For the second time in a week, linebacker Keith Bulluck was showing off a present at his locker.
But this gift had nothing to do with the Pittsburgh Steelers, like the Terrible Towel Bulluck unveiled last week.
This was a black cowboy hat, courtesy of country music star Tim McGraw, and fulfilled a promise made approximately a year-and-a-half ago at the 2007 Country Music Awards.
“I asked him where could I get a hat like that. He said, ‘I’ll have to get one made for you,’” Bulluck said. “I just asked him. He was sitting in front of me, and it’s not too often you get an opportunity to meet a guy like that. I just asked him where can I get a hat like that?”
McGraw is familiar with professional athletics, as his father Tug pitched for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.
Bulluck said he is impressed with McGraw’s style and now plans to do interviews each day donning the hat.
“He has style. Everyone on the country music scene knows Tim has style about him,” Bulluck said. “I have style, too. So two stylish men _ I needed to see where I can get a hat like that. … Every day I do an interview from now on out, I’ll be wearing my black, official Tim McGraw hat. Thank you kindly, Tim."
The hat came with an engraving in gold letters on the inside of the hat band, that said “Made especially for Keith Bulluck by Tim McGraw.”
It also came with a personal note to Bulluck from McGraw on engraved stationery.
“You know he’s a first-class guy, he’s got his own stationery,” Bulluck chirped.
The note said, “Sorry this took so long. Hope u enjoy the hat. Have a great season. We’ll be talking.”
The hat was well worth the wait, as Bulluck appeared to cherish the present.
“It’s something I’ve been waiting for for about a year-and-a-half. But I understand, he’s a busy guy. People are still waiting for things from me. Tim, I’m not mad at you. I greatly appreciate it,” Bulluck said.