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Saints Punter Thomas Morstead Urges Family Huddles During Pandemic

While the world tackles a pandemic - and lives adjust confined and flat-footed, the NFL’s most accomplished punter Thomas Morstead kick-starts a reminder for families. As both a Saint on the field and in his city of New Orleans, the active community contributor speaks fittingly from his home front, about the rare opportunity we still share.

Question: “With the pandemic. It’s breaking momentum. It’s a changing of the field, potentially creating an opportunity as you do as a punter. And it shifts the focus and the attention. A lot of that for a lot of us comes back here in our houses, spending more time with families. How has Covid-19 impacted your household?” 

Thomas Morstead: “A silver-lining during this time is pretty insensitive. I know there’s gonna be a lot of people hurting now for a long period of time moving forward. Everybody, I feel like, is in a rat race of life and you’re on the hamster wheel and you’re always running from here to there. And so for us - not having any agenda or schedule to keep we’ve just been with ourselves. And it’s been really nice. Twenty years down the road and I think I will regret if I don’t spend this time wisely. Right now it’s a chance to spend it with your kids.”  

Question: “The expression “punt” - becomes almost a mechanism of quitting, it’s a yielding, it’s like – ‘I can’t advance!’ Coming from a punter should we look at a punt differently?”    

Thomas Morstead: I’ve always tried to view myself and hopefully the team has viewed me as a game changer at my position. A player that can control the game! Stealing momentum from a team that’s just stolen your moment. There’s nothing I can do about the fact that its fourth down, other than do my best job possible! It being fourth down – and the face that we’re here – well, we’re here! So – what are you gonna do about it? It’s about having the right attitude that every play could be the difference.”       

Question:  How do the kids look different to you – now – while being in this?                                   

Thomas Morstead: “Well, they got longer hair! (laughs) We haven’t had our corona haircut yet. And I can’t force him to cut their hair ‘cuz dad‘s ... dad‘s not a great example in that area, so … you know I think it’s the simple things I used to hear my mom say, ‘the whites of their eyes’, just how they look at you, the freshness that they come in with, the restfulness that’s needed. The amount of time and attention that they’re getting one and one has been really important! I’ve noticed a positive change in behavior of my children. I have to think that part of that is just how much time we’ve all spent together because I think you know you can say your kids need X,Y or Z - they just need you, more than anything.”

Question: “We talk about bringing baggage in from our past, how are you mindful to help steer them to a place of resolution at a younger age of some of those issues?” 

Thomas Morstead: “I’m very aware of it and so I think it’s cool to show them now when they’re listening the most and they’re asking so many questions to say, ‘hey daddy was scared! Daddy was scared in the Super Bowl’, you know, I was afraid of a negative result! And I dealt with these thoughts. ¬¬We all have vulnerabilities and everybody’s going through something! Failure is if you just stop! Right? So you just got to keep on chipping away. Something’s you can get over in a day, something’s take years.”              

Question: “Your book - The Middle School Rules of Thomas Morstead – it address childhood vulnerability. I’m looking at the quote, it reads -‘putting yourself out there to be vulnerable is a sign of strength not a weakness’. What is on the other side when you get past that vulnerability?”
Thomas Morstead: “I think strength, confidence! I think a lot of people that do special things in their lives, many of them - that may have been their stumbling block earlier. I think when we tell our kids - this obstacle’s going to make you stronger, this thing that you’re going through the struggle it’s going to build you. I want my kids to be as challenged, as they grow up, as possible because we’re gonna be there for them! I think the book is so good for parents to read with their children. My parents, the impact that those two have had on my life, and the entire surrounding family, that support system has never been in question. It’s never been eroded at all.”  

Question: “Your foundation - What You Give Will Grow inspires others in a giving spirit especially here in New Orleans. What do you find to be most underappreciated about giving of one’s self to others?”

Thomas Morstead: “What you give will grow and what you keep you lose. Some people think about it in terms of their own life, you can’t take what you have with you. I tend to think of it from a standpoint of many of the things that are worth investing in I look at the long-term piece to it. That’s why children are so wonderful because they are truly the most eternal investment you can ever make. And I’ve just found that the more you pour into whether it’s things that you do, or the people that you’re around, the benefits come around – like ten-fold!” 

Question: “How does your companionship with Jesus Christ help navigate you?”

Thomas Morstead: “It’s pretty evident right now that everything is unstable. I grew up being ‘Doubting Thomas’. I knew about doubting Thomas and that was always a thing for me. And I think that’s one of the reasons I feel so sure of myself. No matter where I’ve been in life, I think that firm foundation and stability - it’s always there!”

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