Swag Talker

Good Morning Football host NATE BURLESON brings his NFL style to morning TV.


THE NFL NETWORK made the right choice last year, selecting former wide receiver Nate Burleson to co-host its morning show, Good Morning Football. While playing with future Hall of Famers Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson during his 11 seasons, he averaged more than 40 catches. But his charisma—as a TD celebrator and postgame orator—was tailor-made for TV. Now, Burleson, gives viewers a daily dose of football knowledge, as well as a weekly celebration of the league’s fanciest catches in his segment called “Toe Drag Swag.”

Is there a better talker in the NFL today than you were? I wouldn’t tell you I was the best receiver. I couldn’t be Randy or Calvin. But I don’t know if I can tell you that there’s anybody better than me who can talk in the league right now. You’d have to prove it to me. I’m really good at talking.

So what is this “Toe Drag Swag” you highlight on GMFB? It’s the extra stuff. What are you doing after you catch the ball? How do you celebrate without looking like an ass or embarrassing the team but still give the fans something they can appreciate?

Did your first toe-drag experience go as you’d envisioned? It was my first touchdown! I was with Minnesota, and we were playing the 49ers. Gus Frerotte threw me a ball over the middle. [As I’m scoring], in my head I was thinking to myself, “All these celebrations I worked on…” and I couldn’t remember any of them. I went blank and just did a little two-step.

You’re a Seattle native, just like the reigning Mr. Olympia. Phil Heath’s my guy. We went to the same school. We’d wrestle when we were around 9 or 10. We all loved WWF, so we’d be rippin’ our shirts, tearin’ up our clothes, breathin’ all heavy. I used to hold my own with Phil, but he’d still get the best of me.

You guys still keep in touch? We text all the time. I was doing a photo shoot, so I hit up Phil: “Bro, I gotta get shredded.” I’m all skin and bones. “Hook me up.” So he sent me this regimen, and I tried it. I didn’t get big, but it had me shredded.

How do you train these days? I love CrossFit. It’s a routine you can’t get used to, so you’re always gonna be hurtin’. And pain is the appetizer to the entrée of success.

You must dominate the box. This woman was doing a helluva lot of weight. My friend Darnell was like, “You gonna let this girl outlift you?” I’m thinking, “I can add more weight,” but my body was saying, “No more, Nate.” So I just gracefully bowed out and I said to her, “You got it today.”

So you got whupped? One hundred percent. And proud to say it.

FAST FACT Burleson’s clothing line, LionBlood (lionblood.com) was named as a tribute to his playing days in Detroit.