Country singer Kenny Chesney, who sometimes seems to make a living as a singer so he can participate in football events, practiced with the New Orleans Saints yesterday. Chesney's appearance was not announced to the crowd watching practice, but Chesney ran routes, fielded punts, and did his best to relieve his high school wide receiver glory days. Then, things got interesting, good friend: Saints head coach Sean Payton, offered the team a day off from practice if Chesney could catch a punt. As if that weren't enough reason, read on for the Jeremy Shockey curfew stories. Payton announced that Chesney would have two chances to make the catch, but then modified it to three chances after Chesney failed on the first two attempts:
"On the first one, I totally blew it," said Chesney, who played receiver in high school in Tennessee. "On the second one, not only were they offside, but they interfered with me." So Chesney was given a third chance, which he bobbled, but did not drop, sending players into celebration, most noticeably Reggie Bush, who hurled a water bottle across the field. "Reggie told me I better not drop the third one because he didn't want to practice," Chesney said.
All of this is well and good but then Coach Payton dropped this bombshell, "Payton volunteered a story he heard about Chesney helping Saints cornerback Mike McKenzie undress for a shower last January while the two were in Birmingham, Ala., to rehabilitate from surgery." What? As if all this weren't enough from one goldmine of a story, Chesney talked about Jeremy Shockey, Chesney then told a story about a concert in Albany, N.Y., six years ago, when Payton was an assistant with the New York Giants drawing up plays for then-rookie tight end Jeremy Shockey, who recently was traded to the Saints.
"Quite a few of the New York Giants came out to our show that night ... and they had an 11 o'clock curfew," Chesney recalled. "Everybody was getting ready to leave except Shockey. All the guys were trying to get Shockey to come back and he goes, 'I can afford the fine.' He stayed out a long time."
Yeah, Shockey's going to do fine in New Orleans. There's never any reason to stay out late there. Kenny Chesney gets another chance at Saints camp [WWL AM870]