Just How Close Was Motown Legend Marvin Gaye To Becoming a Detroit Lion?
Maybe I'm not old enough (and there's a line I don't hear hardly ever at all, anymore) but I just heard about Motown legend Marvin Gaye trying out for the Detroit Lions. I know he was Motown musical royalty, but football?
There's a Facebook account named "Continued Celebration of the Approval of Marvin Gaye’s USPS Stamp", and that's where the story was shared yesterday.
The comments section seems to throw some cold water on the story. One commenter, Michael Barber, said a tryout was arranged because of Gaye's friendship with Lions legends Mel Farr and Lem Barney. Said Barber, "He was 31 years old when this supposed tryout happened, and his ability was based on his friendships with Detroit Lions stars Mel Farr and Hall of Famer Lem Barney. Truthfully, he was never much of an athlete."
But that friendship was reciprocated when Gaye used Farr and Barney in the background. Derrick Gatson posted, "He actually befriended several of the Detroit Lions players and had them talking in the background to the intro of the song What's Going On." (one of Gaye's most famous songs.)
Kevin Cannon, Sr. added, "The (Lions) players told Lem Barney, we love your boy's music, but if he steps on this field, we'll tear him apart."
Maybe Gaye didn't make it as a Lion, but he was a fan and sat in the booth with the ABC Monday Night Football crew in 1974.
(Mike Squier via YouTube)