Elvis Presley: Singer, Actor and Football Player

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).”

1football

3football

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.

9football

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.

5football

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.

4football

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.

7football

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.”

jimbrownelvis

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.

 


15 Comments

  1. Brenda Bresky

    Thank you for sharing these memories.

  2. Tammy Mingo

    I have been to Graceland and loved it very much. Elvis touched my heart when I was a young girl and he always help me through my sat home life and he didn’t even know it. And going to Graceland was a wish of mine ever since I was little and it was an amazing experience. Would have been better to see him life but sadly that never happened. So it’s awesome to read things about him and to see pictures. Thank you for your blog.

  3. Linda Kines

    Elvis was all man, so talented and fun loving. So handsome, kind and humble. Even though he was so famous, it never when to his head.I think that is one of the main things I loved about him,you felt like you knew him.

  4. Sam Langdon

    Love the story and would love to read more!

  5. Roger Gilis

    Elvis, the greatest singer with a big heart, a super actor and now a good football player! What a guy!I write from Brussels in Belgium.
    You know, here in Europe we have sokker but i really like american footbal too. I was in Memphis in january 2010, it was freezing but no matter, I was so happy to be there. God Bless

  6. I’m from pa. Go Steelers and the king…

  7. Dottie Sanders

    He was great at everything he did . I have loved him since1957. He is the human jukebox to me . I listen to Elvis a Radio everyday most of all he was a beautiful kind man. We will never see anyone like him again

  8. Roger Gilis

    Elvis, the greatest…even in sport!

  9. Tulio humberto

    Bueno espero ir uno de. Estos dias Elvis. Es mi idolo seria un gran. Sueño ir a su. Casa pronto los quiero mucho

  10. Scott Dickens

    Elvis was a Great Human being . I know some of his close friends and they loved him so much . Jimmy Velvet and Tony Brown both Loved and admired him. He was as they said a great friend and humanitarian. He never got above his raising . He loved to help to strangers and see them happy . They will never be another human to ever achieve what he did . He was one in a Billion . Long live the King TCB

  11. Geoff Wall

    Have been to Tupelo/Graceland twice and had fantastic time and plan to journey there again. Just finished reading a book ‘Elvis from Memphis to Hollywood’ great read with so much info. A truly great global star.

  12. And my favorite team, The New England Patriots has the flying Elvis as their logo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *