it's crazy Lamborghini and wow. I roll up in my Astro. that's respect that's. I mean, I literally came in with the next era and I remember my coach was like, I had an Acura one time. He's like, why are man you're driving an Acura? I was like, come on, man. Like you don't, don't pay me in. Yeah. I'm not a big time, you know, like, I'm trying to just, I'm trying to make it here, but yeah. So for, for a long time, they was just living in hotels. I went to Miami for training camp. Actually I kicked the guy, there went 94% in camp. Wow. And got released and I'm like, ah, my God, what do I gotta do? Yeah. I was sitting on the curb, outside the hotel on the side, just, just, it was at night when I called my dad. And I'm like, man, I don't think I want, I don't think I can, I'm not cut out for this anymore. Just cuz what do I gotta do to get a job? Cuz 94% is like, I didn't miss. Right. And he just said keep at it. And then the coolest thing was bill Parcells, obviously legendary coach mm-hmm when they brought, when he, he was working, I kind of as a GM ish type role there at Miami, he brought me in, he goes, Hey man, we have to release you. I just want you to know, man, keep kicking. You reminded me of a guy named Adam vent, Terry. And I was like, whoa, that's, you know, now it's like that. Guy's gonna be a hall of Famer. I was like, that's pretty cool. So that kind of got my hopes up. And then what usually happens is while you play in the pre-season is you, I performed well. So another team saw me mm-hmm and then Tampa called and signed me. And their guy had been struggling and kind of the rest is history with that. And I, you know, obviously that's why I really kind of made my mark in the, yeah. In the NFL. So it's good. That's crazy. It's a crazy ride, man. It's a, yeah, it's been a, I have a lot of, I've got some gray hairs now and right. I always say like, my body feels like it's 36, but my, I think my heart's like 60. Yeah. I can just from all like the stress of just like, you know, I got to a point where it's just like, after 10 years, I was just like, you know what? I'm tired of. Like trying to figure out where I'm gonna live. Mm-hmm I've played, I've had a great career. I just wanna go back to Wilmington. Yeah. Relax, enjoy myself. And you just, it's just such a wild ride and it's only. you know, some people can do it for 20 years. I just 10 after 10 years, I was like, man, I'm tired of living in a hotel. Or a lot of times I would stay at like a Homewood suites for half the season, cuz I don't want to get into apartment, get into a lease and then get cut, you know, and then you gotta break the lease and get all that extra. And it's like, so, but yeah, once I got to Tampa, it was a, it was just one of the best times of my life. I was probably one of the better players in the team and just having an absolute blast, just I was kicking the ball really, really well. That's awesome. Yeah. So you kind of went into my next question a little bit too, where what, what kind of made you decide? It was like time to put the cleats away and head back home. I just it's like, you know, obviously you guys have had, anyone's had jobs, you have jobs it's mm-hmm sometimes you fit into that job, sometimes you don't and like it's even the same thing in sports. Like I just never felt like I meshed well in Chicago. Mm-hmm I just didn't feel like I feel I didn't fit. I didn't feel like I fit well, the climate, obviously I was not a cold weather kicker. Yeah. So that was a big deal. I mean, I just. You know, I just, it just, wasn't a good spot for me. Just, just mentally, physically everything. I just, I think I was checked out as soon as I got there, cuz yeah, I got cut from they Tampa drafted or they drafted somebody or something like that. So they cut me and then my agent said, Hey, you're going to Chicago. I'm like, oh, okay, Chicago, is there anywhere else we can go? And that's all that meant. So the key is you want to be on the opening day roster cuz then they have to pay you the whole year. Oh, okay. So like if I would've waited, I could've waited. Maybe picked a team maybe three or four weeks. But if you were on the opening day roster, you're guaranteed your money for the year. So I was like, oh wow. Yeah, I I'll sign and get there. Cuz that way I could make sure I'm guaranteed my money for the years. Exactly. So, but after that, after my. training camp of my last, last season in 17, they brought a guy in to compete with me as always. It's just, and it just drains you. And it was the guy they drafted in Tampa. So we had history. Oh. And I'm just like, what? You guys know why I was like, why you're bringing this guy back. Like, we don't have a good, like our relationship is we're we're. We're cool. We're great. Like, he's a good buddy of mine now, but it's like, at the time, it's just like, there's just too much friction there and mm-hmm and you know, when you're, when you're competing, you're in the same room all the time at meetings and yeah. So after the training camp, I was already like burned out. I already felt like the season had been, had already gone and we had already played 16 games. Wow. And we hadn't even started week one yet. So so I got cut like right before Thanksgiving, I missed a. Potential tie gaming against Detroit. And unfortunately that was my last kick in the NFL was a miss to tie a game, which is tough. Yeah. But after that, I was just like, you know what, like, I've always learned, like, I've never been like footballs my life. Like I love football. Yeah. But I'm not like a football, like junkie. I don't like to watch a lot of film. I love other stuff like photography and being creative and playing guitar and surfing and yeah. So I just like, you know what, like football's football. I like fooled someone to let me play for 10 years. That's awesome. Yeah. I fooled somebody enough to play for a decade, which is no one, you know, not many people can say they played an NFL or a professional sport for a decade, which is pretty cool. So I was like, you know what? I've done. Well, I've saved my money. You know, it's time to just move on to new things and that's you know, getting into like, you know, the vodka game and then photography and building houses and I'd flipped a few houses while I was playing. And then I was like, man, it'd be cool if I could design my own floor, my own floor plans and actually dictate where the master bedroom is and where like, yeah. Yeah. Cause sometimes you're like, oh, the master's upstairs. You can't, if you're flipping a house, there's not much you can do, like, right. So got, you know, I just kind of fell in love with that stuff and the creative side of things and just didn't feel like the NFLs. I just, I didn't miss it, you know, like, right. And that's my thing I've always learned in relationships or anything I do if I'm not a hundred percent in it, I just can't, I can't fake it. Yeah. And I just got, I just had my time and, but now I've had like three or four years to reflect and it's been cool. And I kind of feel like I can go back into the NFL on my own terms and like really enjoy it now and not really right. It's not like there's no stress on the business side. It's like, I don't need to play. but it's like, Hey, if I can go back in and get three or four more years of my pension and have some fun and just enjoy it, I'll do it. So I'm trying to come back in a different like mindset and not just think about it strictly as a business, but going and then, and the joy you first went in, and that was when you're, when you're 22 years old and like loved it. So I'm trying to go back and that mindset and just have fun. And that's kind of what you have to have to really be successful. I think you just gotta, cuz it's such a, like it's such a grind and such a business. Like mm-hmm I always say like, if I'm, anybody's always like, are you gonna offend me? I'm like, man, you don't even want to know the stuff that was said to said to me in a meeting room, like you can't ever offend me. Like, you know, it's just you know, it's, you would not have like the CEO would not have a job if they said what they said to a, to a employee in, in my, you know, so it is just you know, you just, it's just such a grind and such a long like that season. Like when Tom Brady, those guys talk about like, it's a freak. Like I can't imagine as a quarterback. Right? Cause a kicker. You don't have a big playbook. You're just kinda. but it is a long season. You're up at five every day. I mean, there's not many off you get one off day during the week. I mean, it's a grind. Yeah. Your body takes a pounding. So it's. Yeah. I mean, I just, I just knew, like I was checked out and I just kind of knew it was time to, to hang it up. So, yeah. And moved on to some other cool ventures and won some things, lost some things and it's, it's good. So yeah, I feel like that's kind of a dangerous combination to have with you now, too, with having that kind of ability to go into it with like young eyes again, almost, and the excitement going in, but still have all that experience behind you. So I feel like that's, it's a good advantage for you. Yeah. I mean, it's just, you know, it's, you know, mindset is everything. Mm-hmm I think that you just have to have that you just gotta have that confidence and I lost my confidence and I think if you don't have that, it's tough. You gotta be confident in trusting yourself mm-hmm and have that ability and know that you have that ability, like in any line of work, it's like, you don't wanna be cocky. You just wanna be confident and know that, Hey, I can go out and do my job. Yeah. Whether it's kicking, whether it's anything in. And that's my biggest thing is that I feel like, Hey, I'm at a different point in my life where I can go into it with a clear mind and clear, I have a clear, you know, clear head space and I can go in there and just really embrace it and enjoy it. And Hey, if I don't, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out, you know, but I'm gonna give it this, this season. And then after that, I'm probably gonna officially like have a retirement party. My dad's been waiting to throw My mom and dad have been, want to throw a retirement party for cuz I keep going like back and forth. So my dad wants to, my mom and dad have been, want, throw me a big, big retirement party. So I'll let you guys know. Yeah, yeah, definitely. It'll probably be at Jimmy's. So I'll rent, we'll rent the whole we'll rent the whole place out and he'll get a bunch of my former teammates and a bunch of guys and yeah, we'll have some fun. So he is just waiting. He's like, just let me know when you're actually gonna yeah. Do he wants me to play, like he he's like hope it's not for another five or six years, right? Yeah. It'd be fun to watch him more time. So it's cool. So I got a question cuz we're, we're talking now at the end, but I want to go back to the beginning cuz whenever we never talk, ask this question. What got you into kicking? Because like the kickers I knew when I was in high school, like the guy literally