Posted on 02.15.2021

Charlie Daniels: Super Fan Part 1 - Soapbox Jr.

Super Bowl LV is in the books, and it made me realize that I’ve written several things about my dad in the recent months, but very little about one of his passions, sports.

Dad loved most all of the major sports. I don’t think he ever really warmed up to hockey like a large section of Middle Tennessee did when the Nashville Predators started becoming competitive, but I don’t think there was a whole lot of hockey going on when dad was growing up in North Carolina and Georgia.

I don’t think he was much on soccer either, I know I’m not… personally, I think soccer is a plot to force a globalist agenda on us. I'm kidding, of course… Well, kind of…

But back to hockey, we did attend a couple of Predators games when dad performed our National Anthem at a couple of Stanley Cup Semi-Final games a few years ago, Bridgestone Arena went wild. He also performed with the house band in-between periods once or twice.

Dad was a bigger fan of baseball, at least he was until the strike in 1994/1995, and then he never really recaptured the love of the game like he had before the strike.

I haven’t been a huge baseball fan since I was a kid, but dad was a huge Braves fan when I was younger, and specifically a huge fan of Hank Aaron, who sadly passed away recently, so I was too.

I remember watching Hank break Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974 when we were living in a house we built in Mt. Juliet, it was something special for sure.

In 1992, we went to Atlanta to watch the Braves take on the Toronto Blue Jays in game 6 of the World Series.

Despite not having followed much baseball as I got older, this was an electric atmosphere, unfortunately for the home team fans, the Braves lost to the Blue Jays and they won the Series. 

It was also one of the last things we ever got to do with my grandmother, LaRue. Shortly after the World Series, LaRue (she never wanted to be called “grandma” or anything along those lines, Just LaRue) had been diagnosed with a blockage that would require exploratory surgery.

Sadly, that turned out to be pancreatic cancer, and she was gone less than six months later. She was a wonderful and loving woman who lived life to the fullest the last few years of her life. 

Dad never got into basketball much except with the NCAA tournament rolled around, but every March, he was glued to the TV right down to the final game.

But dad’s real passion was football, both college and the pros.

He loved it all.

He was a huge Tennessee Vols fan, and even performed at the halftime of a nationally televised game against the Crimson Tide in 1980.

The way I recall it, during the halftime report, the studio cut back to the field where the CDB was performing, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and legendary college play-by-play announcer, Keith Jackson, said, “Let’s join The Charlie Daniels Band on the field,” right as dad got to the iconic line, “I done told you once you S.O.B, I’m the best there’s ever been!” And time may have colored my memory, but I remember a startled Keith Jackson saying something to the effect of, “Whoa Nellie, I think we came back just a little early…”

Alabama won that game 27-0, so other than the halftime show, it’s a pretty bad memory for a Vols fan.

Dad also performed at another Tennessee Alabama halftime in 2002, it was a great halftime show, another not-so-great outcome for Tennessee, as the Crimson Tide won 34-14. I blame CDB bass player, Charlie Hayward. Charlie, who was born in Alabama wore a crimson red shirt as the rest of the band wore orange jerseys, but I understand rivalries run deep in the SEC.

The first professional game I attended was in Pittsburgh in 1980 when the Steelers played the Miami Dolphins. The CDB performed “In America,” at halftime which contained the line, “Just go and lay your hand on a Pittsburgh Steelers fan,” and the stadium was rocking with tens of thousands of Terrible Towels twisting in the wind.

I remember watching a lot of football with dad when I was growing up. Back when I was a kid, Tennessee didn’t have a professional team, so we were Dallas Cowboys fans since they were on TV so often as “America’s Team,” but people wondered if dad was a Cowboys fan, why he chose Pittsburgh for the song, “In America.” He said it was primarily about the blue-collar working-class image of the fans which prompted him to put them in the song.

So, when I was growing up, we were Cowboys fans first, and probably Falcons fans second, since we got quite a few games locally because of the proximity to Atlanta, but our AFC team was the Houston Oilers, which years later would become pretty significant for the “Tennessee Midlands,” as dad used to call it, but more on that next time.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police, the peace of Jerusalem and for our nation.

