Country music star Tim McGraw watched as Philadelphia hostedin Interviews & Stories 29.06.2019 05:35
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NASHVILLE Tony Pollard Jersey , Tenn. (AP) —more than 250,000 people on hand and immediately had a vision of how to make the three-day event even better: Bring it to Nashville and add the Music City touch.“My first thought was, ‘Man I’d love to be down there and do a big concert right in the middle of Broadway down there with the stadium as a backdrop for the weekend of the draft,'” McGraw said. “I just thought it was something very special and I wanted to be involved with it. And I wanted to get it here.”McGraw will cap Friday night performing on the draft stage across the Cumberland River from Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.McGraw sat down with coach Mike Vrabel and The Associated Press at the Titans’ practice facility for a conversation about why hosting the NFL draft means so much to Nashville, a country music town that has grown by leaps and bounds since the late Bud Adams first talked of bringing his Houston Oilers to Tennessee in 1995.That’s when McGraw was first breaking out as a country artist, his own dreams of playing professional baseball ended by a knee injury, traded for a guitar.Vrabel was finishing his college career as an All-American at Ohio State, while McGraw played the honky tonks on Broadway and Printer’s Alley before he started touring.“As the stadium was going up, it just really filled everybody with a tremendous amount of pride and expectation having an NFL football team come to your place, and then to take over that side of the river and make it a place that’s a destination and make it something that really, really beautifies the city and makes the city look like a big city,” McGraw said. “And I think that for me anyway, I couldn’t be more excited about it.“I mean every day you’d see it go further and further up, and you just couldn’t wait for the first games to be played there.”An Ohio native and Cleveland Browns fan, Vrabel was aware that the Oilers were looking for a new home. He even played as a rookie with Pittsburgh in the Oilers’ last game in Memphis as nomadic lame ducks in 1997. He was with the Steelers in 1999 for a visit to the renamed Titans’ brand-new stadium.“I remember the industrial feel, the red beams stood out Noah Fant Jersey ,” Vrabel said. “I remember the skyline in the background.”McGraw chimed in: “The crowd noise?”Nope. Vrabel just remembers the beams.“That was a new sight for me, I think, just playing in some older stadiums when I got into the league, or college stadiums,” Vrabel said. “This seemed to have a real new urban feel to it with the bright red beams.”McGraw’s investment in football continued to grow when he joined Adams as a minority owner of the Arena League’s Nashville Kats in late 2004. Now the Louisiana native is a three-time Grammy-winning artist who has sold more than 37 million albums in the U.S. alone, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Some of his biggest hits include “Humble and Kind,” ”Live Like You Were Dying,” ”Don’t Take The Girl,” and “Highway Don’t Care.” McGraw is also an actor, appearing in movies such as “Friday Night Lights” and “The Blind Side.”Nashville was considered a bit of a longshot to host the 2019 draft. Vrabel took part in a uniform unveiling on April 4, 2018 that drew approximately 20,000 for a fashion show and free concert. That was Nashville’s last chip in swaying the NFL, with a lobbying push from Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk. League owners chose Music City last May.“She wants to be able to show the NFL that we can have a first-class event and be an organization that can help the NFL,” Vrabel said of Strunk. “Now we want people to come and enjoy the concerts, enjoy the fan experience, and I think she’s excited to show them that, to have the stadium as a backdrop and then obviously enjoy everything that’s going on on Lower Broadway.”Vrabel has friends and family coming into Nashville who will get to enjoy all the music and parties of draft weekend. Heading into his second season with the Titans Dalton Risner Jersey , Vrabel will be busy as the Titans try to improve a roster that went 9-7 in his debut year.A country music fan, he’s usually standing about 5 feet away from the latest anthem singer before home games, and his wife and son have to point out when a celebrity is on the sideline. Vrabel stays focused on the task at hand.