Ed Sheeran performed during the NFL Kickoff Experience on Sept. 9, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys initiated the 2021 NFL regular season at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium.
Sheeran, an Englishman, as the chosen artist to hype up American football raised some eyebrows, but the 30-year-old superstar singer-songwriter can explain.
"The Venn diagram of my fans and NFL fans is pretty bleak, but you know, I lived in Nashville for pretty much all of 2013 and pretty much all of 2018, so I've always been a Titans fan," Sheeran said during a stop by SiriusXM's The Pulse. "I follow it back home. I have the season pass for the TV thing to watch it back in England, and I followed the playoffs last year. I just enjoy watching it."
The Tennessee Titans are 2-1 so far in the young season, slowly healing Titans fans' hearts after a 20-13 loss to Baltimore in last season's wild-card round. Tennessee was the Cinderella of the 2019 campaign, however, making it all the way to the AFC Championship before the eventual champion Kansas City Chiefs ousted them 35-24.
"It's a sport that as an English person you don't grow up watching or understanding, so when I first came over to America, I just didn't get it. I just didn't get it," Sheeran continued. "All it took was one person to sit me down and be like, 'These are the rules, and this is how it played.' And I love it now."
The four-time Grammy winner also praised the NFL for playing annual games in London: "I think that's a very important thing to do as well because we do really buzz of it when it happens. My dad and wife actually went to go and see the Titans, actually, at I think Wembley or Tottenham Stadium."
The Titans fell to the Los Angeles Chargers 20-19 at Wembley on Oct. 21, 2018.
The NFL is returning to London this season after the pandemic prevented international games last year with the Atlanta Falcons taking on the New York Jets on Oct. 10, and then the Jacksonville Jaguars squaring off against the Miami Dolphins the following Sunday. Both games will be at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Sheeran's fifth studio album, = (Equals), will arrive Oct. 29.