Music and Football?

Max Starks lives football, breathes classical music

Jan 18, 2013 10:03 AM ET | By Jane McManus
Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks compares the cooperation of his football team to that of an orchestra.
Max StarksAP Photo/Don Wright

When you think about the fine arts, the syncopation of getting 80 instruments together in perfect harmony, it’s similar to a football team. Getting 61 guys in sequence with each other, the carry over keeps it consistent.
— Max Starks, Pittsburgh Steelers tackle

In December, members of the Pittsburgh Steelers dressed for practice and were led to the indoor field as usual. But when the doors opened, there on the turf was a classical ensemble playing the seasonally appropriate “Sleigh Ride.” Offensive lineman Max Starks and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played the bells while cornerback Ike Taylor conducted.

No, it was not a hallucination.

Starks, a 6-foot-8, 345-pound tackle, was on the board of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 2006 until last year. He has narrated youth programs for the symphony for years as elementary school children sat wide-eyed in the audience. During one rehearsal early on, he botched a line and made the horn section and everyone else giggle when he declared to the conductor, “I’m sorry, Coach, I won’t fumble again.”

For the rest of this fascinating article, please check out the original posting at ESPN.


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