“No idea who’s here or why they’re here,” Vrabel said. “I hope they have a good time, and I hope that we can win. And I’ll see you guys in three hours.”Handling the anthem is something McGraw stays away from, though not for political reasons. He says he absolutely butchered the anthem once and nailed it another time, so he prefers to leave that to his wife, fellow singer Faith Hill, who performed it for the Titans’ lone Super Bowl appearance in January 2000.McGraw performed at the NFL’s tailgate show before the Super Bowl in February, also has done a concert on Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend, and he will perform a free concert Friday night after the final selection in the third round is called.Some musicians reportedly turned down offers to perform at the Super Bowl over Colin Kaepernick not being in the NFL. McGraw said he bases his decisions on his love of football and the lessons sports teach.“The other stuff I get and understand, and I’m certainly all for people speaking their minds and progressing themselves and learning more about each other,” McGraw said. “I’m all for that. But for me when I make my decision, I love the game and I love the spirit of the game and that’s what I try to capture.”It’s almost showtime for a gig that McGraw, also a member of Nashville’s organizing committee, has anticipated for months, on a stage at the base of Broadway’s honky-tonk district.Nashville has hosted very big parties for the 2017 Stanley Cup Final Drew Lock Jersey , the annual Country Music Association awards, and New Year’s Eve. This will be bigger, with 100,000 fans expected each day.A house band will play between draft selections Thursday and Friday night, and Dierks Bentley will perform Saturday as part of more than 20 Nashville-based acts ranging from alt-rock to hip-hop and more country.“We have sort of an opportunity to plant a flag and say this is the way it’s supposed to be done,” McGraw said. “And I think we’ve got the right people here in Nashville. I think it’s the right setup, the right enthusiasm and the right sort of combination of people to make this thing something really special, and something big and sort of be the watermark for drafts to come.”
The Los Angeles Angels will try to keep charging closer to an American League wild-card spot when they host the Toronto Blue Jays in the third game of their four-game series Saturday night at Angel Stadium.
The Angels (41-35) won the first two games of the series and three straight overall to move within five games of the Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card spot in the AL. The Mariners have lost a season-high five straight games, allowing Los Angeles to make up 3 1/2 games since Tuesday.
“We still have a long ways to go,” Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols told Fox Sports West following a 2-1 victory against the Blue Jays on Friday night.
Pujols went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in Friday’s win. He produced an RBI double in the first inning to give him 630 doubles for his career, moving him within two of David Ortiz for 10th on the all-time major-league list. He is four home runs shy of 630 for career, which would tie Ken Griffey Jr. for sixth on the career list.
Marcus Stroman (0-5, 7.71 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Blue Jays (34-41) on Saturday night in his first start since May 8.
In his last outing, Stroman gave up five runs and nine hits over five innings in a 5-0 loss to the Mariners in Toronto. His counterpart, Seattle left-hander James Paxton, became the first Canadian to throw a no-hitter in the game.
Stroman went on the disabled list a day later with fatigue in his throwing shoulder.
“It just got to the point where it was so mentally and physically frustrating,” Stroman told MLB.com at the time. “I just need to take a step back for a second Andy Isabella Jersey , put it all together and come back and be myself out there.”
Pujols and Angels center fielder Mike Trout are each 5-for-10 in their careers against Stroman.
Stroman is 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in four career appearances against Los Angeles, including three starts. The 5-foot-8 right-hander threw a complete game the last time he faced the Angels, allowing two runs (one earned) and seven hits in a 6-2 win at Angel Stadium on April 23, 2017, the start of a six-game winning streak for Stroman.
He finished with a career-high 13 wins last season, but hasn’t earned a victory since Sept. 24 against the New York Yankees.
Angels rookie right-hander Jaime Barria is scheduled to make his 10th career start and first against the Blue Jays.
Barria (5-3, 3.57) is tied for the AL lead in wins among rookies this season, and ranks third in ERA among rookies with at least 40 innings pitched.
The Angels have struggled to close out games this season, but the bullpen threw two perfect innings to complete the win on Friday, and their relievers have allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings in the series.
“There’s no doubt, that as that back end of our bullpen grows, that’s going to really help our club,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters after the win on Friday.