Elvis Presley: Singer, Actor and Football PlayerPosted by Elvis Presley's Graceland on Sep 25, 2015 | 15 comments
The earthy smell of turf, the colorful school spirit, the roar of the crowd as the quarterback throws the winning touchdown… it’s football season. It’s also one of Elvis’ favorite times of the year.
When he wasn’t on stage, in a studio or on the big screen, there’s a good chance you could find Elvis Presley playing football.
Elvis loved other sports, too, like karate and racquetball. But Elvis always found time for a quick game, and if he couldn’t play it himself, he watched his favorite teams compete on TV.
“The thing I keep up with most is professional football. I know all the players. I know all their numbers, who they play for. I’ve had people quiz me on it, just in games when we’ve got nothing to do,” Elvis said in a 1962 interview. “And that’s a big thing with me right now. I watch all the games that I can. I get the films from the teams themselves if I can. But next to the entertainment thing, and music, that I guess, would be the biggest (interest).”
Elvis was a busy man in 1956: He released his first album, starred in his first movie and toured across the country.
He had a rare day off on December 27, 1956, and spent it playing football. The two previous photos were taken at that game. Elvis played touch football with a group of friends at the Dave Wells Community Center in Memphis. Hundreds showed up to watch the young superstar play a little pigskin in the park.
Elvis also played football on the grounds at Graceland. In fact, on October 16, 1960, he broke his finger while playing touch football at Graceland.
Elvis’ famous generosity and his love for football often worked hand-in-hand.
Elvis played some football while he was a student at Humes High School, but he wasn’t a star athlete.
But a few years after graduating high school (and after becoming a worldwide sensation), he purchased 1,400 tickets – seen in the photo above – for every Humes High School student so they could all attend the annual E.H. Crump Memorial Football Game for the Blind. Total cost? $1,050.
Elvis even sponsored a football team. His friends had started a team, so he sponsored it – notice E.P. Enterprises on the jersey.
His friend Red West, who was on the team, later said it was some of the most fun they ever had.
Elvis even took touch football seriously.
Even though the guys were playing for fun, Elvis would create football plays for them to follow. Here’s one that’s in the Graceland Archives.
Elvis carried a football with him just about everywhere, in case he had a few moments of downtime and could play some football.
He often played football between scenes on movie sets; this photo is from the set of “Girl Happy.”
Not many people are friends with their favorite football star, but of course Elvis was. Here he is with his friend and Cleveland Browns player Jim Brown.
Elvis’ favorite teams included the Browns and the Pittsburg Steelers.
Want to know more? Come to the king’s castle, where Elvis lived and, of course, played some football.