Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith and more picked tour buses over touchdowns for good reason Instagram/@kennychesney

Super Bowl Sunday is rapidly approaching, and even if you don’t have a team in the iconic game, you’ll likely tune in for the commercials or maybe attend a party for the family fun and yummy snacks. But we wonder if you’d change your tune if you could rewind time and see some of your favorite country stars tossing the pigskin.

Yes, there’s a strong correlation between football and country music, and Rare Country’s 5 is looking at five of the fellas that spent a little time on the gridiron, including Kenny Chesney.

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Kenny isn’t a large man by anyone’s measure, but he is certainly built like an athlete, and being small and quick would serve him well as a receiver. Coincidentally, that’s the position he played in high school when he donned the Columbia blue jersey for Gibbs High School’s Eagles. Unfortunately, Kenny’s career as a football player was left in East Tennessee, except for a memorable round of practice with the New Orleans Saints back in 2007.

Although playing may not have been in the cards for the Luttrell, Tennessee, native, he didn’t leave the sport behind. Not only has he been a loyal fan of both college and professional teams, Kenny also produced the ESPN documentary “The Boys of Fall,” which honors the sport that shaped his life. And he poses with the corresponding team’s football helmet from the top row every time he plays a stadium, and even hit up last year’s Super Bowl with his dad.

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Super bowl with dad. #SB51

A post shared by Kenny Chesney (@kennychesney) on

Another country star who would have been more of an imposing figure on the 50-yard line is Toby Keith. Wearing red and blue as a defensive end for the Moore High School Lions, Toby’s football career actually did extend beyond his high school years, but not in college. The Oklahoma native went to work right after high school and when his gig in the oil fields ran dry, he went back to football. In fact, he played the same position he played in high school, only for the semi-pro team the Oklahoma City Drillers.

Fortunately for us, Toby was continuing to hone his singing and songwriting during that time, eventually picking the guitar over the gridiron. Whew!

There are actually quite a few more country stars, including Sam Hunt, Trace Adkins and Lee Brice, who could have made their way into stadiums if they hadn’t been derailed by injuries or distracted by the call of music. Football may have missed out on some talented athletes, but their loss is country music’s gain and we aren’t one bit mad about it.

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So, who are you picking to win this year’s Super Bowl: Patriots or Eagles? And what are you looking forward to nibbling on at your Super Bowl party: wings or weenies? Let us know your favorite football feast in the comments.

Take a peek at the new Rare Country’s 5 video to learn more about these former football stars and be sure to check back in later in the week when we have more of the news and fun from in and around country music in Rare Country’s 5.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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