Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 5 months ago

Vincent Valentine | Average to Savage EP158

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and fifty-eighth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring the former NFL player Vincent Valentine. Paul Guarino talked with Vincent Valentine discussing his journey to the NFL, winning the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots his rookie year, and now his journey of being an entrepreneur.   

Follow Vincent Valentine 

https://www.instagram.com/vrvj99/ 

This podcast interview with Vincent Valentine was originally recorded on November 4, 2021

...this is the average to Savage podcast with paul Guerrino, everyone and anyone athletes, celebs and much more. What's up everybody, I'm back for another episode of the average Savage podcast. Our specials. Yes, is Vincent valentine? Junior Vincent, how's it going? It's going great man, how you doing? I'm doing good, I appreciate you coming on definitely, I'm I'm very humbled to be here excited, you know, to spread the word and just chop it up a little bit. Yeah, not for sure. Uh yeah, just tell me a little bit how you, how you got into football. Uh So growing up actually, my dad coached a little league football team and I was probably, I was I was knee high and he was coaching, God's 56 years older than me um but I was surrounded by the game the whole time and so um it kind of just was and my dad was a big ball player when he was growing up, so it's kind of, it's kind of just in me, you know um once I actually got to the agent to the like size requirements to play ball um I think it was like my fifth or sixth grade year, that's when I actually started bawling but I couldn't play for the longest because I was like like you know, little league, you have stripers, I don't know if you know about stripers but basically if you're too big, It's a way requirement in a little league if you're too big, they won't let you play so I couldn't play until I was like 11 years old, I want to play this, I was like seven. So um had to wait it out. But it was definitely worth the while. Once I finally got on the field man, it was just like it was this flow that was like that I couldn't really describe, it was just like it felt like it fit for me, you know? And so I just ran with it, you know? Um Actually growing up, I grew up in a city called Madison Illinois and we didn't have have a we did have like a football league or anything, so I actually have to go down to so east ST louis and play for the Jackie Joyner Kersee Center, we were called the J. J. K. Flames. And so once...

I, once I started playing there man I just took, I took off the team was great, we competed for national championships and that's when it really when I fell in love with the game. And then once I um once I got older to the point where I couldn't um play little League, obviously um I had to figure out what I was gonna do because my um my my city that I grew up in my hometown, we didn't have a football team and so ended up going to a military academy for about a quarter of my freshman year of high school, it was terrible, it was the worst experience. So I had to get up out of there, ended up I ended up getting like a legal guardianship to live with my uncle and in a city called Edwardsville and ended up falling out there. My first year, um I first year I played was my sophomore year ended up getting like 12 scholarships and then it kind of, the rest of the rest was history. I ended up choosing between Nebraska Illinois and florida. And those are my three official visits and end up choosing Nebraska man and that's crazy. So you just balled out sophomore year and that was it. Yeah, I'm a big 64, £300 something where you don't see too many of them. So you're lying to everybody coming to knock down the door. So it was amazing experience, you know, getting all of those letters and you know, just the ultimate dream as a kid, you know, where you watch, you watch all those movies where kids are getting recruited and everybody wants you to, coaches are pulling up at your school. It was, it was really like that in high school for me. So yeah, yeah, for sure. And then what was it like at Nebraska? Like on the field and off the field. So on the film man at Nebraska, It was the greatest experience. Um Memorial Stadium of Crn Man, I'm talking about every saturday, like the stadium sold...

