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Country's Super Bowl Shuffle: Top 10 Music-Football Collisions
Carrie Underwood nearly brought the house down at Sun Life Stadium in Miami when she took the microphone to sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at Super Bowl XLIV. As her powerful voice soared above the stadium, TV cameras showed players, coaches and fans alike visibly moved by Carrie's rendition. Faith Hill, Garth Brooks and the Dixie Chicks have also taken their turn with the national anthem at the nation's most-watched sporting event.
From Field to Stage
Several country artists played football as kids, and a few even envisioned careers in the pros. Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney and Keith Anderson all had hopes of a career on the gridiron in junior high and high school. Back in the '80s, Toby Keith actually played semi-pro in the USFL league. And Willie Nelson came close to a professional career, but he blew one important tryout because he was up all night playing music.
Darryl Worley has never forgotten the vital service of American military men and women. That's part of the reason he has played free concerts and sung at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game every year since 2002. The Bowl brings together 90 of the country's top high school football players in a showdown between East and West. Darryl has a great time playing for the appreciative crowd at San Antonio's Alamodome.
A former offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints, Kyle Turley left football a few years ago and turned to his new love, country music. A self-avowed singer-songwriter, Kyle released his debut album, 'Anger Management,' in 2010, on the aptly-titled indie record label he founded, Gridiron Records.
Living in Nashville sparked a lot of creativity in former Tennessee Titans quarterback Kerry Collins. He opened his own music publishing company, Blue Q Music, and has written with some of Music City's most celebrated tunesmiths, including Ed Hill and Jamey Johnson. "I'm a huge country music fan, so it's a great opportunity to jump into something I love," Kerry tells The Boot. "Hopefully it'll be something I'll do for a while."
Terry Bradshaw is mainly known as a football analyst for FOX NFL Sunday and also a Pro Football Hall of Famer, but does it surprise you to know that he also had a Top 20 hit on the country charts? The former Steelers quarterback recorded six country and gospel albums in the '70s. His cover of Hank Williams' 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry' landed in the Top 20 in 1976, and his 'The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me' and 'Until You' were also country radio hits.
Silver Screen MVP
Tim McGraw has found a way to combine his loves of football and acting, by taking on roles in films where football is a central theme. His first major role was in 2004's 'Friday Night Lights,' a story about a small-town high school team. In 2009, he co-starred with Sandra Bullock in 'The Blind Side,' the real-life story of Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher. Tim also had part ownership in Nashville's former arena football team, the Nashville Kats.
Double Hall of Famer
Kyle Turley and Kerry Collins are likely hoping their stories will end somewhat like Mike Reid's. Mike wore No. 74 for the Cincinnati Bengals in the early '70s and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. When he turned his talents to music in the early '80s, he wrote over a dozen chart-toppers, including Bonnie Raitt's 'I Can't Make You Love Me.' He also recorded his own hits and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2005.
Are You Ready for Some Football?
When football fans sit down to watch their favorite weekly games, they psych up with some turbo-charged country music. Faith Hill has been singing 'Waiting All Day for Sunday Night' for the past five years, while Hank Williams, Jr. spent 22 straight years asking the nation on Monday nights, "Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?", followed by a pigskin version of his classic 'All My Rowdy Friends.' (That is, until he and ESPN threw penalty flags at one another last year.)
No country artist has intertwined their common love for music and football in the way that Kenny Chesney has. A former high school player, Kenny has practiced with the New Orleans Saints as a one-day free agent. Colts QB Peyton Manning shows up every once in a while to sing with the country star at his concerts. Kenny turned his No. 1 single, 'The Boys of Fall,' into a football documentary, and he has produced another football film for ESPN.