TODAY'S PAPER
65° Good Afternoon
65° Good Afternoon
EntertainmentMusic

Famous country music, sports connections

Oftentimes musicians and athletes have made their way down the altar together, but did you know that one of country music's finest also traded paint with NASCAR legends at Talladega and Daytona? Or that one offensive lineman found his way to both the NFL Pro Bowl and the top of the charts as a Nashville songwriter? Or that a Major League Baseball umpire has managed to mix country and western with balls and strikes? Who knew?

Blake Shelton

Photo Credit: AP

"Hmm, that guy visiting Blake Shelton in prison sure looks familiar." If you said that while watching Shelton's "Ol' Red" video, you had good reason. Turns out it was...

Elliott Sadler

NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler portrayed Shelton's partner-in-crime, using
Photo Credit: AP

NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler portrayed Shelton's partner-in-crime, using a female canine to confuse famous prison tracking dog Ol' Red and allowing Shelton's character to escape a lifetime incarceration. The video followed the single "Ol' Red," part of Shelton's self-titled debut album in 2001.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood is part of a famous coupling
Photo Credit: AP

Carrie Underwood is part of a famous coupling with Brad Paisley as the longtime co-hosts of the CMA Awards. But when the show is over Underwood goes home to...

Mike Fisher

Mike Fisher is a forward for the NHL's
Photo Credit: AP

Mike Fisher is a forward for the NHL's Nashville Predators. Fisher and Underwood married in 2010, and in 2015 welcomed the first child, a son named Isaiah Michael Fisher.

Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt's country heartthrob status was solidified thanks
Photo Credit: AP / Jordan Strauss

Sam Hunt's country heartthrob status was solidified thanks to a sultry duet with Carrie Underwood at the 2016 Grammy Awards. But before he was stealing hearts he was...

...trying to avoid sacks as a quarterback for
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Zarrilli

...trying to avoid sacks as a quarterback for the University of Alabama-Birmingham. His play was good enough to earn a training camp invite from the Kansas City Chiefs, which he declined to focus on his music.

Garth Brooks

Country music legend Garth Brooks proved he still
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Gustavo Caballero

Country music legend Garth Brooks proved he still has it by coming out of retirement and winning Entertainer of the Year at the 50th annual CMA Awards on November 2, 2016. But over the years he also had a chance to dabble in another passion...

...Namely, Major League Baseball. Brooks went to Spring
Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images / Mike Fiala

...Namely, Major League Baseball. Brooks went to Spring Training with the San Diego Padres in 1998 and '99, did the same with the Mets in 2000 and the Kansas City Royals in 2004. Let's just say he had a lot more hits in the studio than he did on the diamond, but the connections he made helped him jumpstart his Teammates for Kids Foundation.

Tucker Beathard

Tucker Beathard broke through country music airwaves in
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Gustavo Caballero

Tucker Beathard broke through country music airwaves in 2016 with the single "Rock On." His family tree weaves through country music and sports like few others. His grandfather is Super Bowl-winning former general manager Bobby Beathard. His dad, Casey, is a longtime Music Row songwriter. And his brother C.J. is the starting quarterback for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Chase Rice

Before scoring hits like
Photo Credit: Getty Images for Kicker Country Stampede / Rick Diamond

Before scoring hits like "Ready Set Roll" and "Gonna Wanna Tonight," country singer Chase Rice played linebacker at the University of North Carolina and was a pit crew member with NASCAR juggernaut Hendrick Motorsports. Quite the renaissance man, Rice also was a cast member for a season of "Survivor" and could be seen wearing his Hendrick Motorsports baseball cap while on the show.

Brad Paisley and Jeff Gordon

It's not uncommon for folks to note the
Photo Credit: Getty Images

It's not uncommon for folks to note the resemblance between country star Brad Paisley and NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon. The pair took advantage with a doppelganger-themed moment at the 44th Annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 10, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mindy McCready

Mindy McCready became a country music sensation with
Photo Credit: AP

Mindy McCready became a country music sensation with her 1996 debut release "Ten Thousand Angels," which included hits like the title track and "Guys Do It All the Time." Her later years were more defined by controversy than country hits, including an alleged romance with...

Roger Clemens

In 2008 McCready confirmed a New York Daily
Photo Credit: Getty Images

In 2008 McCready confirmed a New York Daily News report of a long-time affair with married former MLB pitcher Roger Clemens. Clemens, through his attorney, denied the allegations. McCready died in 2013 at the age of 37 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

'Cowboy' Joe West

Joe West is still going strong as a
Photo Credit: AP

Joe West is still going strong as a Major League Baseball umpire after debuting in 1976. But he's still managed to dabble as a country crooner, including releasing the albums "Blue Cowboy" and "Diamond Dreams."

Toby Keith

Toby Keith, right, hangs out with Willie Nelson
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Toby Keith, right, hangs out with Willie Nelson while announcing pre-game activities for Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. This wasn't the first time Keith had his hands on a football. In the '80s he took a break from pursuing country music to play semi-pro football and try out for Oklahoma's entry in the now-defunct United States Football League.

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw is a second-generation superstar, earning a
Photo Credit: AP

Tim McGraw is a second-generation superstar, earning a different kind of iconic status than his father...

Tug McGraw

Tug McGraw was the catalyst for the catchphrase
Photo Credit: AP

Tug McGraw was the catalyst for the catchphrase "Ya Gotta Believe" as a pitcher for the New York Mets in their improbable 1973 pennant run.

Ashley Monroe

Ashley Monroe has earned outlaw status in the
Photo Credit: AP / Evan Agostini

Ashley Monroe has earned outlaw status in the country music world, performing such provocative tunes as "Weed Instead of Roses" as a solo act and recording similar tunes as part of the Miranda Lambert-led trio Pistol Annies. But she settled down long enough to marry...

John Danks

John Danks is a pitcher for the Chicago
Photo Credit: AP

John Danks is a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. He and Monroe married in October 2013.

Marty Robbins

Marty Robbins accepts the Male Artist of the
Photo Credit: AP / Mark Humphrey

Marty Robbins accepts the Male Artist of the Year award from Loretta Lynn during the 16th annual Music City News Country Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 7, 1982. Robbins was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October of that same year, but died two months later at the age of 57. Some of his best recording years came in the '60s, when he juggled music and another pastime.

Robbins (in the No. 42 car) raced sporadically
Photo Credit: AP

Robbins (in the No. 42 car) raced sporadically in NASCAR's premier series from 1966-82, making 35 starts in that time, according to racing-reference.info. He managed one top-5 finish, six top-10 finishes, and led a total of three laps.

Mike Reid

Mike Reid twice earned a Pro Bowl nod
Photo Credit: AP

Mike Reid twice earned a Pro Bowl nod as a defensive lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals before injuries cut short his career following the 1974 season. Instead of crying over spilt milk, he just channeled his passion elsewhere.

Reid, who earned a degree in music while
Photo Credit: AP

Reid, who earned a degree in music while playing football at Penn State, penned numerous country hits for other artists after one of his songs, "Inside," went to the top of the charts with Ronnie Milsap in 1983.

Danica Patrick

You'll usually find NASCAR driver Danica Patrick in
Photo Credit: AP

You'll usually find NASCAR driver Danica Patrick in fire suits at the track, but...

...She'll always be remembered for her cameo as
Photo Credit: Getty Images

...She'll always be remembered for her cameo as a Vegas showgirl while co-hosting the American Country Awards with Trace Adkins in 2013 in Las Vegas.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More Entertainment