“Ricky Williams – A Football Life” premieres Friday, October 31 at 9pm/ET on NFL Network.
Video by Jonathan Smyth
In telling the story of Ricky Williams’ football life, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of his time at Texas. To help illustrate the iconic nature of Ricky’s college career in this film, I wanted the Longhorn football anthem “Eyes of Texas” to be part of the soundtrack. Not only is it a great tune, but I found the lyrics to be thematically relevant to this player who, once he arrived in college, seemed to be placed in a proverbial fishbowl created by the world’s attention.
Once the decision was made to use “Eyes of Texas”, I needed help to make it happen. Enter NFL Films Player & Talent Coordinator Lindsay Spieler, who found the perfect musicians to solve the problem. The Keystone State Boychoir has performed on all 7 continents, and under the direction of Mr. Steve Fisher, they came to NFL Films Studios in June for a recording session and video shoot. Joining them that day was former Longhorn and current Eagle linebacker Emmanuel Acho, a singer and piano player who in just one week taught himself “Eyes” by ear. With DP Jim Barry and AC Phil Gushue shooting, and another Texas alum, Senior Recording Engineer Steve Moseley in the booth, the KSB and Emmanuel delivered brilliantly for “A Football Life” — providing a performance just as unforgettable as the career their song was cued up to salute.
By Paul Camarata, Producer of “Ricky Williams – A Football Life”
IN THE GALLERY – During production of “Ricky Williams – A Football Life”, former Texas All-America Linebacker and current Philadelphia Eagle Emmanuel Acho perform “Eyes of Texas” with members of the Keystone State Boychoir — NFL Films Studios, June 2014. (Photos – Lindsay Spieler)
Special thanks to Jonathan Smyth for directing, shooting, and editing the behind-the-scenes video ; and to Emmanuel Acho, Mr. Steve Fisher, and everyone with the Keystone State Boychoir.