Famous Fins Fan: Darius Rucker

Posted Sep 27, 2011

Darius Rucker gained fame as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish. The band has released five studio albums with him as a member, and charted six top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Rucker co-wrote the majority of the band's songs with the other three members. A long time Dolphins fan, Rucker has performed the National Anthem at Dolphins games as well as his hit song "I Only Want To Be With You" at Dan Marino's retirement bash. Rucker even sports a tattoo of the Dolphins logo. Read how this musical legend first became a Dolphins fan and how he continues to show his support for the team today.

How did a musician from South Carolina become such a devoted fan of the Miami Dolphins?

Rucker: "I remember I was 5 years old and it was the Miami-Dallas Super Bowl and the whole family was sitting around watching it and everybody was pulling for Dallas, so I decided I was going to pull for the Dolphins. So I started pulling for them that day and the next year I started playing football and they went undefeated, so I really began to like them and I’ve been a Dolphins fan ever since. Those were great teams."

What was it like for you to shoot that music video with Dan Marino for the Hootie & The Blowfish single "I Only Want To Be With You"? And then also perform it for him at his retirement bash?

Rucker: "The reason we did the video was because they asked us what we wanted to do for our next video, so I told them I wanted to meet Dan Marino. So we came up with a way for me to do that and that was one of the best days of my life. He’s still my favorite player of all time and that day was a great day. I wanted to catch every pass I could and I was basically a 6-year-old kid running around wanting to catch everything he threw but they made me act it out to where I kept dropping the ball."

When did you get the tattoo of the Dolphins logo, and how devout of a fan were you at the time?

Rucker: "I got that tattoo at least 15-16 years ago. I’ve been bleeding aqua since I was 5. Even the bad years, I would only play the Dolphins on Madden. I’m a pretty good player on Madden, but I will never switch teams."

Do you have a specific Dolphins game that stands out in your memory as your favorite, and why?

Rucker: "If I was going to say just one game it was the game in Indianapolis when Marino broke the record (for career TD passes). There was a picture of him shaking Coach Shula’s hand and I was standing probably 10 feet from where they were on the field. That was amazing."

What was it like to meet Tony Sparano, Jeff Ireland and their wives last year before your show with Rascal Flatts in West Palm Beach at the Cruzan Amphitheater?

Rucker: "That was awesome. After the show the coach came up and gave me a wallet that I still have. They were great guys and I’m a Dolphins fan, so to have the Dolphins coach and GM come out to see me before my show, that was huge. I was just honored that they would come out and say, hey. I think they were already aware I was a huge Dolphins fan and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a fan and that’s my team."

Did you play football in high school or before high school, and what position did you play?

Rucker: "I played football up until high school and then by high school I realized that I was a little small and I’d need to go a different route. I played quarterback and when you were 6 or 7 you played a little bit of everything but the last four or five years I played quarterback. And I did actually wear No. 13, believe it or not, because 13 is my lucky number. That’s why I think I love him so much because not only was he the Dolphins quarterback but I was grateful he wore my number, too."

What was it like to sing the national anthem before some Dolphins games?

Rucker: "I’ve gotten to do it a few times down there and it’s awesome. I mean, to be on the home field with my team singing the anthem and then they’re about to play a game, that’s just awesome. Football’s my thing and this is the time of year for me."

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