Sadly, the music community lost legendary country music singer Toby Keith after a long battle with cancer.

Keith's music career was filled with sold out concerts, 20 songs that went to #1, Platinum albums sales, and 7 Grammy Nominations. He also won countless CMA Awards, American Music Awards, and Academy of Country Music Awards.

Not only was Keith a prolific musician, but he found himself acting in films and appearing on numerous television shows. Including the movies Broken Bridges and Beer For My Horses, as well as television shows like The Colbert Report, My Hometown Christmas, Comedy Central's Roast of Larry The Cable Guy, and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival 2010 - Day 2
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

But there was a point in his life where none of this looked like it was in the cards. At that time, Toby Keith...or known then as Toby Covel, was looking at the prospect of getting paid to play professional football.

It was the early 1980s in Oklahoma, and Toby (Keith or Covel, we'll call him Toby from here on) was working in the oil industry. But at that time, the oil work was drying up, and he needed a paycheck. So he found his way onto the field with a professional football team in Oklahoma then known as the Oklahoma Outlaws. This team was part of the United States Football League.

Toby played with the team in their pre-season, but didn't make the cut for the big club. So he made his way to the roster of their "unofficial" farm team, the Oklahoma City Drillers. While with the Outlaws and Drillers, Toby played Defensive End for the teams.

The team Toby joined, the Oklahoma City Drillers, were a part of the American Football Association. They had just shifted from the United Football Teams of America, where they were champions, to the American Football Association. Because they were an expansion team to the league, they planned to play all of their games on the road that year.

Since the Drillers were going to be on the road, that means they would have had to travel to Shreveport to play the local franchise, the Shreveport Americans. Which means Toby Keith would have played a professional football game in Shreveport.

Pre-Game Press Conference For Super Bowl XXXVIII
Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

However. The Oklahoma City Drillers wrapped up their season after just two games. A loss to the San Antonio Bulls and the Baton Rouge Red Wings. Meaning Toby Keith's football career was over, and he'd have to find something else to work at.

Thankfully, Toby Keith was able to fall back on his abilities as a musician, and that seemed to work out alright for him.

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