Friday, August 17, 2007
– Kenny Chesney's pro football career lasted one practice, and now it looks like the country superstar will have to return to his regular job.
Signed to the New Orleans Saints as a free agent, the 5-6 former high school football player hit Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati for a preseason game walkthrough with the Saints - running the drills and practicing plays.
"It was a great day," said Chesney, who'd hosted several members of the team at his capacity show the night before at Riverbend Amphitheatre. "I worked my tail off...but when you get out there with those guys, they have so much heart, man...It's no wonder they were able to really become a force for the city of New Orleans after Katrina - and for the country."
Chesney, who was introduced as number seven at a morning press conference, went through all the drills - including catching several passes from All-Pro Quarterback Drew Brees before the mid-day break. "He was a lot faster than I thought he was gonna be," Brees said.
Saints Coach Sean Payton asked Chesney to field a punt, issuing a challenge: Chesney catches the punt, no practice on Monday, but should the former Gibbs High Eagle fumble, it would be a double practice instead.
Chesney asked star back Reggie Bush for advice - "Yeah, don't drop the ball."
With everyone in position, the punt was off.
There's no practice Monday.
Bush shouted, "Man I love country music!"
But it appears that this was a one-day effort for Chesney. A press release said, "they were having difficulty coming to financial terms, and it appeared that negotiations were breaking down, so Chesney would not make the roster."
Chesney will be back in a football stadium Saturday night, but he won't be playing football. He'll be giving a concert at Detroit's Ford Field. The Detroit Lions' home marks the sixth and final NFL Stadium on Chesney's tour, which also included the Boston area, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Seattle.