Simon says Tully Banta-Cain might just win another championship.
The retired NFL linebacker won two Super Bowl rings during his time with the New England Patriots, and now he's chasing another title on a much different stage.
Banta-Cain and fellow members of the NFL Players Chorus performed recently on a nationally televised episode of America's Got Talent, and advanced to the next round in August after singing the 1972 classic "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers. Notoriously tough judge Simon Cowell made them work for it, though, requesting an acapella rendition to better gauge the group's harmonization.
The group, which doesn’t feature a band or rehearse with one, was prepared like it was NFL Sunday. That secured three unanimous "yes" votes from Cowell and fellow judges Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara.
"I can tell you really want to win," Cowell remarked after the performance, "and I love that."
Banta-Cain was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2003 NFL Draft, winning two Super Bowls with the team before his departure in free agency before the 2007 season. He returned for the 2009-10 season, and more than 10 years later, will look to earn a new "ring" to his collection of success.
Led by former Carolina Panthers safety Cameron Newton, the NFL Players Choir was officially formed in 2008 and is comprised of several current and former players. They perform annually at the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, and recently sang the National Anthem at this year's Pro Bowl in Las Vegas.
The group received a rousing applause from the audience and an initial positive reaction by the judges.
By the time Banta-Cain performs again on AGT, his old team will have started training camp in Foxboro.