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Country star Scotty McCreery on being a Patriots fan

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Scotty McCreery may have grown up in North Carolina, but he's been a Patriots fan for as long as he can remember. It all comes down to his dad, who is originally from New England and passed his love of the hometown teams onto his son. The pair was at Gillette Stadium for last year's AFC Championship game and will return on Saturday, when Scotty will sing the national anthem ahead of the Patriots-Chiefs game. We caught up with him to hear his thoughts about the weekend gig, his favorite Patriots memories and how he thinks the team will do on Saturday.

*So, you're coming back to Gillette Stadium to sing this weekend. *
I can't wait. My first time up there was the AFC Championship last year. Hopefully I can bring that mojo back. That was fun.

Hey, maybe you were a good luck charm.
We'll see. I prefer to think it was my red Patriots toboggan [hat]. We started winning when I started wearing that toward the last part of the season. Then I wore it to Phoenix. I was burning up but I didn't let it go.  

Your love for the Patriots comes from your dad, right?
He's from the very southern tip of Maine – Elliot in the Kittery area – and then Portsmouth, N.H. He grew up a Boston sports fan, so that's all he knew and he passed that down to me here in North Carolina. I'm like the lone wolf, but it's fun to be a Patriots fan down here because most folks, they're Pats haters for sure. That makes it more interesting.

What's your earliest memory of being a fan?
There's a picture of me somewhere in a Drew Bledsoe jersey. I was very young so I don't exactly remember the pre-Brady days but I was still a Boston sports fan as a young child. I'd say the earliest memory is Brady's first Super Bowl against the Rams. I remember having a big Super Bowl party for that and it was pretty fun.

In the last year, you've gotten to do some pretty cool things as a fan, like singing for the team during Super Bowl week and then going to the game. What's it been like to share those experiences with your dad?
It's been incredible. It wouldn't be as fun if I didn't have him along. He's coming back up there with me this weekend. You know, he's the one that kind of instilled the love for the Pats and even the Red Sox and the Celtics. The Bruins are my number two team. The Hurricanes are five minutes from my house so I've got to root for them. But yeah, he's the one that instilled those New England roots in me, so it's been awesome to have those father-son memories, traveling the country to go see our beloved Patriots and see all our New England sports teams. We've been to Fenway plenty of times; we finally got to Gillette last year and I'm just glad we get to go again this year.

Speaking of that, what are your thoughts on coming back as our anthem singer this weekend?
Well, I'll be honest, I think most singers will tell you that's about the hardest song to sing. I've been signing in the public eye for the last five years and I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've done the anthem. I don't do it often because it is tough. Not that I'm not willing to do it, but it's not one of my big things I love to do. But when the Patriots called, I said "This is my team. I'm going out there and I'm going to do it." I hope New England's ready for a country national anthem. I can't wait. I was definitely excited when I got the call and was invited to sing. It's quite the honor.

In addition to singing here on Saturday, you have a lot of projects going on right now. What can people expect from you in the upcoming months?
"Southern Belle" is my single. We have it out there right now so I'm excited about that and hope folks are diggin' that. I hope to hear it up there on the stations in Boston. And I've got a whole album behind it. We've got 10 songs cut and probably another three to five we're going to write and cut. We'll get the album out there around summertime this year. We've got a book we're writing too, so we're doing that; we've got an album; "American Idol" is coming to an end so I'll be doing a few things with the show this year. It'll be a busy 2016, but busy is good. I can't wait to see the fans out there this year.

Finally, any predictions for the Patriots on Saturday?
I think it'll be a good game. I do, because the Chiefs are kind of hot right now. But being home and bringing back Mr. Edelman, I think we're going to take home the 'W.' We'll see how it goes.  

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