Every NFL player has their own story about the NFL Draft. But, if Charlie Woerner’s draft night was any indication of what was to come, it was that his trip was going to be one-of-a-kind with lots of ups and a few bumps along the way.
Woerner’s draft party was Georgia with a “T,” pun. His family and those of his fiancée at the time huddled at the Woerners’ house with sweet Bojangles tea, chicken and cookies. At the same time, the University of Georgia product patiently waited to find out where, if any, it was headed.
Unlike what you see on TV shows from the NFL Draft, it wasn’t one call that changed Charlie’s life, but rather two missed calls from a California number. The standout tight end had just smashed her phone and was using an eBay replacement.
It was day three of the draft, and the picks kept pouring in. He believed he was not drafted until Sydney, his current wife, received two missed calls on his phone. Charlie called back but was unlucky with inconsistent service at his home. Fortunately, Sydney’s phone worked just enough to reach the 49ers who broke the news to him: they were picking him up in the sixth round.
This is the fun thing. But now the Woerners were focused on moving their lives from the Southeast to Santa Clara and launching Charlie’s career in the NFL – in the midst of a global pandemic.
While prospects for the 2020 NFL season were unclear at the time, Charlie and Sydney were excited about the new journey ahead. Sydney, a former college athlete herself, took care of much of the logistics to get them to the West Coast.
“I was still finishing my degree,” said Sydney Woerner. “I just didn’t know what to expect, where to live. We couldn’t check an apartment and then come back. So there were little bits and pieces that I was like, I really wish there was something in there that would help me figure it all out.
Sydney had a lot of questions about the life of a partner of a now professional athlete and wasn’t sure where to turn. She found herself going to see the wives and girlfriends of other 49ers, and even women of other franchises. She was receiving a lot of good information and knew she had to consolidate it so that other women entering the league could refer to it as well.
“This is how Behind the Helmet was formed. I needed to do something to help other women because I know other people were feeling it too, ”Sydney said.
“Behind the Helmet” is Sydney’s new podcast that she officially launched at the end of September this year. In the first four episodes, Sydney and Charlie went through the transition from college to the NFL, their history of draft night, what goes on on a week off and dealing with a new marriage and football at the during their rookie season.
“There are spaces where they talk to guys and have their take on their everyday life. I think it’s important because a lot of what they’re doing is misinterpreted or not fully understood, ”Sydney said. “That’s why I wanted to have Charlie for the first two episodes to take him through things that I guess most people don’t see.”
From there, Sydney has now delved into conversation with women in the league including Tom Compton’s wife Tiffany (a former emergency nurse, now mom), training team partner Tanner Hudson. , Karley Weatherly (who did a masters degree on the road), Giants ‘Evan Engram’s sister, Mackenzie, and Packers Oren Burks’ wife, Jocelyn, who runs a luxury brand and web design company .
“I don’t just want to get the names of the headliners. I want every part of an organization to be represented, whether it’s a practice team, a rookie, maybe retired in the league. There are so many stories to hear, ”said Sydney. “The worst-case scenario now is that I find women to interview, and I learn from them. Even if no one else is listening, at least I have a mentor in this space.
While the podcast is young, Sydney has received strong feedback from family, friends and other women in the league.
“My family will be very honest. Like, ‘You need to explain this better. Or maybe try saying something along those lines to help people figure this out, ”Sydney said. “They offer very good constructive reviews which I appreciate. What I’m trying to get through from just having family and friends to finding new listeners and gaining their perspective. So hopefully the more podcasts I can post, the more people will listen. ”
The podcast became one of her goals while navigating the partner life of a professional athlete, and she said she was determined to make it a long-term success. To do this, it plans to diversify.
“There are so many times that I’m lying in bed at night and my brain is popping up about so many ideas,” Sydney said. “I would like this to develop beyond football.”
Even though it’s called “Behind the Helmet,” Sydney hopes to include sports that, of course, don’t wear a helmet.
“I understand the world of football the best, but I would love to see hockey, baseball, basketball, soccer, even if they don’t wear a helmet,” said Sydney. “It would just be fun.”
As the podcast focuses on life, careers, and relationships, Sydney’s main focus is on providing a glimpse of reality, a behind-the-curtain peak of life in the NFL when the stadium lights are out and let everyone go home, and all is fair game.
To listen, search for “Behind the Headphones” on the podcasting platform of your choice, or find the podcast on Instagram @ behind.the.helmet.