Reba McEntire Reveals Her Love of Football Ahead of Super Bowl 58

Reba McEntire earned the coveted spot of singing the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl, but she’s been a football fan for decades. The Grand Ole Opry member’s love of the sport came by naturally, not as a result of her athletic ability, but her musical ability.

“I’ve always liked football, even in high school,” McEntire tells UMG Nashville. “As the Singing McEntires and being a part of the Kiowa High School Cowboy Band in Kiowa, Oklahoma where I went to school for 12 years, we were part of the half-time entertainment there at the school. We’d pull the trailer out and we’d play at half-time for our football games.”

McEntire might not spend so much time watching football currently, if not for her longtime boyfriend, Rex Linn.

“My boyfriend, Rex Linn, absolutely loves college football,” McEntire reveals. “I really get into that, and I cheer for the Longhorns in Austin, Texas. And now getting to sing at the Super Bowl, I think Rex was more excited than I was, if that’s at all possible. I’m a huge fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, so I will be cheering them on at the Super Bowl.”

It’s Linn who convinced McEntire to sing the national anthem, when she wasn’t sure she wanted to commit to performing at this year’s Super Bowl.

“[My manager] said that they wanted me to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, and I said ‘Oh my gosh. Well, let me think about that,’” McEntire recalled. “And Rex Linn, my boyfriend, who is a huge football fan, he said, ‘Yes, she’ll do it. Absolutely.’ So that’s where we’re at.”

It was, perhaps ironically, McEntire singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a sporting event that helped kick off her now-superstar career.

“It’s absolutely amazing coming full circle, 50 years after being discovered by Red Steagall me singing the National Anthem at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City,” McEntire shares. “That was in 1974. Little did I know, I had no idea 50 years I’d be singing (laughs) the National Anthem at this year’s Super Bowl. Oh my gosh, I don’t even have the imagination to say that I would be doing something like this. I’m absolutely thrilled to pieces that they asked me.”

McEntire will be enjoying all of the stadium fare at this year’s Super Bowl, but she does have some suggestions for snacks, thanks to her best-selling Not That Fancy book, out last fall.

“Wouldn’t it be neat if we could cook up some recipes out of my Not That Fancy book ke the ranch dressing from Reba’s Place … with chicken tenders and the beer cheese dip?”

Super Bowl 58 will air on CBS on Sunday, February 11, from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Post Malone will sing “America The Beautiful,” and Andra Day will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”