Chris Stapleton’s widely praised performance of the national anthem before Super Bowl 2023 brought Eagles coach Nick Sirianni to tears. The moment went viral before the opening kickoff.
The 44-year-old country star might never watch the powerful scene, however.
“I don’t know if I can watch it, man,” Stapleton told Entertainment Tonight. “I try not to watch myself back too much.”
Sirianni addressed the emotional scene after the Eagles fell to the Chiefs, 38-35.
“I’ve dreamed about this since I’ve been 2 years old,” he said. “Growing up in a family with a dad that’s a football coach, older brothers that played football, this is what you dream of, of being in this moment. It’s just emotional because there’s a lot of work, not just by myself, but a lot of people. Starting with my wife and my kids, my brothers, my dad and just so many people.”
Sirianni, 41, went to Southwestern Central High School in Jamestown, N.Y. He led the Eagles to the Super Bowl in just his second season as the team’s head coach. He was previously the Colts’ offensive coordinator for three years. He spent five years as an assistant with the Chargers following a four-year stint as an assistant with the Chiefs.
In the lead-up to the Super Bowl, the Eagles coach mentioned his admiration for Whitney Houston’s rendition of the national anthem before Super Bowl XXV.
“The moment that I remember most as a kid growing up in Jamestown, N.Y., was I really remember the Whitney Houston one where she sang at the Bills vs. the Giants and how powerful it was and you get the goosebumps thinking about it getting ready to play that game,” Sirianni said. “You think about being in that moment of the Super Bowl, of listening to the national anthem and how much that’s going to mean.”
Stapleton performed in front of the Glendale, Ariz. crowd after Sheryl Lee Ralph sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and Babyface performed “America the Beautiful.”
“Man, it felt great. It really did,” Stapleton told “Entertainment Tonight” of the performance. “The energy was good and the crowd was hyped up for the game, so that kind of gets you ready to go.”