Bironas gives his leg a break, lends a hand — and his name — to local fundraising event

Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 8:59pm

Rob Bironas figures he’ll have plenty of time to give to golf once his NFL career is finished.

“I played a lot when I was young, but I haven’t played as much since I’ve been doing the football thing,” he said. “I try to stay away from it while my career is going. I figure there will be plenty of days after I retire to get back out on the links and play.”

In the meantime, the Tennessee Titans kicker figures the sport is a good way to give back.

In April — for the first time — he will be the celebrity host of the 2012 Christmas 4 Kids Celebrity Golf Tournament at Pine Creek Golf Course in Mt. Juliet. 

“I’ve been going to one of their events in-season [a concert hosted by Charlie Daniels] for the past six years,” Bironas said. “I’ve kind of taken part in that aspect of it but never been fully involved. They asked me to co-host with [bluegrass artists] The Roys this year, with the golf tournament. I told them I’d be more than happy to.”

Bironas’ name and contacts will add to the star power of the event.

He expects current and former teammates such as punters Brett Kern and Craig Hentrich plus quarterback Jake Locker and others to play. He expects to play as the celebrity member of one of the 18 groups, although he stressed he’s not nearly as effective hitting a ball off a tee as he is kicking one.

“I don’t think anybody wants me driving for them — I have an evil slice,” Bironas said. “I’ll be out there, definitely, shaking hands with everybody and playing in the tournament with them.

“… It’s good to bring the realm of sports into it as well as the music industry here in Nashville.”

The event is set for April 10, which is six days before the Titans start their offseason conditioning program when Bironas will kick for the first time since the end of the 2011 season.

Coming off one of the most successful seasons of his career, he commenced with his personal workout regimen last week.

“I took about a month off — I was probably working out about once every 10 days, kind of relaxing and letting everything heal up and loosen up,” Bironas said. “It’s about that time to get back in the gym, working on my core and cardio. I will be in shape to start kicking in April.”

Bironas missed just three of 32 field goal attempts as the Titans went 9-7 in their first season under coach Mike Munchak. He also was perfect of extra point tries (34-34) for the sixth straight year.

His 121 points were the third-highest total of his career.

“I changed it up a little last year with the whole lockout situation,” Bironas said. “I waited a little longer to get started and ramped up to about 80 percent rather than 95 percent going into training camp. I think it worked well for me. I went to training camp without any nicks, no injuries.

“I felt good all season and had a good season. I think I’m going to kind of stick to that this season.”

He simply will add the responsibilities that come with hosting the golf tournament, one of four primary fundraisers Christmas 4 Kids conducts throughout the year. Funds raised provide one-day shopping trips to more than 400 Middle Tennessee children from 30 area schools who otherwise might not have a Christmas.

“When you give back to the community and you give back to kids … what better way to do it than at Christmastime and help these kids enjoy the spirit of Christmas?” Biroans said. “I’m just a regular guy doing my thing during the day.

“To be able to take part in a charity event where your name is recognized and people recognize you … at first it was a little weird to me. It took a little getting used to. But I’m glad to take part in it now.”

Spots in the 2012 Christmas 4 Kids Celebrity Golf Tournament are available for $125 per individual or $350 for a team of three. Each group includes three players plus a celebrity.

Registration and information are available at Christmas4Kids.org.