just played soccer mm-hmm and he was like, well, they need a kicker. So I just play that's how ours was too in high school? No, I mean, that's, I mean, honestly, that's part of the story. I mean, my, I played, I didn't know anything about football. I played baseball, basketball, soccer. Those are kind of, my baseball was my best sport by far. Okay. I was, I have a bunch of buddies in, in the, in the major leagues right now because Germantown, Tennessee was massive for baseball. Ah, I mean, we were like, I played 85 games when I was like 10 years old. Oh, wow. And obviously got burn out. Like, I mean, I was just like, yeah, we played like Roger Clemens's son's team down in. I traveled, like, I think I traveled as much as I did in the NFL. And when I was playing 10 years old, my parents probably drove us. I mean, it is hardcore. I mean, I've so we moved to Wilmington when I was in sixth grade and just a level at that time. It's really good. And baseball's really good here now. Yeah. But when I was, when I came to Wilmington, it just dropped. Yeah. And I just lost interest and I would've had to get, I would've to travel to Myrtle beach to really get that, like that high level play. And I just was like those 85 to 90 games just warm me out, just travel every weekend. And, but like, that was my best sport. And then my dad obviously be Notre Dame, grad big football fan. Didn't play like high school football didn't play college. But then I was just watching a game one night with him and he was, and I was like, man, I think I could saw the kicker. I was like, I think I could do that. Cuz I was playing soccer at the time. And he was like, well, why don't you give it a try. happened to be that Hagard was looking for a kicker my freshman year, it was just like a wide receiver who was doing the kicking. So there was no true kicker yeah. And so I came over one day during practice cuz soccer and football go at the same time. Yeah. Mm-hmm and they saw me kick and they were just like, whoa, this guy's pretty good. Yeah. So I did both my freshman year. And then I was like, you know what soccer's I was doing a little bit of the Olympic development stuff. I was decent, but I wasn't probably good enough to play in Europe where like the big, big money is. Yeah. Yeah. So I was like, you know what, let's just try this football thing. Cuz someone was like, Hey, if you're, if you do well enough, you can get a scholarship. And I was like, that's pretty full scholarship. I was like, that's cool. That would help my parents. And mm-hmm, that'd be a big deal. So so I just kind of stuck with football after my freshman year. So I quit soccer and just focused completely on football and that's kind of how so I was pretty probably from watching the Notre Dame football game. I just saw the kicker and I was like, man, if. I bet I can do that if I'm a soccer player. So I went out there and my first kick, the coaches were just like, whoa, that's pretty far. Cause they had not seen that yet, you know? Yeah. So kind of fell in love with it and you gotta really like, it's like golf, it's such a, there's so many intricacies. We could have a podcast about how to kick a football. You know what I mean? Right. Like it's such a, so much into it. And I just fell in love with the sport and fell in love with the craft and that's what you have to do. And I always tell kids, like we have a free camp coming up next Tuesday over at haard. We do it every year, my brother and I, yeah, we put it on. And I always just say, you have to, like, if you're playing both sports, soccer and football, you gotta make a choice cuz sooner or later that swing is not the same. And if you wanna be great at it, you gotta make a choice on what you wanna do. And my sophomore year I kind of made that choice and was like, this is what I want to do. This is a career path I want to go down. So that's kind of how I kind of fell into it. We'll have to make. Make a post about that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, feel free. It's literally open to all ages, like, oh, wow. It's awesome. We haven't had it in two years cuz of COVID mm-hmm unfortunately, but this is probably the, I think this is our, this is our sixth annual. So my brother and I it's called the Barth brothers kicking camp. Auger's been gracious enough, obviously just they'll open the stadium for us and let us see the facilities. And I mean, we've had, you know, we usually get about 70 kids, so it's a good, a good turnout. It's good turnout. Yeah. Completely free. You just come in and the kids just walk up. My mom and my aunt worked a little like booth and they just, you just sign a waiver and my strength coach is there. So he puts on a little like kind of strength and they just kind of talk to the kids about how to stretch and how to hydrate and how to properly just get ready for, cause you don't want to go into stuff cold and right. He teaches you so about nutrition. So you get a little bit of everything and then got a former. I try to bring back different players. I got a former duke in Texas punter mm-hmm Alex King, he's gonna come help out the punters. And then my brother and I will take the kickers and then we have some college and then some high school kickers that will help coach some of the younger kids, cuz literally there's like three year olds out there too. Oh, wow. so it's it's awesome. Like it's just, I always just say like bring everybody it's fun. It's a family night. It's only from, it's from five 30 to eight. So it's not like a, okay. It's not like an all day thing. Yeah. Yeah. Just come out, have fun. And we usually do like, we get a free t-shirt that I provide. And usually my mom has like, you know, parents, they like keep stuff from everything. So like my mom has like all kinds of swag from UNC. Every single team I've played for, which is way too many in the NFL. So, and so we'll give away some prizes and just do like a little kicking competition. I think this year we're gonna pick one mom and one dad at the end, a kick and see who. Oh, that'd be fun. Kinda fun love. But just to see, cuz a lot of people are like, man kicking super easy. I'm like, all right, let's get right. Yeah. Let, let's get you the extra points. 