The NFL star tells PEOPLE he's being "exposed to" new music, jokes and "lingo" from his younger Vikings teammates this season
Kirk Cousins is having fun bonding with his younger teammates this season, both on and off the field.
The Minnesota Vikings quarterback, 35, helped lead his team to a 22-17 victory on Monday night over the San Francisco 49ers alongside his 21-year-old teammate, Jordan Addison.
Speaking to PEOPLE on behalf of his Kidde Cause for Alarm campaign, Cousins says the differences in ages and backgrounds among players on the Vikings roster have helped the team bond this season.
"When it comes to our locker room, what's so great is just the variety represented," says Cousins, who starred in Netflix's Quarterback docuseries this year alongside Patrick Mahomes and Marcus Mariota.
He explains, "Because I'm 35, I'm one of the older guys in the locker room, and then you've got guys as young as 21, and so you have this age gap. You have guys coming from all corners of the country. You guys have guys coming from cities, guys coming from rural areas, so just the differences in life experiences all coming together in one place is so much fun."
The four-time Pro Bowler says he enjoys learning about new music and trends from his younger NFL teammates. "We're all getting exposed to different music we wouldn't otherwise listen to and different jokes and even turns of phrase and lingo that I pick up on," Cousins says.
"And so I think the locker room kind of keeps me young, and as I raise my boys, it'll be fun too because I feel like I won't be the old dad. I'll be like the hip, cool dad in the locker room all the time," he continues.
As the father of two young boys, he and wife Julie Hampton Cousins share Turner, 4, and Cooper, 5½, Cousins is proud to partner with Kidde to encourage families across the country to implement a home fire safety plan with the help of the brand’s new Cause for Alarm jingle.
"I'm the father of two young boys and I'm a homeowner and I learned that roughly 70% of homes in America do not have their fire safety detection equipment up to speed. And so I don't want to be guilty of that, but I can understand how it happens," Cousins says, adding that fire safety "just isn't on the forefront of people's minds."
The NFL star says that's precisely why he's partnered with the company to "get the word out" and "make people aware of the need for the equipment" and how to construct their own fire safety plans.
Amid his partnership with the brand. Cousins' family had their own moment of realization when the fire alarm in their home went off recently. "We had the fire alarm go off the other day unintentionally, and my older son, who's six years old started crying because he can tell something's wrong, but he doesn't know what," the quarterback shares.
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Cousins says the ordeal "was a great reminder to us" that preparedness is crucial. "The education is a very important part of this whole campaign," he adds.
Turner and Cooper, meanwhile, have become familiar faces around the Vikings locker room this season, the quarterback says.
"When they can come around for practice, especially at training camp, everybody says hello to them. They're big fans of Justin Jefferson just like everybody else," Cousins says. "So, it's fun to have 'em around, and I think that's kind of what it's all about."
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Read the original article on People.