...out, everybody's in red, like the the atmosphere is electric. Like. No, I've never experienced any other football experience, like playing in Nebraska, which is like, you know, I played a lot of places. So that's, that's a big statement. Um, football is like a religion and in Nebraska. So all the people, they love you, they, they adore, you know what I'm saying, they recognize you. So it's like, it's almost like you feel like a star in college and had, I made a lot of, a lot of great friendships. Um, it was an amazing time in Nebraska. I don't have anything bad to say about Nebraska off the field. It was kinda, it was kinda tight for me, like, you know how it is when you kind of just so zoned in on ball and it's kind of like what you want to do. And so I was really mostly focused on ball. Uh, what did it get into too much off the field? So I got you. Uh, yeah, then you got, you got drafted in the third round in 2016 by the Patriots. So what, what was that feeling like? Oh man, it was, it was probably the most amazing feeling in my life. I was back home actually with my family and I didn't really know like when I would get dropped the sauce kind of like on edge the whole time first they wouldn't bomb, like, I know I'm like getting dropped the first day. Um, they have projected me like, like a late, a late round pick. So I'm like holding on, I had a great combine and so I was hoping that I like climbed up the draft boards. Um so the end of day two comes, you know, I'm getting real anxious, you know, seeing a couple of my buddies getting drafted, I'm happy for him, and I'm like, you know, when is it my turn? And so um I ended up getting drafted 96, like right at the end of the second night and man, it was, my family went crazy, like we had the whole the whole hood came out of just like exploded and like it was, I felt like it was a divine moment because out...

...of nowhere, like it just started pouring down. I promise that as soon as like I dropped it, like the rain just started pouring down on the sky and I'm like, yo this is insane, like I've never seen anything like this. And so man, that day was amazing, but I'm not even gonna lie when I first got drafted, like, and I heard Bill Belichick called my phone and he's telling me like, are you ready to um to come out here and you know, be a patriot. My heart like dropped, I was so nervous because you know everything I've heard about Bill is like, he's a strict guy, he's this guy that's like, he's gonna be on your ask, like it doesn't matter like, but from not being able to have any experience with him, I'm like I'm sure you know what I'm saying, but once I got out their new England and got to work in and you know, got to figuring out, you know, how everything goes around her. It was, it was a great experience. Yeah, sure, sure. And then your rookie year, uh you ended up winning the Super Bowl, so what what was that like to win the first year? Oh man, the first year it was so that year was a roller coaster. So I got a couple injuries that year um getting my feet with, you know what I'm saying, trying to figure out the ins and outs of the game, you know, getting used to the speed, the strength, everything and so it was it was a learning here but uh I caught on pretty quick, you know, made a few starts, my rookie year, um just stuck with, just stuck with the, with the road map, you know what I'm saying? Just continue to have my head down and chuck forward and um it was great, you know, a lot of great experiences um but just winning that super bowl my first year, that was just on another level, man, I'm super grateful for forever grateful, you know, a lot of guys go 10, 12, 15 years without even touching the Super Bowl, let alone winning it. So um I'm just, I was very grateful for it and you know, I partied my ass off like, vagueness in Houston everywhere. Like,...

Man Miami, it was it was a great, it was a great time. Yeah. Did you? I know you said you had some injuries. Did you get to play in the Super Bowl? Yes. So I played a few snow actually actually got injured the week of my, the week of the Super Bowl and I didn't think I would be able to play, but I ended up getting a few snaps at which I was grateful for, you know what I'm saying? You had it, you had to push through that one. I had to, I'm like, ain't nothing stopping me from getting getting in this game. So no matter how hurt I was. And then I got to ask you, like, what was it like to just play with tom brady, mann thomas. It's like when you walk past time in the locker room and it's like, it's like you're just like your head explodes. Like this is really tom brady. Like I grew up watching this man like tear up the league and I'm really like standing here next to them. So it was great. Like, I think the biggest thing that I learned from tom is um you have to compete every day and it just, it shows me how how his longevity has been, has been, has came to fruition in the league because he he takes every day is game day, he's out there on the practice field competing, he's competing in a he's competing in the training room, he's competing in the meeting rooms, like he's doing everything that he has to do to to give himself the best to give himself the biggest edge for Sundays. And so, um, you know, lining up against him in practice and he just, he's calling it out, he's shit talking to the different players on the defense. And it was like, he really loves this, like he puts his heart into this. And so, um, it was great being on a team with tom you know, I feel like everybody has the same, you know, explanation. He's a a great teammate, he knows your name, he knew my name and I'm like, I don't even know how he knew my name, but um, you know, it was it was great, man. It was great. That's awesome. So I guess you're not surprised of his continued success at his age. Oh, no, not at all. At this...

