It was because of football that our relationship got better.We even went to the Super Bowl.” Does Chesney dream of playing the Super Bowl halftime show?He spent his year off reconnecting with his family and hometown in east Tennessee, which culminated in his producing a documentary about the impact of high school football,, due to air on ESPN this fall.A reverie of innocence lost and manhood found, it features coaches and players from the pro and college ranks reminiscing about their times in high school.I went through all that in high school.” For Chesney, everything comes back to football.“When my father and I didn’t have anything in common and didn’t talk about anything, there was always University of Tennessee football,” he says.“If I was asked to do it—yeah, I probably would.” What he wants to do right now, however, is get the word out about “I feel a responsibility to myself—the self that was that kid,” he says.
No matter how many people were out there, it all just felt like a blank sheet of paper.” So the 42-year-old entertainer, who has sold more than one million concert tickets during each of the past eight summers, decided to sit out the season—surprising his fans and Nashville, but most important, surprising himself.He didn’t go out for the team until his junior year; he played wide-receiver.“It all started for me on that field,” Chesney says.Even though the breakup with Zellweger was hard, “there ain’t nothing you can do about it,” he says. Now I look back on it as just another way of getting knocked down on the football field.” And he insists it hasn’t made him marriage-shy. “I hope that’s in the cards for me one day.”, which is filled with scenes of young men bonding with one another as well as their fathers and coaches, make him want to have kids of his own—so he can be a cheering parent in the stands? And the next thing you know, everybody’s got a play-by-play of what you’re having for dinner. When I’m on tour, you’d be surprised by how disciplined I am. But when I’m off tour, that’s when those drinkin’ songs get written. The truth is he also learned to be follically challenged on that same football field. “It did bother me in college a little bit—going bald—but it doesn’t at all now.That would make anybody uncomfortable.”As Chesney polishes off his beer, I ask him why so many of his songs are about drinking. Laughing nervously, he turns to one of his entourage. “When I was 17 or 18, I’d take my helmet off on the field, and I’d see hair in it and go, ‘Good God! What’s ironic about it is that friends of mine in their 30s and 40s are just starting to lose their hair and are freaking out.“But sitting there talking to those coaches and hearing these icons of the game—their wisdom and philosophies about football, life, marriage, and love—relates to how I am now trying to find some balance in my life.It’s done more to inspire me than anything in a long time. I didn’t realize this film would do that for me.” Chesney’s love of the game began on the football field of Gibbs High, near tiny Luttrell, Tenn., where he grew up.I’m off the road this year, but usually on Sunday mornings I’m getting off the bus because I’ve been gone all weekend. I’ve always been laundry-conscious because my mom was a single mom who worked, and if I didn’t do my own laundry, it wouldn’t get done.In the fall, I’m glued to the television watching football.It’s said that rockers want you to forget where they come from but country stars want you to remember.This country star had to remind himself of his own roots.