HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry Music2022 NFL Draft: Why Dolly Parton Got a Mention in the 5th Round

2022 NFL Draft: Why Dolly Parton Got a Mention in the 5th Round

by Suzanne Halliburton

Dolly Parton is such an omnipotent presence that her country music legendary self got mentioned Saturday at the NFL draft.

How did this gifted singer/songwriter/actress/philanthropist slip into the NFL draft mentions? She’s related to one of the draft picks. So when the Kansas City Chiefs selected Kentucky All-American offensive lineman Darian Kinnard in the fifth round, the ESPN announcers mentioned the relationship. The two are distant relatives.

Kinnard grew up in Knoxville, Tenn. Parton’s hometown is Sevierville, a town 30 miles away. Kinnard said the two never met, but Dolly is his aunt’s first cousin. Now, Dolly does come from a big family. She had 11 other brothers and sisters. We’re assuming Kinnard gets his NFL physique from another part of the family. Dolly is petite and only five feet tall. Meanwhile, Kinnard is 6-5 and about 350 pounds, give or take a celebratory dinner.

“It’s kind of cool,” Kinnard said of his distant cousin. “I grew up going to Dollywood and stuff like that, but I never really go around saying my cousin is Dolly Parton. … I just go about my business and focus on doing what I have to do.”

When Kansas City selected Kentucky lineman Darian Kinnard in the fifth round, his cousin Dolly Parton received an NFL draft shoutout. (John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Now, Dolly Parton was only an NFL draft detail during a marathon three days of selections. But she’s definitely a football fan who observes the Super Bowl as a sacred Sunday. She also was in a Super Bowl ad back in February.

“I watch it every year,” Parton told Billboard said about the annual NFL Super spectacle. “I don’t know all there is to know about football, but my husband is a huge fan so we always watch the Super Bowl. I’m always the one making food and popcorn. When I hear all the hootin’ and hollerin’, I know something great’s going on and I want to get in there with him to enjoy that part. But I always love to watch the halftime shows. I’ve loved all of them.”

Then she talked about the queso she makes, although she did commit a faux pas by misnaming it. We’ll forgive her.

“I make that Velveeta cheese thing, the dip with the tortilla chips,” she said. “That’s one of my favorite things, the salsa and the Velveeta. I make chicken wings, I make all kinds. And lots of great dips.”

She starred in a T-Mobile Super Bowl commercial with her goddaughter Miley Cyrus.

Now about her cousin. He went off the board at pick No. 145. That was two selections into the fifth round. Before the season started, there was speculation that had Kinnard as a possible first-round pick. On3 considers Kinnard to be one of the biggest surprises of the draft, learn more here.