...point is like, is he ever gonna stop playing? Like, I feel like to play too. However, until however long he wants to Yeah, for sure. And then, um, I know you're on, you're on the Cardinals and um, the Seahawks and then you went back to the Cardinals. So just tell me about like, you know, what was it like after the Patriots and things like that. Yeah, so I was with the Cardinals. Um for about I would say almost about like eight or eight weeks or so. Uh, then I went to the Seahawks, um, I was on the other, I was only there for a quick stint, which was about a week. Um, and then I went back to the Cardinals. Um, I love the Cardinals. Cardinals have a great organization as well, you know, take care of their players. Um, It was it wasn't the greatest season, you know, when I was there, um, we were actually the worst team in the league. And so it was, it was kind of rough, but that next year we ended up this when we ended up getting called drafting collar Murray. But I, I didn't, I wasn't there long enough to, you know, reap the benefits of that. But um, it was, it was a good time with the cardinals for sure. I actually made, you know, a few buddies there as well that I still talk to. Um, and you know, it was, it was just another organization, you know what I'm saying where I can go to and show my talents on. And so, um, I was grateful for that as well as the Seahawks. Yeah, for sure. And I know you're only 27. Are you, are you retired there now? Yeah. So at this point I've had a couple of injuries and uh, really just have to contemplate on, you know, um, transitioning the head until my into the next endeavor of life. And so at this point, yeah, I've shut it down and you know, move forward for sure. I know obviously football, football is our rough, so It's definitely hard to, you know, especially just, I mean, I think, I think there was like a stat and it was like, it was pretty much like 99% of the players get injured. Yes, it was something like crazy. I was like, wow,...

...that's just like that. I mean that sucks, but that's just crazy. Uh what advice would you give to a young athlete? Um for young athletes, I would say to put your heart and if you, if you really love the game and you want to take it as far as the game allows you to, as far as far as you allow yourself to take it, put your heart in it, you know, be passionate about it, take it serious. You know what I'm saying? Um do whatever you can, or whatever sacrifices you can make to be the greatest player that you can be, do it because like, like you just said Injury is injury is 100% in the football, you can't avoid injury. You can't avoid, you know what I'm saying? Whether the next team wants you, you can't avoid, you know, whether you get scholarships or not, like you just have to, you have to roll with it. And so I feel like being genuine with it in your heart and loving the game and really giving yourself to the game. Um, it will take you as far as you want to go and um, I think that's what brought me to the, brought me to the heights that I went to with the game because I never expected anything from the game. I just gave the game my heart and I, and I bawled out and I, you know, enjoyed every moment from the good times and the bad times and I took advantage of the opportunities that I had and you know, I was blessed with what I, what I was able to accomplish and so for any young athlete, I would definitely say put your heart in it, you know what I'm saying? Put your heart in it and also put your focus on it as well. Yeah, I like that. I could just tell you're just like a happy guy. No, yeah, then and then just going into, I know your entrepreneur, so can you tell me like what kind of business is you're, you're into? Yeah. So, um, right now I've actually, um, I've launched my CBD...

Cream, which is my head that I have on, um, it's called formation and what actually pushed me to launch this brown was the injuries that I sustained during the game. Um, I had a, a spine injury, which was like three different occurrences and had a couple of knee injuries and a couple of ankle injuries and, you know, it's the random injuries that we have and so um you know I was constantly dealing with daily pay and I had to, I had to think to myself, I was like what can I do to solve this daily pain, you know what I'm saying I'm experiencing, I can't even get off the bed half the days, like I want to work out, but I can't like most of the time I was just sitting in the house because my body was hurting so bad and so I ended up teaming up with a scientist and he uh we formulated um a CBD cream together which has you know Turpin's and it has tumeric, has uh indian frankincense um mental count for and then a blend that just makes it smell amazing. And it's like um it also has a um and has accelerated um enhanced accelerated um penetration booster that basically allows the hobo oil to penetrate the dermis and epidermis layers and get into your bloodstream like instantly. And so the pain is relieved. Any type of pain from head to toe that you have insomnia anxiety. This cream is perfect for any aching joints, any um any arthritis, like any type of soreness after a workout, it's amazing and it gives you the icy hot feeling but like takes the pain away for about four or five hours and so you know I was very happy we were able to formulate this and I just launched the company and um, in august...

