Ravens kicker Justin Tucker has hit a lot of high-pressure field goals for the Ravens. In fact, he's hit 10 game-winning kicks in his career, including three this season.
But singing "Ave Maria" in a packed basilica? Now that makes him nervous.
By now you've probably seen video of the tuxedo-clad Tucker's fabulous rendition of "Ave Maria" at a Catholic Charities benefit Christmas concert on Thursday night at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore.
"It's way more nerve-racking to sing in front of a group of people, because quite frankly that's not really my element," Tucker said after the Ravens practice on Friday. "I mean, kicking a ball in front of tens of thousands of people in the stadium and then I know a bunch more watching on TV, that's totally our comfort zone. That's what I do and what I know so well."
Tucker studied music at the University of Texas, and his opera skills are well documented. He stunned his teammates at the team's rookie talent show in 2012 when he belted out a rendition of "O Sole Mio." And his opera skills have been featured in several commercials, including one currently airing for Royal Farms.
Still, he described the holiday concert as a "surreal experience to perform in front of a group like that, in that space as well at the basilica downtown. It was definitely very, very cool."
"Reviews have been positive, which is good," he said with a chuckle. "It is kind of cool to hear the reaction and see what people have been posting on social media. ... People have been really, really kind."