Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Shout Out: Nathan 'The Nerf' Roberts

This shout out is commemorating a quarter century of the ‘Nerf’, my younger brother just 16 months my junior. For Nathan and I, as long as we can remember there has been us. There wasn’t a whole lot of individualism in the beginning; we were ‘the older boys’ in a family of eight; we had the same friends, did the same chores, played on the same playgrounds, shared the same bedroom, same bedtime, same toys, same clothes, same parents…you get the idea.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Nathan and I were not overly fond of each other for a period of five years or so. From 1991 until 1996 we fought about everything it seemed: I supported blue as the best color, he chose red; he called me ‘Lonigan Geekazoid – Scientific Name’, I threatened him with physical harm. Three holes – one door, two walls – in our house and a broken screen door were the unfortunate casualties of our sibling war. It wasn’t pretty.
But then a little thing called football began to mend fences. I was 52, Nathan 51. The mending process began in the fourth quarter of the first varsity game of the '95 season against the Tongue River Eagles. Game well in hand, the scrubs entered the scene. On defense we both broke through the line and sacked the quarterback together – #52 and #51 in on the first of over 330 tackles (between us) before stepping off the field for the last time following a state championship on November 8, 1997. The healing balm of football forced us to compete against something beside each other, together. Together we were part of three seasons, totaling a 29-1 record and two state championships; and that state basketball championship.
We roomed together at college for 12 straight months, we created shizzle mayhem together (acknowledgement here to Zach and Arch), helped create the documentary “Ghetto Life 2: Return to the Ghetto”; we created revived the BYU-Idaho College Republicans together (it was his brainchild and I carried it on).
So happy birthday to the Nerfherder. A guy couldn’t ask for a better linebacker, example, friend or brother. Love ya little brother.