...and so far, you know, we're laying groundwork continue to spread the message and trying to get this into as many hands as possible. And so, um, that's, that's my, my newest endeavor, which has been going great, you mentioned, um, you are retired, so what, what was the transition like going from retired to going into life after football and then entrepreneurship? Yeah, so, um, man, it was, it was tough. I'm not even a lot like mentally, it was tough because you know, all I had done was play ball my whole life. And so when I actually moved away from ball, like I felt I had a huge identity crisis, I felt like a part of my heart was ripped out, I felt like I didn't really know who I was anymore. I felt like, you know, people wouldn't accept me for who I was because I wasn't playing ball anymore. Um, I actually wanted to a deep, deep state of depression and I was super, had a lot of anxiety and so, um, yeah, man, it was just, it was rough as well because you know, as you transfer as you transition away from the game, you kind of, not around the same guys anymore, you kind of on your own again, you know what I'm saying, It's kind of like being thrown into the wilderness and so, um, I really had to almost tap into a newer version of myself, um, I had to really go inside figure out, you know what I want to be, who, who do I believe that I have because it doesn't matter, you know what anybody else believe believes about me, it matters what I believe and so understanding who I am understanding that everything that I went through, you know, it wasn't, it wasn't against me, it was all for me at the end of the day and it always will be and so you know, just really focusing on trying to focus on the goodness that was still there after after the fact, you know what I'm saying, I had went through a lot of injuries, went through a lot of like distress and just a lot of confusion, you know, not knowing what's going to...

...happen and um once I had had to allow myself to let that go and know that, you know, everything is working for, for my great is good and the only way that things will change is if I put positive energy towards it, um that's what really shifted, you know, my mind to be able to, to understand that um the time is now the time is now to make the change, the time is now to, To be better to, to heal and so it actually took me a couple years to get to this point, like I stopped playing in 2019 and it took me until the beginning of the issues to honestly except like, well I was rehab and trying to get back or whatever, but then I finally came to the acceptance that, you know, it's time for me to transition and it's time for me to, you know, figure out this new part of my life and you know, once I did that and let go, this is when the healing started, and I still feel like I'm in a trance, in a place of healing from Um everything that I've been through a football, you know, I played football for over 10 years and so, you know, it's going to take time for me to hell, you know, I feel still feel like my body sometimes feels like I'm still in camp, you know, I can feel myself getting up when august comes around and I'm like, I can feel my body just get tips, you know what I'm saying? So it's kind of like, it's muscle memory at the same time, so also have to get over that and just, you know, I'm a big fan of ball and so I watch ball every saturday, every sunday and sometimes I get those fellows that comes up, I'm like, man, I wish I was still bothered man, I want a ball, but I think that's all part of the, you know, the healing process and um the transitioning process and so, um yeah, man, I feel like I definitely want to say that every, every man that's playing ball, you know, we all go through ship...

...mentally um emotionally and we have to take care of it, we have to speak up when it's time to speak up because if not we'll just let it go along and then it will just only be detrimental to us at the end of the at the end of the day. And so very I wouldn't consider myself as a mental health advocate, but I am an advocate of mental health and so you know, I pushed that for every man that's listening to you know, make sure your spiritual emotional self is regulated, make sure your mental self is regulated because it no matter what the game will end and we have to be ready for that. Yeah, not for sure. I definitely understand like I went to a lower D one school like uh FCS um school and uh like I live with all the football players and I saw like from probably like, I don't know if they knew that I knew like I kind of knew they were going through that like after, you know, because you know like mostly everyone wasn't going to the NFL you know, some kids had try outs and things like that but like I kind of saw it from like a I guess from a third person view I guess you'd say. And so I got new like because the same thing like they played it since they were little and then you know, they knew they weren't going to the NFL or anything, so they had to figure out like, and they knew they were again, jobs, but you know, it's like, I don't know, I guess it's a, it's a little different because they kind of knew maybe and you didn't necessarily know that maybe. Well, I, I know you said your rookie year, you kind of knew like at first injury and then you're just like, oh, I got to figure out like, what life is after football and things like that. Yeah, I don't think that I necessarily knew. So it was, it was crazy like, I didn't know that the end was, was here for football, but I did kind of like become cautious and feel like, you know, I need to start preparing for it either way. But even, you know, even in college, like, I actually came out of...