33 yards. Now let's see how many times you can make that. So it's yeah, it's pretty funny actually once they do it and they're like, whoa, this is actually not that easy. Mm-hmm when I was playing football and like middle school that we're like, Hey, we need, we need a kicker for the team. And like a few of us that were a bunch of videos were like, ah, I can kick a football. And then I kicked it one time and it just like went to the, I was like, Nope, just kidding. I kicked yesterday. I kicked yesterday out at Hager and my buddies were in town for the fourth mm-hmm and I let 'em both kick and it was one was okay. The other one was just that. Yeah. I was just like, they knew me. They're not, they never said they're good, but it's just funny to like, you know, I can, you know, I could hit a 50 yard or pretty much like without warming up, you know? So it's funny to see like, you know, it's like. I hosted the Ram. Raymond James is the stadium name for Tampa bay. Mm-hmm so every, so every year, like Raymond, James employees will come down and they do like a little fun thing on the field. So I had to do like the kicking portion and it's just hilarious. They're like, oh, I got this. It's like 20 yards. And it's just like, they're just shanking it. Yeah. Every direction. Everyone's hilarious. So you see finance guys coming out trying to kick a ball? Cause I mean, it was, you know, the extra point was at the 10 yard line. Now it's the now it's, you know, it's 30, it's 23 yard line. So it's completely changed. Like used to be like, oh, you could, I never missed an extra point in my career until they changed it. They moved it back. So it's kind of a bummer there, but almost I had the good street gun. Yeah. so as Tyler knows, I always ask a silly slash random question. If you didn't kick, what position would you have wanted to play? Probably a wide receiver. Okay. Yeah. That's pretty decent athlete. I'm definitely not as fast as I used to be. But I sure they, I actually returned punts my senior year of high school. Oh, okay. Cause some reason nobody could like I knew how to punt so I could judge, I knew how one, I knew how the ball like spun. And for some reason, our guys on our team just couldn't judge the punt. For some reason they kept dropping 'em. So I was like, I'll just go back there and fair catch everything. Cause they wouldn't let me return it cuz yeah, you can't get hurt. Cause I was such a, you know, like a weapon cuz I, I could hit, you know, 50 plus field goals in high school and uh wow. So yeah, wide receiver I tried to, but they wouldn't let my coach just kept saying no, man, we're not letting you do that. Cause if you get hurt, but yes, in my senior actually got, do a couple, couple punt and a couple times I almost didn't call fair catch cuz I saw one, but I was like, I know my coach is gonna kill me if I, cause I don't wear quite the padding that as kickers, we try to wear the most minimal amount of anything. Mm-hmm I mean, one year in the NFL in preseason, I wore hockey pads. I gotta wear cuz I just hate anything on my it's just it's annoying. I wore like the tiniest chin strap you can wear and all that stuff, but yeah, so probably a wider saver. I'd be a. Been fun position, a lot pay. It would pay a lot more money that's for sure. gosh, did you happen to go to school with Derek Brunson then? Yeah. Derek's yeah. I love Derek. Yeah. Derek played defensive end. Yeah. Okay. I figured you guys both played together. Yeah. Derek played defensive end when I was, and he was like a insane wrestler. Yeah. Obviously. That's why obviously that transitioned very well. For his career in the MMA, but I haven't seen him in I every once in a while. I'll see him walk around town. I haven't seen him in a long time. I think last time I saw him was like in Mayfair, we were just both walking out of a shop somewhere. Oh yeah. Before COVID and he's had a heck of a career, man. It's yes. Yeah. He talking about an athlete. Oh my, yeah, that guy's an absolute beast. Like, he's just an insane have you guys had 'em on here? Not yet. I'll probably have 'em on soon though. When we start 75 hard, I was gonna try to bring him on so I know y'all are doing my buddy. Just got, just doing it right. So I, I did it last year. Yeah, I did it last well, you haven't obviously not doing yet. Yeah, we haven't started yet. So I did it last year and thought was the best thing ever. So I told him start of August, August one, we're starting it. It's like it's you have to work out like twice a day, right? Yeah. Yeah. Isn't that right? Mm-hmm and then like August I'm on vacation. okay. Then whenever you get back from vacation, I, I mean my buddies. Yeah. That way I can have a week of like trying to get workouts and then I'll start. All right. It, it just has to be some form of like a cuz my buddy chase rice. Who's a big country singer mm-hmm