St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton partnered up to present Kenny Chesney with his award for being a 2011 CMT Artist of the Year. Chesney is an avowed sports fan, so it was beyond appropriate to have the coaches honor him.

La Russa, who won the World Series with the Cardinals this fall before retiring, noted when Chesney took a well-deserved year off from the road, it felt like summer was canceled for his fans. However, he came back better than ever with his 'Goin' Coastal' trek.

In the package that aired before Chesney hopped on stage to collect his award, he spoke about how much he loves being on the road. "You feel the crowd is like an avalanche coming over top of you," Chesney said about his experience with his fans in the live setting. Chesney routinely sells out stadiums, so he experiences that avalanche-like feeling with every date.

"It's a true honor to be up here tonight with Coach LaRussa and Coach Payton," he said, explaining that despite being friend with both men, he still feels comfortable calling them "coach." He continued, "I feel fortunate to have music in my life, to be able to touch people with a melody and with a rhyme."

The avalanche of fans are no doubt happy to be touched by Chesney's melodies.