...college a little bit earlier and like, I was just, like, I was saying earlier, I didn't know that I was gonna get drafted. So I was basically taking a leap of faith and I mean, I knew either way, you know what was gonna happen, like I was still going to give it my arm, but I didn't know what was gonna happen, but um, I have boys, you know that didn't make it to the NFL and kind of, they were in the same boat as I am even earlier and so no matter if you're in the NFL college high school, you know, we're all still going to go through this transition stage, you know, so it's very critical, what about, so I know you're passionate about football, have you ever thought about, like, coaching? Yeah, so I think the biggest thing for me is um that's why I want to do my youth academy, because I don't like, it's coaching inn in itself, like, I don't think I want to be like a coach at the high school or anything like, or college or NFL, but I do a little scouting, I love finding talent and I do love, you know, giving back and so I'm like, the youth academy will be perfect for that. Yeah, no, it's dope. And how do you, like in general, like, how did, how did you get into entrepreneurship, like, even when I asked you about retirement, seemed like you kind of already had like a plant, like, did you have a plan, like already, while you were playing football? Actually I did. And so I think the thing that made me start thinking about, you know, the days after football, life after football was my injury that I sustained, it was actually my rookie year and it kind of put life into perspective because it was the first injury that I had that, that I felt like, um that could be detrimental, you know? And so I'm like, no, I need, I need to figure out, you know what I want to do after football. Um I had always been been um been big into cannabis, just how how is healing properties, you know, really just helped us as athletes recover and be able to focus a little bit better and you know, be able to, to relieve the pain that we have and so that's kind of how that came along. It also me...

...learning about real estate um all of those things came into fruition from actual my actual injury. Yeah, I mean well it's not awesome but it's awesome, it's like a blessing in disguise 100%. Uh and then yeah, I was gonna go into real estate like how'd you get into real estate and like kind of like, like school me on some real estate right now. So I got into real estate um Actually I wanted, I went to a real estate symposium and um my second year in the NFL and our network with a couple of guys connected with them um but I never really did took any like movement on it. I just really wanted to learn the game and that's another thing for, you know, former players or current players and for any professional sports, I say that you know, you must take advantage of the time that you have, are you in the league because I feel like for me I didn't take full advantage. I did learn a little bit more about, you know, things often feel real estate and the cannabis industry, things like that, but I didn't necessarily take those steps and apply them while I was in the game, while I had that, those big checks coming in and you know what I'm saying? So, um, I would suggest, you know, players or athletes that are uh, professionally playing right now to definitely take advantage of that. But I ended up getting into real estate after after ball. Um, I bought a house, put it on Airbnb actually, and I think that's one of the game that I would give you is, um, everybody, if you, if you want to get on, get into the real estate industry, I will suggest get into Airbnb. Um, especially if you're a very hospitable person, you're able to take care of people and you like that type of thing. Um, it's very lucrative, um, very enjoy it, enjoy. It's a very, like,...

...it's a very fun endeavor because you get to meet new people, you get to, you know what I'm saying, you get to check out different homes and it's just an amazing time. You know, I'm saying society, you can travel around the country looking for different places if you don't want to be, you know, stuck in your home state. And so I got into Air baby and I actually have a couple more projects in, um, in progress that I'm working at breaking on towards, um, back in my hometown And so it's still my real estate. Um Adventures are still in the beginning stages. But I'm excited for where they for where they will go. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm assuming like Airbnb, you kinda, you kinda make more money than renting it out to one person. Oh yeah, way more so that I was once a half mile. So I was like, I feel like it's kind of less stressed too because you're not worried about that one person that's continuously living in there and then you get to go back in there, make sure everything's straight and then Exactly, that was the biggest thing people were saying like um people were saying, I don't know if I want to do every Airbnb because there's so many people coming in and out of the house or whatever, but at the same time, most people know that they aren't going to be there for a long time, so they're gonna take care of your home a little bit better than a renter who would, who would just get comfortable in your home, you know what I'm saying? So hey, yeah, I say that one time I was like, yo I'm clean, I'm not getting charged nothing. You got to make sure you're all point because they have charged. Yeah. And then I know you have V two sports academy. So tell me, tell me about that too. Yeah. So be too, man, B2 is a is a year long program, you know, they're focused on socio socio economically disadvantaged and underserved communities and youth and you know, we provide a challenging and competitive environment for you to push themselves and experience. Um we have five pillars...

