Are you ready for some football? And some Carrie Underwood?
Underwood will be the new face of the NBC’s Sunday Night Football theme, replacing fellow country superstar Faith Hill after her six-season run.
“I am thrilled to be a part of NBC’s Sunday Night Football and am so honored they asked me,” said Underwood. “I have always loved football season, and it is so exciting to now become part of it every Sunday night.”
Underwood shot to fame after winning American Idol in 2005 and is now a six-time Grammy winner and multi-platinum recording artist. Her version of “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” will make its debut on Sunday September 8th before the first SNF game of the 2013 season between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.
(the rest of this article is my writing)
NBC's choice of a lead singer for its theme song follows the network's preference for women-- not typically seen as a target demographic for professional sports, especially a contact sport such as football. Prior to Faith Hill's run, punk-pop singer Pink was the first to sing the introduction.
The idea of a celebrity singing the theme song to the NFL's night games originated with ABC's broadcasts of Monday Night Football
. In 1988, country singer Hank Williams, Jr. adapted his hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" for MNF
, singing a customized theme to each telecast each week. That ended, very publicly, in 2011, after Williams invoked "Godwin's Law" by making a reference to Adolf Hitler during a morning show interview. The resulting brouhaha led to Williams, very publicly (by releasing a single), quitting that position, and ESPN asserting they would have fired him anyway. After the mutual end of that relationship, ESPN decided not to replace him and instead now uses its instrumental theme, "Heavy Action."
NBC hiring Williams certainly would have brought some publicity and would have pleased the "redneck" demographic, much of which is indeed in the NFL's key demographic. Not hiring anyone to replace Hill could have at least saved money (which NBC would probably appreciate) and not caused anybody to say "I miss when that chick did that Joan Jett cover to start the game." Instead, they have brought in Underwood. Either they think Underwood brings a female demographic that would otherwise not watch, or they are just plain stupid. (Then again, I doubt very many people watch SNF
, or any show, for the theme song, so those two may not be mutually exclusive.)