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Kenny Chesney-Produced Football Documentary Airs on ESPN

Kenny Chesney
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Kenny Chesney is an ardent football fan, clearly, and not just because the country superstar has produced two documentaries about the subject. His latest doc, ‘The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story,’ aired tonight on ESPN, opening with Chesney himself recounting a story from when he was younger.

One year, Chesney wore an orange  number seven jersey for his grade school picture because he was such a fan of the number’s owner, Condredge Holloway. Holloway was the first black quarterback at the University of Tennessee and the first black quarterback to start for the Southeastern Conference. While everyone else worse their Sunday best for picture day, Chesney was proud to sport his favorite athlete’s number!

Holloway is a local college football legend who powered the Volunteers to three straight Bowl victories in the early ’70s. Chesney’s opening salvo is all you need to know to truly understand why the singer chose to executive produce and narrate this gripping documentary.

Chesney, a Tennessee native, also says that he spent several eye-opening days with his childhood hero while doing the documentary. He admits that Holloway represented opportunity and hope for him. He also says he used to watch the Volunteers’ games with his father and that Holloway played the game differently, which is why he became such a fan.

Chesney is seen multiple times on camera, walking on the Vols football field with Holloway himself and catching passes with him, in addition to other quality moments. Holloway, who never played a game in the NFL despite being a late-round draft pick, is a compelling subject for what he did on and off the field, particularly because of the race issues he faced as a black quarterback.

The ESPN documentary ends with Chesney proclaiming that he is glad to know that “behind the orange number seven stands a good man.” Chesney continued to say that Holloway is “a man I am proud to call a hero and my good friend.” Chesney also produced ‘The Boys of Fall,’ a 2010 documentary that looked at the world of high school football.

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