yeah, he's doing, he just came down here. His, his he was my roommate in college. Oh, oh no. Wow. So he is like my best, best buddy. I, I knew him when he wasn't even able to play guitar. Like he was brutal on the guitar. That's how he got the chicks though, you know? So but his, his, his middle brother or excuse me, his, yeah, his middle brother lives. Over in like towards Hamstead mm-hmm Oh, okay. So he comes in town all the time. We hang out and he just came in town after a show at Myrtle beach. And he's doing that. He he's like on day, like, I think he was on day, like 42 when he came. Oh yeah. So he was like, yeah, he had to like, get some kind of a walkin or mm-hmm you have to do some kind of like, I think golf work for an extra, like as long as you're doing. Yeah. So it's outside, outside. Yeah. At least one of them's outside. And then you gotta drink what, like a gallon of water or something. A gallon of water a day. Is there a diet? Is there like a diet you follow, you have to choose a diet and stick to it, but he's lost. Like he's lost like 30 pounds. Wow. Because he was boozing like every night playing every show, getting like, he gained like a bunch of weight and oh yeah. That'll be, but I mean, he was two 40, just like chiseled in college, played linebacker. Wow. And now he's like 1 95. So he's lost a bunch of a bunch of weight, man. He, but you know that not, not to get off subject, but that you know, that music industry, man, I can get tough just touring every night. Right. Drinking after every show and. I think he just wanted like a reset and and he looked, he looks great. And he's, I think he's performing better than he is ever performed. Just, just kind of mentally and I'm sure. Yeah. Yeah. That's pretty funny that y'all said you were doing that. That's cool. Yeah. The mental clarity you get from it is incredible. Yeah. That's why I wanna do it again too. And we actually brought in a new it's a bourbon it's called spirit list. There's actually no alcohol on it's on that side. Oh, it's it's now on that side. But yeah, so we'll, we'll do that for our shows for that. I've actually gotten into the non I've gotten into like non-alcoholic beers a little bit. It's weird. My buddy is a big surfer and he just, he just noticed how he wasn't surfing as well, drinking. So he stopped, but he loves beer. He loves a taste. So like when he grill out, you know, it's nice to have like a drink yes. To have something. So he kind of got me on this kind of some non-alcoholic beer. So every, when I go on the boat a lot, cause I'm driving. Usually I don't like to take the risk obviously with you know, and especially with the fourth and everything. So a lot of times I'll drink these athletic it's like athletic or Athletico beers. Yep. Mm-hmm and it still feels like I'm part of the, you know, still engaging, but I'm not, I'm not drinking, drinking. So like, I can have something in my hand and not like, I'm not saying I'm an alcoholic, but it's just like it's just nice to be a part of the part of what was going. Cause everyone else is drinking. Having a good time. You feel like you're, you're still part of the, kind of the energy and all that. So that's, they did a great job too. That athletic calm brewing company. Yeah. Because like you can have one and it tastes like an IPA, like it's yeah. They've done a pretty good job. Yeah. I got a few. I got a few lighthouse. Usually carries a bunch of the, yeah. They have some cool stuff there. That's where I first, first tried it. Yeah. But yeah, like Derek doesn't drink. So like we'll probably bring him on when that's going on and everything too end up. So I used to train at Brunson and main fitness. So I was actually Very first. I was the very first person that signed up when he created Brunson's and main fitness. Well, actually my wife went in and signed me up which is a whole other story. But but yeah, so I know Derrick pretty well from that and everything that's so, yeah. It's cool that you guys played together. Yeah, no, he was a, he was a mean, he was a, I mean, he was a big guy. I mean, mm-hmm he was a, I mean, he was a big DN did very well for us. And then obviously was like a, what? Two or three time? All American in college. Yeah, Timbrook wrestling. I mean he that's MMA sport, man. It's woo. That's tough. That's a different one. He's got, I, I gotta give it to him. I just, I've never been in a fight. I never want to be in a fight. Right. just seeing, I'm just like, cuz you know, when they do the slow Mo it's just like, yeah. They're it's just like, inden, it's just like, oh God, why would you? But Hey man, it's a, it's a professional sport. It's something you're passionate about. It's awesome. I love it. I want, that's still a bucket list. I don't know if y'all ever been to a, to an event, but that's still a bucket list for me to go to a UFC that. It'd be fun to go out to a, to see a fight. That'd be really cool. Yeah. I've been to a few, but I actually went to when they brought to Charlotte and Derek was the headliner for that one. I got to guts and enjoy that one. So you just, you just, it's just hard cuz like you pay all that money and you're like, oh maybe it's 30 seconds. Maybe it's right. exactly. It's either gonna be 25 minutes or 30 seconds at at least, you know, like baseball, you're getting a good nine Innex right. So you're getting really getting your money, you know, you're getting your money's worth. Well, it kills me because I remember I will always remember this. I had a friend, Kristen, she had a birthday and she