Kenny Chesney will rock New Meadowlands on Saturday, but the country music sensation was a happy onlooker at this morning’s Jets walkthrough.
“Spending time with Rex Ryan today was like spending time with a brother you never met. It was like the first time I met Sammy Hagar,” Chesney told newyorkjets.com. “I felt like I’d known Sammy all my life, like my buddies out here on the road with me. I felt the same way about Rex and the same way about Brian [Schottenheimer].
The Jets offensive coordinator set up the visit. After the morning on-field instructional lesson with the players, Schotty took Chesney on a tour of the facilities.
“We met not long ago through Coach Sean Payton of the Saints and became instant friends,” Chesney said. “He invited me to come up here and check it out, and we’re playing the Meadowlands tomorrow night, so everyone is coming to the show.”
Not only a talented musician, Chesney has co-directed and produced two critically acclaimed football documentaries: “The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story” and “Boys of Fall”. Holloway, a star quarterback at the University of Tennessee from 1971-74, was the Southeastern Conference’s first black quarterback and one of Chesney’s heroes while growing up in eastern Tennessee. “The Boys of Fall” was a hit single and also grew into a 60-minute documentary on high school football.
“The ‘Boys of Fall’ experience was one of the best experiences of my life because I was able to sit down in the living rooms of my heroes, and who gets to do that?” he said. “To be at Joe Namath’s house, to be at Bobby Bowden’s house, to be at John Madden’s house and to be at Brett Favre’s house — all these people I look up to so much — and to hear them talk about their lives …
“We talked a lot about football, obviously, but we talked more just about their life and what football meant to them and their family and about how the game of football and the game of life intertwine with each other so much. That’s what the whole film was about.”
A humble star, Chesney felt like a little kid when he sat down with the Jets’ Super Bowl III MVP.
“I was at Joe Namath’s house down in Florida and I walked in and I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was texting with my dad and saying, ‘You’ll never believe where I am. How did I get here?’ ‘Boys of Fall’ was one of the biggest highlights not of my career but my life, really.”
Not one to take anything for granted, Chesney thoroughly enjoyed his time today at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.
“We do what we do every day. We’re out on the road playing music in all these different great places, but for me and all my buddies who are here with me, to be able to come to Jets camp is a lot of fun for us,” he said. “It’s something we don’t get to do every day, and the people I look up to a lot are the people who played this sport and guys like Rex and people who give a lot to the game. I’m very excited to be here.”
Tags: Bobby Bowden, Condredge Holloway, Joe Namath, Kenny Chesney, Rex Ryan
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