God Bless America!


—  Charlie Daniels, Jr.



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Check out "Geechi Geechi Ya Ya Blues" from Beau Weevils - 'Songs in the Key of E'




No Majors For Me
Amen, Amen & Amen Charlie Jr there is no doubt that your dad enjoyed most sports and performed many memorable half time shows. I never was personally a big major league fan after high school. In college I started appreciating high school and college sports more, roll tide roll:) . With the politics we have in today professional sports I want nothing to do with them. I even abandoned NASCAR when they banned the Confederate Flag. Every body is due their first amendment rights, however I do not wish to watch or hear them at an event that I'm spending my time and money on. Just like your dad he performed his shows and then he spoke his piece loud and clear for all you wanted to hear off the stage, not to paying fans who came to enjoy the best Southern Rock Band. I will stand for the flag and take a knee for Jesus only......nuff said God Blkess Plowboy
Posted by Plowboy
Sports Fan
Growing up in the 60's and 70's, as you know Junior there wasn't video games or anything else to keep us occupied, only our imaginations. Sports or at least watching sports was a big outlet for us. We'd then go out and play sand lot baseball or football and pretend we were the sports icons that we adored so much. My grandad played for the Tennessee Vols back in 1920, both offense and defense so my blood runs very orange. In the early 70's, we lived just outside of Cincinnati so as you can imagine, I was a Big Red Machine fan. There was Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Etc. I can still tell you the starting lineup and what positions they played as well as the batting order. Like your Dad, I lost interest in major league baseball in the early 90's with the strike. I still go to a Sounds game occasionally though. One note on the Reds, the outfielder Bernie Carbo lived in some apartments close to my northern Kentucky house. Once a bunch of us 13 year olds went to his apartment and nervously knocked on the door for an autograph. He answered and signed picture autographs for us all. The he asked what we were doing, getting ready to play some touch football we replied. He asked if he could come and be the quarterback for both teams, we were ecstatic! Caught a pass from Bernie and he " gave me some skin" the old version of "high-fiving". Always was my favorite player. Favorite football star was Johnny Unitas of the old Baltimore Colts team. Dad was a horse trainer as I said before and judged horse shows all over the country. Once he judged a show in New Orleans and a bunch of the Saints players came to watch and wanted Dad's autograph! Another time, Stan " The Man" Musial of the 50's team St. Louis Cardinals ( baseball) came to our barn when we lived in upper New York state and wanted to ride a horse. Of course Dad was thrilled to oblige. Dad also got to ride the Walking horse at a Tennessee homecoming game in Knoxville back in 1979 when they played Georgia Tech. Wish I could have been there but I was in Germany at the time in the Air Force. So many great memories! Your soap boxes of your memories of Charlie brings back good memories of my Dad and I. Keep them coming, my friend! Mark in Shelbyville
Posted by Mark
A great patriot and musician
I saw the CDB many times the most recent in ct warner theater in Torrington. The show was fantastic and your dad was a wonderful host letting us come up to the stage a posing for pictures. I miss his presence
Posted by Gary
Lets All Make the Day Count Book
Dear Charlie Jr. I wanted to let you know the impact your dad's book has on people. My sister and I were so lucky to see your dad in Nov. 2019 at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT. We both purchased "Let's All Make the Day Count", among other things, at the show. My sister is a drug and rehab therapist and started using the book in her group therapy. She chooses one page a day to discuss with her patients. She didn't have the book with her one day so started therapy without. The patients immediately spoke up and asked about it. They appreciate it so much that they look forward to beginning sessions with the book. The pages in that book have made such an impact on those patients and their healing. I don't know if you will see this post and I don't know if my sister will contact you to give you more details but I wanted to let you know how much your dad's words in his books inspire us all and how much they are impacting the healing process of those patients.
Posted by JoAnn
Great Choice
Oh you sure know it when you got them Steelers fans riled up. Lightning in the bottle every time. CD does P-burg game, would love to have seen that. ~ NIMOC
Posted by Jeff