came down here and they were partying and we were watching one of the UFCs and I'm pretty sure it's the one where spider like, oh, blew his leg out. Like broke his leg. Yeah. And we were sitting there and it was taking so long. We were like, man, we wanna go downtown, let's go get a drink. And we'll just see some of them. And we ended up downtown and like it pulls up on the TV and the club we were at. And I was like, mm-hmm, what. I was like, man, I miss that. We have been sitting because it was in Buffalo, wild wings over there by Walmart. Yeah, absolutely. And I was like, we had the perfect seats and we left it and now had to, I was like, man, yeah, it's just hard. You just never know what cuz I mean, I don't know how it works. Like obviously if there's a knockout really fast, it just goes to the next card immediately. Right. There's not like a. So like if the, if the main fight is like at a certain time, it could be way earlier. Right? If it's or does it always stay? They'll it'll stay pretty darn close. Cause they'll, they'll keep it so much to talk about about every fighter they'll fill, fill it in with stuff. And I was wonder if I like push everything gets pushed up or if it's actually like, okay, it stays, it stays pretty true. That makes sense. Yeah. The learn something the very last card, since there's really only so much you can fill in. So it might end if it starts at 10, it might end at 1230 or it might end at two. So yeah. Never know. That's the thing. That's the one sport I don't, I just, you know, well, besides rugby and like yeah. Cricket and some of you, but you know, MMA, I'm still trying to like, it's pretty cool to see just I mean, that's a, that's a, that's a, I mean, those guys are in shape. You're talking about mm-hmm 70. What is it called? 75 hard. Yeah. So I don't even they're that's just their body. That's insane. What? They they're just, they, these guys are in shape wrestling for that long. Oh yeah. I'm good. I've done some boxing stuff and I'm just like, wow, like, yeah, boxing. And that it's just, wow. That's a, that's a heck of a workout. Oh yeah, it is. So we are starting to head up on our time today. So we need to ask you our last question here. And it is, if you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? Um, To always take chances. And that's my biggest thing is take chances, take risks. Don't be scared to, to fail mm-hmm cuz I failed a, you know, I failed a lot but was able to pick myself up. So I think that my younger self was like, don't be scared to take chances, take risks. Don't be afraid to fail because that's how be, that's how you become great. And just yeah, just don't be, don't be afraid to be, don't be afraid to be great. I mean I just you know, that's one thing I, I look back at my Chicago time and I think I didn't really, I didn't take advantage of that as much. I didn't feel like I, I should have really just. Grabbed the bulls by the, by the bull, by the horns, and really just went after it. And I just kind of felt like I checked out. So my younger self would've been like, you know, don't be afraid to fail. Don't be afraid to be great compete and just take chances, take risks and it'll pay off. Yeah. And I kind of wanna circle back, I guess that's not the last question because now I thought about this one is it seems like you have a lot of creativity too, and which is probably where that quote comes from and don't be afraid to fail and take chances. So where'd that creativity come from? I don't know. You know, I just one day I was sitting at my beach house and I was like, man, we live in a beautiful place here at Wilmington. And I just was like, mom, my buddies surf. It'd be cool to be able to, like, I'm always a big fan of like, do I love social media? I love all that stuff. Mm-hmm but I think it's, I think that can be a very bad thing. I'm very big about being in the moment and really like. When I'm going on vacations and stuff, I take pictures, but I also like to just not have my, like I lost my phone the first day I was in Italy. on one of those gondolas and was literally first day. So I didn't have my phone for 14 days. It's the worst thing cuz you can't take photo, but I got to experience like, and really just be in the moment. Right. And I think that's where like I was like just I think just living at the beach, I just realized, man, we have such a cool palette here. And then I bought a drone. I always my biggest and I guess another thing about my, what I tell my young, like myself as a kid, is that like school? I mean, I love classes. School's great. But I think like you gotta just dive into something and learn it and fail and just, that's how you learn the best. Like I never taught, took a photography class. I just learned it. I failed a bunch of times. Didn't know, like I didn't know how to edit photos. I, my first canvases were like not, they weren't even crisp. They were blurry. Like, yeah. I'm like, what did I do wrong here? So I think that like for me, it's like, you just gotta dive into it and just kind of learn on the go. I think that's when you become the best is because I think there's, there's a fine line between classroom work and that kind of stuff. Like my parents always say, go take a photography class, but I'm like, no, I'm gonna just, I'm gonna get in the water. Cuz I have a in water land, I have an in water housing. So like I'm gonna get in the water. I'm gonna put my settings on my camera and I'm gonna figure it out if it's too dark, if it's too grainy, I'll come back the next time. And