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The 60-Second Interview: Kyle Turley

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; He was the Saints' seventh draft pick in 1998, a big blond ball of hustle and passion. He emerged as one of the stars of the Jim Haslett era and was selected to the 2000 Pro Bowl. And then. And ...

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Old 10-09-2009, 08:47 PM   #1
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The 60-Second Interview: Kyle Turley

He was the Saints' seventh draft pick in 1998, a big blond ball of hustle and passion. He emerged as one of the stars of the Jim Haslett era and was selected to the 2000 Pro Bowl. And then.

And then, during a game against the Jets in 2001, defensive lineman Damien Robinson grabbed Aaron Brooks' face mask at the end of a play and bent his neck back about as far as it could go without snapping. Offensive linemen don't like when you do that to their quarterback. Kyle Turley ripped Robinson's helmet off his head, threw it halfway across the field, gave everybody the finger and got his 15 minutes of fame.

Turley's magic seemed to run out in New Orleans. He refused a long-term contract in 2003 and went to St. Louis and then Kansas City and then, nagged by several concussions and long-term nerve damage incurred during his 10-year career, he retired, moved to Nashville, Tenn., with his wife and son and set about carving out a new career in music.

Turley is midway through recording his first CD and is coming to Mandeville tonight to show off his chops at the Howlin' Wolf Northshore. Others on the bill include Peabody and Stateliner. Showtime is 9 p.m. Turley took a minute out this week to talk about transgressions, tribulations, transitions and triumph.

Looks like things are taking off in your new career.

Now that Football is over, music is the other passion I have always wanted to pursue.

If a stranger asks you what you do for a living, what is your answer?

Well, I haven't made a living at it yet but, at the current time, I am a country singer.

I seem to remember you as more of a rock 'n' roll guy.

Yeah, that's accurate. And that's pretty evident in my music. It's more like a "power country," if you will.

Who and what are your influences?

Heavy metal influenced my life as a Football player big time. Growing up, I loved Pantera and Slayer, so I guess there's some of their take on darker aspects and world issues. I got a lot of rock influences from Phil Anselmo and Pantera also. But mostly I would say all of my songs and songwriting are drawn from my life's experiences.

Speaking of experiences: I thought I heard some lyrics in one of your songs to the effect of, "Son, that helmet's not for throwing."

That song is "Anger Management," which is also the title of my album. Anger management is what the NFL sent me to after I did what I did in that Jets game. But it turns out that the best anger management I ever got involved with is writing music and playing songs. It just takes me away -- like surfing did for me when I was a kid.

Do you still have anger issues?

Well, I'm an alpha male, so I guess I'll always have anger issues. It was ingrained in my head at a young age to be proud of those things. I don't shy away from it at all. I think anger's a great emotion that few people exercise in the right direction. But you gotta keep your head straight if you've got goals in life and you want to accomplish them.

Do you sometimes feel like you were misunderstood when you played?

That's what "Anger Management" is about. It's about being misunderstood and the world wanting to shape you and label you, and I've always shied away from that. People are always trying to pigeonhole me in certain areas, but I've never been part of the mainstream and I don't care to be. Life is about experience and finding out who you are, so being "Turley, the Guy Who Threw the Helmet" boxes me in. I don't like being boxed in. I don't live good in a cage; not physically and not mentally either.

It's got to kind of suck that your talent for the game is so easily forgotten with time.

Yeah, it sucks that some people don't remember that. They don't know how hard I played that game and how much it meant to me -- the team camaraderie and passion and wearing your logo as a badge. I wore the fleur de lis as a badge of honor every time I walked into the Superdome.

I can't help but think you were ahead of your time. You'd be a great fit on the 2009 Saints .

It would be exciting to play with that team right now -- as good as they are. Sean Payton was the quarterbacks coach at San Diego State when I was going there. We've always said hi to each other over the years. Watching the Saints this year reminds me of back when we were winning and those plane rides home -- back to New Orleans -- where all the cheering fans would meet us at the gate. That city supported its team more than any other I've ever seen.

I didn't know about that Sean Payton connection.

I've got a crazy Reggie Bush connection, too. He grew up across the street from me when I was in college.

How old are you?

I'm 34.

Hell, John Carney's 44. You following me?

I wish I could, man. But I played the game at 100 miles an hour, and it has taken a serious toll on my body -- and it gets worse every year.

Quit being such a wuss. You're Kyle Friggin' Turley, man!

Hey, it would be great to play for the Saints again. My one regret in my Football career was leaving that city. But if I hadn't left, I wouldn't know how much it actually meant to me the way I do now.

Hey, I hear a song in there somewhere. Something like, "Do you know what it means . . . ."

Yeah! In my song "Flying Helmets," I say: "I should have stayed in New Orleans and wore that fleur de lis!"

. . . . . . .

Columnist Chris Rose can be reached at chris.rose@timespicayune.com or 504.352.2535 or 504.826.3309. To comment or read past columns, visit Chris Rose - The Times-Picayune - NOLA.com.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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Re: The 60-Second Interview: Kyle Turley

A country singer? Man I'd love to hear that! He said a lot of crappy things about the Saints on his way out. I always liked Kyle, but I can't help but wonder how sincere he really is. I hope he's being straight tho...
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:06 PM   #3
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Re: The 60-Second Interview: Kyle Turley

yeah I always liked kyle turley he was one of a kind thats for sure
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:31 PM   #4
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Re: The 60-Second Interview: Kyle Turley

meet him several times outside of football, he was a really cool guy. wish him the best. but country music ?
Man, i remember one day listening to Buddy D on the radio. he had kyle on and was talking about his music, buddy could not say the name of the song from slayer right. lol "seasons in the abyss". that was just too funny
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:25 AM   #5
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Re: The 60-Second Interview: Kyle Turley

"I should have stayed in New Orleans and wore that fleur de lis!"

One of the All Time great Saints.
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:33 AM   #6
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Re: The 60-Second Interview: Kyle Turley

I loved the rage with which he played the game. I hope he'll be in the Saints HOF down the line.
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:46 AM   #7
 
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Re: The 60-Second Interview: Kyle Turley

"Son, that helmet's not for throwing."

"Flying Helmets,"

Catchy names for country songs for sure!
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:43 AM   #8
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Re: The 60-Second Interview: Kyle Turley

Originally Posted by Ashley View Post
meet him several times outside of football, he was a really cool guy. wish him the best. but country music ?
Man, i remember one day listening to Buddy D on the radio. he had kyle on and was talking about his music, buddy could not say the name of the song from slayer right. lol "seasons in the abyss". that was just too funny
LMAO. I can hear Buddy stumblin' all over that. Wonder how many mic screens he went through in his career?
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:41 PM   #9
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Re: The 60-Second Interview: Kyle Turley

yeah his practice room was over off Citrus Blvd. in Jefferson
the guy had some nice instruments
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