As most of our readers know by now, country singer Toby Keith passed away following a battle with stomach cancer. He was 62 years old.
As is often the case, sports and country music sometimes cross paths, and Keith was no different.
Before his music career took off, the country legend played semi-pro football for the Oklahoma City Drillers, a farm team for the now-defunct United States Football League. Keith played Defensive End.
“Following two years as a football player, Keith decided to focus on music and adopted a much more rigorous touring schedule,” his biography on All Music reads.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Toby Keith, Former Football Player, Lifetime Football Fan
While his semi-pro football days were fleeting – thankfully, so that he could concentrate on his music – Toby Keith was clearly a lifelong fan of football.
He was an avid supporter of the Oklahoma Sooners football team and often attended their games.
Toby Keith was also a favorite of the Dallas Cowboys, with whom he recorded a video for his hit song “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” during one of their Monday Night Football appearances in 1993.
“Should’ve Been a Cowboy” was a massive hit for Toby Keith.
Released in 1993, the song became the most-played country song of the ’90s, with over 3 million plays on radio stations.
The track also helped propel Keith’s self-titled debut album to platinum status and established him as a major force in the country music scene.
Some of his other big hits include “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “Beer for My Horses,” “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” and “Red Solo Cup.”
He was, according to Sports Illustrated, among the Dallas Cowboys’ all-time most popular halftime performers and became good friends with Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman.
Above all, he was a great patriot.
Throughout his career, Toby Keith released several songs that resonated with Americans and celebrated the country’s values and spirit.
Some of his most popular patriotic songs include “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” “American Soldier,” and “Made in America.”
These songs often paid tribute to the military, first responders, and the American way of life.