I think that's how you truly like learn. And I think that's, and that's I don't know where my creativity came from. Cause I wasn't like I can't draw for I can't do, but it's just like I have a, I have a keen eye for you know, I've, I've talked about going and getting my interior design degree just cuz I love I, I got really lucky and I'm able to put colors together very well. Yeah. Mm-hmm like I can design houses. I can. I can pick out furniture. I can pick out, I always say with my buddies, I can pick out jewelry for women very well, and that's great. And I can pick out, women's like, it's weird. It's just like, I have this keen thing. Maybe that's my creativity. I can match stuff very well. And I think that comes with like angles and like, I just, I picked up the drone and I guess you have to have the ability to pick the angles. Right. And I just, people started being like, man, you really have a good eye. And I was like, that's pretty cool. And yeah, kind of caught on. So I think just living here in Wilmington, like obviously that's why there's a lot of movies filmed here and TV shows. It's just like, we have such a cool area that there's so much to show and so much to shoot and so much to see that. And that's how I helped kind of design the new, I designed the new fifth for the, for our bottle, for the, the blue shark vodka. Cuz I was just like, this is he just kind of, he kind of sent me a bunch in the mail and I came up with one and ended up being won a platinum award for our series. Oh wow. We, we beat out Michael Jordan last year for our series of bottles and he's got a. His, his tequila bottle is literally shaped in a, they have it at 23 degree angles. Like they designed it like that. And I literally picked mine out of like a catalog and our series of bottles got the best in class at the sip awards last year. Oh my goodness. Which is the highest honor you can get. And so it's pretty cool. Like yeah, so I don't know. I just cuz my parents, like, they're not like no one paints or, but my mom's big into photography as well. Okay. And so like you're talking about, I don't need to take pictures as my mom takes 190,000 on the trips we go on. So it's, I don't need to take a picture, but yeah. I mean, I just think that's where it probably came from just just living here and just understanding the beauty we have and being by the beach and all that. So yeah. That's a long winded answer. Sorry about that. no, I appreciate it. That's awesome. I'm down for it. Yeah. That's what the podcast is all about. Which leads perfectly into where can people find you on social media? Yeah, so my actual, like I don't have some reason Twitter. I don't know what happened. I. I had the check mark on Twitter, but then I can't get in anymore. And then it's linked to my UNC email from college and I have no clue. Nope. That's how old I am. But some my Instagrams were mostly, all my stuff is it's. It's at KT Barth, co N T Barth, or if you I'm sure if you type in con Barth. Yeah. Right. I got lucky enough to get one of those blue check marks. Pretty cool. I don't know how I got that. I just showed up. Everyone always hits me. How'd you get that? I'm like, literally it showed up one day. I didn't do, like, I literally will get messages. Like, Hey, how'd you get the blue check mark? What'd you pay? I was like, I didn't pay a dollar. I literally just, I years ago, obviously, you know, differe, you know, it shows it's just really you. Right? Because playing in the NFL literally one day in the NFL I woke up or, or one day in my locker room, I just looked at my Instagram. I was like, whoa, I gotta, that's pretty cool. Cause everyone wants to get that blue chat mark. Oh, he's real at Conti at Conti Barth is my main page. And then I have at con Barth photography. So that's like, where. I post mostly all my pictures. And I have my, my emails on there from my photography. If someone wants to contact about buying some, some artwork I'm in a bunch of different restaurants in town and I have a website, I took it down. So I'm kind of revamping it, trying to kind of figure out I wasn't getting a ton of traction on there. Mm-hmm so I was getting more, just people emailing me. Cause I love like, I dunno if that's creative, creative side of me. Yeah. But I love like actually meeting the client and actually getting to know 'em and actually understand what they, what they're trying to do, what the space looks like. Yeah. Not just someone going on my website, clicking, buying something. I never meet 'em I like to actually like interact, interact. I think it's kind of like the old school thing that we're not seeing as much. I love like, I'm glad we actually did this in person then. Yeah. We could have done it over zoom. I'm sure. You know? Yeah. So it's nice to actually get to meet people in person. And I think that's a lost, lost art these days that we're just going so virtual that but yeah, so at Conti Barth is my main, my main one on Instagram and then at con Barth photography are my, is my, is my photography. And. Yeah, I pretty I'm. I mean, people probably hate it. I'm very active on my I'm posting stories constantly about blue shark. Yeah. And my photography, like if you went today, I just, I put a bunch of my stuff on that I got for that boat I'm doing and all that stuff. So hopefully a lot of my workout stuff. So if you want to get some new workout routines, we're always posting stuff with my trainer. We've talked about maybe starting a little thing ourselves where we just talk like, you know, cuz we have