Super Bowl XLVIII: Country stars get ready for football, fun

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Super Bowl XLVIII: Country stars get ready for football, fun

By Stephen L. Betts. CREATED Jan 31, 2014

Football fans (not to mention fans of Bruno Mars and buzzworthy TV ads) will be tuned in Sunday (Feb. 2), for Super Bowl XLVIII, and that, of course, includes many country artists. Whether rooting for the Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks, everyone's got a Super Bowl pick, a football-related story, or just a close connection to the game.

Darius Rucker is one of the most enthusiastic football fans you're likely to encounter. When he's at home during the season, you're likely to find him holed up in his special man cave, which boasts six or seven (or more) wall-mounted TVs so he doesn't miss a game. He also happens to be a huge Miami Dolphins fan, and word has it, just so he could meet then-Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, he asked him to be in the Hootie & the Blowfish video for "Only Wanna Be With You."

"Ever since I was five years old, I've loved football and I love how physical it is," says Darius. "I love the chess match of the game. I love the speed of the game. I love college football, but for me watching pro football is better because the speed is so much more. For me, there's two times a year, man -- football season and waiting for football season."

Lady Antebellum's members all have their favorite tailgate foods. "Honestly, chips and salsa, salsa or cheese dip or something," says Hillary Scott. "That's like what I always go for. I could eat that every meal. No joke. Or bratwurst, I forgot that. Those are good!"

"Best tailgate food is a big ol' burger soaked in Dale's sauce," adds Lady A's Dave Haywood. "That’s all you need." Charles Kelley weighs in with, "Cold beer! A couple of little finger foods, but without cold beer, it's not football watching.”

Perhaps most surprisingly, Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild recalls that she was quite a bruiser while playing quarterback for her powder puff football team. Unfortunately, the only one she bruised in this particular story was herself. "I was running the ball and I came around the corner -- this was in high school," Karen recalls. "And a foreign exchange student, I think her name was Inga ... I didn't want to fumble because my brother and my dad were there, and I come from this very athletic family, so I held onto the ball. I knew I was going to go down, so I let my head hit first and I bit all the way through, but I didn't fumble. I had a hole in my face, though. The sad thing is that it was just flag football, but I left my flags on and cleats and everything, because it looked cool, and I had blood running all down my jersey. I went to the emergency room like that, and they sewed up my lip."

Earlier this week, we reported that Chris Young would be headed to Las Vegas, and that means making a wager. "It's a great match-up and the Seahawks are strong, but I'm laying a crapload of money on the Broncos," Chris said with a laugh. "I'm a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, but early in the season I thought the Broncos would make a run deep run into the playoffs."

The Band Perry will be busy on Sunday, performing at the pre-game NFL Tailgate Party, but they still hope to be able to catch some of the action. "I'm always excited to see what kind of stage they're gonna roll out on and what songs they’re gonna play," Kimberly Perry says of the halftime show. "That’s always my favorite." Neil Perry, meanwhile, says, "I'm going to make sure we have a TV so we can watch the commercials. They’re always the best, they’re so funny and that’s what I’m looking forward to."

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts ("Steve") is a Nashville-based journalist who started his career as a tour guide, karaoke operator and library assistant at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.