Tis the season to tackle tailgate parties and eat finger food, because the 2015 NFL Football Season has arrived.
While games are underway, fans across America will be busy moving around their fantasy football lineups’ and swapping out their favorite baseball Tee for that beloved football jersey.
For gridiron goers who also love country music, it may be a surprise to learn that the link shared between certain celebrities and pigskin lies in past childhood memories. Sure, there are country artists who’ve previously put up mpressive numbers playing sports like basketball and baseball, but it could be that the combination of a musical pioneer, a top-selling country newcomer, and a few fellow class of ’89ers all rolled into one makes for its own great team.
Here’s a dozen country stars who tried their luck playing on the field before playing on the stage.
The Tennessee native played wide receiver on his Gibbs High School football team all four years. Recognizing that much of the time spent on the field shaped his life in later years, the “American Kids” singer paid tribute to his youth by putting together a documentary named after his song, “The Boys of Fall” in 2010. The film, which debuted on ESPN, showcased the life of other players on the football field.
With Trace Adkins height and muscular build, it’s difficult to not think that he would be suitable for just about any football team. The “You’re Gonna Miss This” singer, who stands 6’6’’, played football while studying music at Louisiana Tech. Needless to say, at least one of his talents paid off.
Cole Swindell first made waves with his hit-single, “Chillin’ It”, but what some of his fans might not know is that he was a multi-tasker when it came to High School sports. A native of Georgia, the Peach State singer played football, golf, track, baseball and basketball. Eventually, the Atlanta Braves fan traded out all of his athletic gifts and stuck with baseball.
When it comes to football, Toby Keith is a double threat. The “Made in America” singer once balanced both his musical and football career while playing defensive end for a (now obsolete) United States Football League. The former Oklahoma City Driller played semi-pro for two years before focusing on his music full-time.
With a giant catalog of hits, it’s almost impossible to think that Garth Brooks would have ever had time to play football. It could be that by the time his singing career started to take off he dropped everything else. In his early years, the “Friends in Low Places”, singer’s dominant role was to play sports. With his feet in football and track, he was offered a scholarship for his athletic abilities and earned his college degree before becoming a superstar.
Darius Rucker may not have gone pro, but he did score a touchdown for the South Carolina Gamecocks earlier this year. It was all part of the Carolina team coach’s tradition to involve a fan to be a member of the team for one play. Luckily for the “Homegrown Honey,” singer who had plenty of youth football experience, he made catching the pass look easy. As a student in elementary school, Rucker kept up with the Miami Dolphins and sported Dan Marino’s number 13 on the field. He played Quarterback up until he decided to choose a different path prior to entering High School.
For Sam Hunt, it seems like music or football could have been his chosen career path with simply just a flip of a coin. Nominated for a Heisman trophy in High School, it didn’t take long for him to earn a spot playing starting quarterback in college. The lengthy singer with a lean figure played football for both Middle Tennessee State University and The University of Alabama before he decided to test out his guitar skills, which ultimately led to a major career shift.
There’s not a whole lot that Chase Rice can’t do. The 28-year-old singer has pretty much lived a full life. With his reality show debut on Survivor, co-written “Cruise” chart-topper and stint as a former member of NASCAR’S pit crew, it’s hard to believe that he also played linebacker for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s football team. Unfortunately, his passion to play for the NFL was cutoff due to an unexpected injury, but that hurdle sparked a new passion.
For Lee Brice, football and country music go hand in hand. The singer who once played football, but had to quit due to an arm injury, took his discipline off the field and used it as a tool for his musicianship. Brice’s love of football can be heard through his cheer song “Orange Empire”. Since his departure from football, the former Clemson University lineman has put out hits like “I Don’t Dance”, “Hard to Love”, “Drinking Class”, and “I Drive Your Truck”.
Although his father was a baseball enthusiast who happened to play for teams like the Phillies and the Miracle Mets, Tim McGraw didn’t get his interests from his father; he did however earn his dad’s athletic gene’s. McGraw played a combination of sports, including football, baseball and basketball in high school. Perhaps it was his roles in movies like “Friday Night Lights”, in which he plays a fatherly figure to a Texas running back,, or “The Blind Side” for his character as Sean Tuohy that links him to the sport.