When singer Chris "Oz" Ferrara booked a chance to sing the national anthem at a Buffalo Bills game earlier this season, he was ecstatic. The Nashville-based singer has performed private and charity functions for some of the Bills offensive lineman over the years, and he was excited for a chance to dazzle the crowd at New Era Field as he launches his solo career.
Despite the excitement that came along with the chance to sing at an NFL game, Chris was conflicted. Originally from Sharon, Mass., Chris is a diehard Patriots fan, and every game day, no matter what, he dons his bold red and blue striped Patriots socks for good luck.
Chris decided that even in "enemy territory," he had to represent the Patriots. He discretely rocked his Patriots socks as he sang on Oct. 16.
"I've worn them on planes with shorts on. I've worn them everywhere. They are big striped, obnoxious socks, so I was getting dressed for the game, and I said, 'It's game day. I have to wear these. No one's going to know,'" Chris said. "So I took a picture in the hotel lobby before I went to the stadium and posted the picture after I sang."
Chris thought nothing of posting the picture. His friends on the Bills joked with him about it after the game, and that was that.
But the Instagram post made it through the grapevine and all the way to Gillette Stadium. Becuase of his dedication to the team even while performing in Buffalo, Chris had a chance to sing the national anthem before the Patriots took on the Jets on Dec. 24.
"Truthfully, when I wore them in Buffalo, I just thought it was a goof. With social media, you always hope somebody notices. People tweet out to celebrities in hopes that they'll pay attention," Chris said. "I just wore them, tagged the Patriots and hoped that they get to see it to know that no matter where I am, I'm supporting them. I never thought it would lead me here."
Though Chris now lives in Nashville to pursue his solo career, he grew up just down the road from the stadium, worked as a hawker during the Patriots 2007-08 season and was a server at a restaurant on Rt. 1. To perform in front of the home crowd was a special moment, especially as he prepares to launch his debut EP in the spring.
"It's always been a bucket list place for me to sing the anthem," Chris said. "It's really cool. I've been pursing music for seven years, full time for four, and for it to all start to take shape as I'm launching my solo career is really cool. It's really exciting for me to be able to do this, especially because [the national anthem] is my favorite song. It's my favorite song to sing."
And, of course, Chris sang his favorite song with bright blue and red striped Patroits socks on his feet, but this time, he wore them in the heart of Patriots Nation.
To learn more about Chris and his debut EP, "Something to Prove," check out his website here.