Football – Marvin and Me

Gaye was loyal to Detroit teams and even wanted to become a professional football player with the Lions in 1970 after the death of his singing partner Tammi Terrell left him depressed and confused about his role in the music industry. The singer had never played football before in his life, but he was confident he could become just as big a star on the field as he was in the recording studio. Former Lions cornerback Lem Barney told the LA Times of Coach Joe Schmidt’s first interaction with the newly bulked-up Gaye: “If I could sing like you, I certainly wouldn’t want to play football,” he had said. With the weight of Gaye’s music career also resting on the tryout, Schmidt decided the singer was too much of a liability. The beginning of this video shows Marvin and his father discussing football.

Would-be teammates Barney and running back Mel Farr provided backing vocals on subsequent, politically charged hit “What’s Going On.”

My own football story starts with living on the lakeshore of Lake Ontario in Mimico, small village in Toronto, Ontario. I was infatuated with football and dreamed about it at night. My dreams included me playing (remember I am a female writing this) and being great at it! We lived in the same building as Toronto Argonaut Dave Mann (David Carl Mann (June 2, 1932 – May 22, 2012) was a professional American-born Canadian punter in the NFL and CFL.

Dave Mann
Dave Mann
Dave used to let me come to his penthouse apartment and play with his three poodles. Sometimes he would invite me to come and have cereal. I was a huge fan of Dave’s and I was given my very own mini football to play with. I found this lovely story about Dave here:

By: Joseph Hall Sports Reporter, Published on Wed May 23 2012

Dave Mann would kick the football so high that it was anyone’s guess when it might come down to earth.“It would take two days to come out of the sky it seemed,” says John Henry Jackson, a former Toronto Argonaut teammate and friend of Mann’s for more than half a century.
“He was the greatest kicker I’ve ever seen.” Mann, who soared in many roles with the Double Blue and was voted to the “All-Time Argos” team in 2005, died Tuesday in a Toronto nursing home at 79. He is being mourned by the likes of comedian and television star Bill Cosby, who became friends with Mann during his days a soul food restaurateur in Toronto in the 1970s.

Cosby has expressed interest in performing a benefit for Mann’s family later this year, says Jackson, who partnered with his former teammate in opening the venerable Underground Railroad restaurant in 1969.

The Underground Railroad was the only soul food restaurant in Toronto and was very successful. Dave and his partners put their names in cement at the second location for the restaurant and they are still there. The location was most recently a fantastic furniture store but their lease ended and it will soon become another condo or something.

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