...in our in our academy which our commitment to academic excellence, um a commitment to athletic excellence, a commitment to personal development, career development, and community service. And so we want to hit on all five of those pillars with every um every kid that we bring it to our program. Um we serve we serve the youth from the age range 8-18, but the biggest focus obviously um are the high schoolers because we want to be able to, you know, get them college exposure, get there, get there academics in order and just continue to develop them like career wise. You know, whether it's whether they whether they go on to play college ball, professional ball or they just go to college for academics. We want to make sure that all of our um all of our youth are successful and able to, you know, able to create um a different perspective on their own lives. And so our vision is to become a like a nationwide program and to be able to implement our system into schools, across schools and communities across the nation. And we have a few partners Which is a team 1st Academy with andre Collins and uh perfect your craft with craig James, which he's an NFL athlete and the elite speed, which is my boy camera James. Um So we all partner together um to bring, to bring about the 55 pillars. Um So it's it's just been amazing man. We've had a few, we also do camps as well as well as the academy. We've had a few camps um right now we're in the process of raising more money so we can sponsor more kids and if we can, if we can bring more sponsorships to the kids and um and be able to be able to get back to the communities, we will be way...

...more impactful. But right now we're just, you know, we're searching for, you know, funding and we're really just trying to spread the word for what we have because we have a great program and and I'm excited for it to expand. Yeah, no, that's dope. I mean you're doing a lot of awesome things uh from business to charity work, everything. Um Are you ready for some fun questions? Yeah, let's go, what's your favorite song right now? Right now? I would say I was, because I'm a big music guy, like I listen to so many different types of music. I know people, people who may follow me on social media, they see me posting all kinds of stuff from a alternative to hip hop, to rock too to anything, but I would say right now, I really like that. The young thug dropping jewels, I don't know if you heard that one but it's off his new album is it's it's a real smooth track, I like that, I'm going to have to check that out. Yeah check it out. What do you like to do in your free time? Um For the most part I'm a big hiker so if you check out my instagram as well like I got a lot of pictures out out in nature so I like to get out and hike and you know get into the nature, clear my mind, meditate a little bit, you know who's a little bit so it's good I really love hiking and we got a lot of trails out here in Az so how But I got how are you hiding in Jordan's? I got my Nike boots man I had I came rocking the jordans off. Yeah well 11, I don't know one you might ruin them into. Why they don't they? I don't know if there's a steady like stable enough for hiking. Oh no it's actually some of them are but I'm not messing up. No $200 Jordans. I okay I can't do it. All right, last one, what's harder being a football player, being an entrepreneur...

...mm I will say I would say they're different but because with the entrepreneur obviously is more mental than anything but where football is is all is mental and physical so mhm I may have been a little bit more gifted on the physical side so it made it a little bit easier for football but I was I don't know if anything's harder than football honestly like football, football is a different type of sport, like mentally you gotta be a little bit crazy and then physically you got to be you know strong and stock and so um and then also mentally you gotta know what you're doing. So I'm gonna say football just you know what I'm saying just to hold it down for the football. All right, well I appreciate you coming on Vincent, could you let the listeners or we can follow you on social media? Oh yeah definitely. Um instagram my tag is um at VR VJ 99 on twitter is at the real VR VJ. Um my CBD brand is um shop formation but instead of the a replace the A with a V. On facebook were formation as well, formation with the v saturday in the middle. Okay.

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