It had to be bugging Darius Rucker a little bit.
The diehard South Carolina Gamecocks fan was in Atlanta for the College Football Playoff championship game, where two SEC teams were playing. The Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs, two of the Gamecocks top rivals were on the field at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Ever the consummate professional, Rucker didn’t let the title game’s matchup or the unpleasant weather in Atlanta keep him down. Rucker performed in Centennial Olympic Park as part of the pregame festivities then made the rounds with media and fans.
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During a steady, chilly drizzling rain, the former Hootie & the Blowfish frontman turned country music star performed for a few hundred fans to help set the stage for the championship game.
“It’s cold out here!” he yelled, before the opening lines of “Homegrown Honey,” according to ajc.com.
Rucker braved the elements performing hits “Southern State of Mind” and “Story to Tell,” and drinking a shot of whiskey in honor of the big game.
During the concert, a fan yelled, “Play some old Hootie!” and Rucker and the band burst into a version of Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Only Wanna Be With You,” ajc.com reported.
Following the performance, Rucker made his way into the stadium, where he served as celebrity expert for many media outlets. When pressed to make a prediction, the Gamecock superfan chose the home team, the Georgia Bulldogs much to the delight of the pro-Red and Black crowd.
Maybe it was because of the Masters Tournament logo on his sweater, from Bulldog Country in Augusta that had him lean toward Georgia.
Rucker continued to circulate, and enjoyed a visit with wrestling legend Ric Flair.
And he did all of it wearing a garnet South Carolina Gamecocks baseball cap. Social media took notice, and praised Rucker for staying true to his Palmetto State roots.
The Charleston native and bandmates formed Hootie & the Blowfish while they were students at South Carolina. The Hootie & the Blowfish album “Cracked Rear View” went platinum 16 times in the U.S., became the best-selling album of 1995, and was one of the fastest-selling debut albums of all time.