When Super Bowl 50 DeMarcus Ware arrives in Canton this summer, he'll do more than receive a gold jacket as an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2023.
Ahead of the Hall of Fame Game that officially kicks off the 2023 season, Ware will sing the national anthem, the Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday.
Following the news, Ware said he'll approach singing the national anthem like he did a big matchup during his career.
"It's almost like that play where it's like, 'Oh, I'm going to get that sack this week. Who am I going against? I'm going against the best ever,' to get myself going for the game," Ware said. "This is me getting myself going for the game. I'm putting it out there, so I have no choice but to not turn back. I'm in it now."
Throughout his career as a dominant defender, Ware prioritized his musical career that began as he grew up in Alabama. He is a member of the band "Mirage" and even performed at a Broncos community event during his career in Denver.
Ware, though, said this will be the largest crowd for which he's ever performed, and it will also be the most intimidating situation.
"You know why? Because your boys are there," Ware said. "… You can't cheat your boys. You're going to have the Hall of Fame guys back there. You're going to have everybody that was most impactful in your life probably there in those stands. Do you know how much pressure that is?"
As Ware wrote in The Players’ Tribune in 2016, music was an outlet for him away from football.
"When people think of 'DeMarcus Ware,' I imagine they think of this tackling machine, this ferocious linebacker," Ware wrote. "And to a large extent, that's true. To be successful in the NFL, especially at my position, and for as long as I've been at it, you need that ferocity. But that's only 60 minutes of the week … for less than half of the year. The rest of the time, I have all of these other sides to myself. And music, for me, is a big part of that.
"It's release. I may be coming off an intense workout, or a grueling practice, or a big win, or even a bitter loss, but as long as I have music, I have that oasis from it all. It doesn't matter how 'hot' my day's gotten — if I can just pour a glass of wine, sit down somewhere comfortable and put that guitar in my hand … there's my 'water spot.' I can go to another place entirely."
To hear more from Ware on singing the national anthem, take a look at the video below.
Below the Fold
As 9NEWS' Mike Klis detailed on Tuesday, General Manager George Paton and Head Coach Sean Payton weren't the only ones in the Broncos' war room during the 2023 NFL Draft. Owner & CEO Greg Penner and Owner Carrie Walton Penner were also highly involved during the three-day process.
"We met with them early in the week, and they kind of knew the plan," Paton said. "It's hard to plan when your first pick is in the third round, but I felt like the plan went as we expected. I think it was really good for them to see their first draft and be a part of it."