so much experience together. Mm-hmm about doing some cause there's so many things, so many lucrative things in business now with social media where, you know, my, my trainer's been in the business for 18 years, he's got like five or six first round picks and major league baseball. Like he's got myself. I mean, he's got some serious athletes in his gym and like his, his techniques and what he's learned like between me and him, I think we could do a really cool tutorials and really teach how to train. I still, still, I still see people lifting and I'm like, man, that is not how you squat. Like yeah. Ooh, that looks like it hurts your knees a little bit. You mean I'm not supposed to lean super far. like, no. Yeah. So it's so I, you know, we've talked about maybe doing something like that, cuz you know, you just see the that's what's that's one cool thing about business now is that social media man, you don't have to pay for mark. I mean, marketing is so much cheaper now because you can literally go on Instagram and mm-hmm and you can do things now without having to pay premium premium dollars for, to get to get looks and stuff like that. So that's, what's helped us a lot with blue shark and in my personal businesses as well. So it's cool. Nice. So all Y follow Connor on all his social medias aspects, his photography is amazing. Mm-hmm appreciate it. Uh, Thank you. There's drone shots, like you said, are they're amazing. Every time you post I'm like, dang, how'd do that. Just, I just ordered a new just, just ordered a new in water housing, all new lenses. Yeah. So I'm really the coolest thing I think is like getting out in the morning when the sun's just coming on the horizon over the water, you get in the water and you can get some of these insane, like just crazy shots of the sun bouncing off the water. And it looks like fire hitting the water. Yeah. And you gotta have these certain lenses that have a super, really good and low light. And I just I'll tell you what, man, photography's expensive. Holy smoke. Don't get into it unless you're ready to spend some money. Cuz God bless. I feel like every year it's something new. And then in, if you get a new camera, you gotta get a new housing for the water. But these there's these crazy abstract shots you can get of the, of the, of the sun where it looks massive. And then it's just bouncing and it's just some I've been wanting to really hone in on those a little bit. So I'm gonna, hopefully I'll have some of those out here in the next couple weeks. Once I get some new equipment in. Nice. Yeah, that'll be fun. Yeah. Thank you, everybody for listening to this little podcast, we got going over here, whiskey and wisdom. If you wanna support us vodka and wisdom today, huh? Vodka, vodka, and wisdom today. spirits and wisdom. Yeah. All different ones. Yeah, exactly. I mean, we do like to support local. Yes. So we, we did the blue shark vodka today. Mm-hmm super crisp. Yeah. If you see it in Wilmington or the other new cities that it's out in, definitely give it a shot. Yes. Surprisingly enough. You don't have to shoot it straight back. You can actually sit on this one. that's why we call it the shark that doesn't bite. Yeah, because actually funny story before so blue sharks are actually the most docile sharks in the water, so that's kind of where we got our so blue sharks. We actually do a lot with the Atlantic shark Institute. Okay. Mm-hmm we give money every year. A lot of our, some of our bottles go towards supporting. tagging and understanding the migratory patterns of blue sharks. Oh, neat. So we're actually doing that right now. They just tagged a female actually the other day, which is pretty cool. So we do a lot with the oceans and giving back with that way. And yeah, that's why I always call blue shark vodka cuz our owner is a Navy seal. Mm-hmm and Navy's a diver. He dove with those sharks and they're very doc, they're not, you know, most people think shark, shark attacks. Right, right. So blue sharks are some of the most docile and gentle creatures in the ocean. And that's why we got that name, blue shark vodka shark, the shark that doesn't, we're the shark that doesn't bite cuz our vodka tastes smooth, not burning and all that. So that's kind of a little back. Oh that's cool. I like that. And the big thing is we like we're big on giving back and trying to give back to the oceans and, and we do a lot of beach sweeps and all that stuff. So we're doing one down in Charleston. Oh, okay. In Sullivan's island in August. With in part, the post Tavern started in char down in Charleston. So we're now in there. We're now down there in their restaurant in the main. So we're gonna partner with them and. Do a beach sweep in the morning. I think then we're gonna end up having some drinks at pose. Neat. Afterwards. So it's a, so we're trying to, you know, make sure you give back and I think that's important. Yeah, that'd be great. Love it. Well, if you do wanna support local, buy some blue shark vodka, But yeah. Thank you Connor for coming. I appreciate you guys having me. It was awesome. Yeah. Thank you. I greatly appreciate it. And I brought you wrong cause I always love a good reason to drink some blue shark. Hey, every, every day is a good day to drink some blue shark. You got that right. It's summertime too. So it's perfect. Yeah. It's even better. All right. Thank you guys so much for listening. Thank you for coming on and we'll see you on the next one. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers. Appreciate it. Thank you.