Nashville is so close to winning a championship it can almost taste it – yet it also feels so very far away. Music City is in a professional sports championship series for the first time in 17 years, but two games into the Stanley Cup finals the Nashville Predators are down 0-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. That’s where Billy Ray Cyrus comes into play.
Cyrus, who celebrated the 25th anniversary of “Achy Breaky Heart” this year by re-recording it and declaring his intention to drop “Billy Ray” and go only by his surname, has come off the bench to cheer on the hometown hockey team with a new song, “Bring the Stanley Cup to Tennessee.” The song is little more than a verse and a lick, but that’s all it really needs to be: “We’ll all stand and cheer, and toast it with a beer,” he declares, accompanied by some prominent cowbell playing.
“Bring the Stanley Cup to Tennessee” makes reference to Predators fans’ long-running ritual of throwing catfish on the ice, a practice inspired by Detroit Red Wings fans who christen their team’s rink with octopi. (Hockey fans are a superstitious bunch.) The catfish tradition made headlines earlier this week when one over-zealous fan, Jacob Waddell, got in hot water with the city of Pittsburgh for throwing one on the ice in the middle of Game 1.
It’s a safe bet that “Bring the Stanley Cup to Tennessee” will get some rotation during Game 3, which takes place Saturday night and will be the first game of the final to be played at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Game time is 8:00 p.m. ET on NBCS.