Of all the horrifying casualties and potential casualties of the NFL lockout–from the profits of local watering holes to chicken wings–this is the worst yet. This time, the owners have gone too far, and they’ve deprived players of their chance to listen to sweet country melodies about fresh cut grass and late fall sunsets.
They’ve taken away Kenny Chesney.
Yep, that’s right. Since NFL players aren’t permitted to enter their team facilities during the lockout, they won’t be able to attend Chesney’s Goin’ Coastal tour when it swings through their town if the labour strife isn’t resolved, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The tour started last week, and has 10 dates at NFL venues.
If the lockout lasts until the end of August players in New England will lose more than just training camp and the start of the season. They’ll also lose the opportunity to soak in Chesney’s soothing voice during the tour’s grand finale: back-to-back dates at Gillette Stadium starting Aug. 27.
Of course, players who are T-shirt wearin’, ripped-jeans sportin’ Chesney fans could just travel to another nearby city to see their hero live. But it’s that hometown sentimentality that fuels the country vibe, man. Chesney said he feels the pain of the NFL player.
“At West Palm [Beach], we had a ton of NFL players. I saw [guard Steve] Hutchinson from the Vikings. If we were to play the Dome up there, he couldn’t come to the show.”
Ummm Kenny, I hope you weren’t planning on playing at the Metrodome.
There is some real irony here though. Last year the hit single from Chesney’s album “Hemingway’s Whiskey” was Boys of fall, a six-minute tribute to the memories and bonds formed while playing high school football. If a tear isn’t running down Clay Matthews’ cheek as he watches Chesney sing this tune at Lambeau Field on June 11, you may as well cancel the whole tour.
Hat tip to the Sportress of Blogitude.
UPDATE: On Monday the players involved in the antitrust lawsuit against the NFL filed their final paperwork. The details of player conduct during a lockout emerged and were relayed by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
Among the rules restricting players was this: “You may not enter any Club facility or the stadium, except for the purpose of attending a non-Club event or Club charitable event.” Translated, that means players can attend concerts or other non-football events at team venues.
It also means that Chesney lied.