Country music legend Charlie Daniels and The Charlie Daniels Band will have a starring role in ESPN’s Monday Night Football “open” next week when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos travel to Atlanta to face Matt Ryan and the Falcons (Sept. 17, 8:30 p.m. ET).
The open will feature Daniels’ 1979 hit song The Devil Went Down to Georgia.
Originally written as a narrative about the Devil, who comes to Georgia to procure souls, Daniels recorded new lyrics for the song this week at Twin Pines Studio in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., that highlight the MNF matchup and both teams’ star quarterbacks.
Said Daniels: “I’ve been watching Monday Night Football since it started and to be a part of it kind of makes me feel proud. I had to watch the lyrics real close because I’ve done those same Devil Went Down To Georgia lyrics for 33 years.”
The original version of the song, released by Epic Records, spent 14 weeks on the Hot Country Singles charts in 1979, peaking at No. 1.
“We’re excited to be in Atlanta this week for Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ first road game of the season, and to kick off the telecast with Charlie Daniels’ iconic song seemed like a perfect fit,” said ESPN’s MNF producer Jay Rothman.
“This is one of the fun things about having a new themed open each week. It gives us a blank canvas to be creative and incorporate athletes, celebrities, musicians and others depending on the storylines of the game. We hope fans like it.”
Note: This is not the first time Daniels has appeared in a MNF open. The famed fiddler was part of the all-star band that was featured each week during ESPN’s first MNF season in 2006.