In addition to writing and recording his new album, The Big Revival, Kenny Chesney's last year off included co-producing a documentary for ESPN on South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier called The Believer.
In the past, Kenny has jumped at the chance to produce ESPN documentaries with his friend and frequent video director, Shaun Silva. This time around, however, Kenny tells us he wasn't really sure he wanted to do a piece on the controversial Heisman trophy-winner, but he felt they had a lot of things in common. ["Steve grew up in East Tennessee, in Johnson City where I went to college, and we have very similar backgrounds. That's another reason that I decided to do the film because I was very interested in his story because of that connection between us, and we had very similar upbringings, and I'm glad I did it because it was just a great journey, a great ride to make this film and to learn a lot about somebody that was . . . could be controversial at times. I didn't know if I wanted to make the film because making a film on somebody's life that can be that controversial and such a polarizing, hyped figure, there comes a responsibility with that (laughs), and I didn't know for sure, honestly, if I wanted to take on that responsibility or not but I'm glad I did.")
Kenny flew to the the coach's hometown to privately premiere The Believer on Friday (August 22nd), an event which he said made him very anxious. ["I got asked the other day, 'What's the most nervous you've ever been,' and they were expecting me to say, you know, on stage in front of a stadium full of people, and that makes me nervous, I promise you, but the most nervous I've been in a while is me and Shaun Silva went over to Columbia, South Carolina to play the film for Steve and his family the other night, and that's the most nervous I've ever been cause they hadn't seen it til then. It went okay. It went good, but I was really . . . I mean, imagine having these two guys be responsible for telling your life (laughs), you know, so you hope they like it, but it was fun."]
The Believer airs tonight (Wednesday, August 27th) on the SEC network