Carrie Underwood Releases Complex, Multi-Part Prog Rock–Inspired ‘Sunday Night Football’ Theme Song

Top Headlines


Jumbotron Really Trying To Push New Third-Down Cheer On Fans

SAN DIEGO—Noting that the phrase had appeared in large blue letters during each of the team’s offensive drives, sources at Qualcomm Stadium confirmed Friday that the Jumbotron was trying really hard to push a new third-down cheer on San Diego Chargers fans.

Strongside/Weakside: Kris Bryant

By leading the Chicago Cubs in hits and home runs en route to their second straight playoff appearance, Kris Bryant has placed himself in the running for the National League MVP. Is he any good?

Rest Of Nation To Penn State: ‘Something Is Very Wrong With All Of You’

WASHINGTON—Stating they felt deeply unnerved by the community’s unwavering and impassioned defense of a football program and administration that enabled child sexual abuse over the course of several decades, the rest of the country informed Penn State University Friday that there is clearly something very wrong with all of them.

Strongside/Weakside: Lamar Jackson

After passing for eight touchdowns and rushing for another 10 in just the first three weeks of the season, Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson has quickly become the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Is he any good?

Strongside/Weakside: Carson Wentz

After being selected second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz opened the season with a nearly flawless performance in a victory over the Cleveland Browns. Is he any good?

Former WWE Wrestler Found Alive At 44

PHOENIX—In a revelation that has sent shockwaves through the wrestling world, sources confirmed that former WWE wrestler Freddy Hendricks, better known as his in-ring persona “Time Bomb,” was discovered alive Friday at the age of 44.

Strongside/Weakside: Dak Prescott

Having assumed the role after Tony Romo’s injury during the preseason, Dak Prescott is expected to open the NFL regular season as the first rookie quarterback to start for the Dallas Cowboys since 2004. Is he any good?

Study: 96% Of Pickup Games Decided By Next Score

PRINCETON, NJ—Noting that none of the game’s earlier events factored into the final outcome in any way whatsoever, a study released Wednesday by researchers at Princeton University revealed that 96 percent of all pickup games are decided by the next score.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Carrie Underwood Releases Complex, Multi-Part Prog Rock–Inspired ‘Sunday Night Football’ Theme Song

NEW YORK—Providing a unique interpretation of the weekly game broadcast’s iconic introductory music, country singer Carrie Underwood earlier this week debuted her own version of “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night,” a sprawling, multi-part progressive rock–inspired take on the NBC Sunday Night Football theme.

Drawing on the musical stylings of legendary prog rockers such as Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson, Underwood’s bombastic performance is reportedly marked by shifting time signatures, lengthy instrumental passages, and abstract, mystical lyrics, all of which serve to highlight the thrills and excitement of NBC’s flagship football broadcast.

The 26-minute song will play in its entirety before every single edition of Sunday Night Football, network sources have confirmed.

“When NBC asked me to come up with my own version of their intro music, I decided that I wanted to give them something really special,” said Underwood, who described her piece as combining the theatricality of ’60s- and ’70s-era symphonic art rock with elements more traditionally associated with the game of football such as tackling and touchdowns. “From the opening overture to the spacey, ‘Interstellar Overdrive’-esque middle section to the concluding reprisal of the central melodic motif, fans are going to love this one. And I think it’s the perfect way to kick off the Sunday night action.”

“This song is what football’s all about,” Underwood continued.

Although past incarnations of the Sunday Night Football theme have typically taken a straightforward rock and roll approach, with versions by singers Faith Hill and Pink not exceeding the two-minute mark, the former American Idol winner’s seven-part suite reportedly paints a rich sonic tapestry that utilizes analog synthesizer riffs, 12-string guitar arpeggios, and pastoral flute accompaniment. In addition, Underwood’s copious lyrics take listeners deep into a richly imagined alternate realm known as the Gridiron, a medieval world populated by monstrous linebackers, scantily clad harlequin dancers, and winged footballs.

Furthermore, the song is paired with a music video in which footage of Underwood performing with her elaborately costumed bandmates is juxtaposed with scenes featuring the cloak-wearing singer journeying deep into the Coaching Tree Woods to do battle with the Blackout, a vicious beast dedicated to destroying all light and beauty in the Gridiron.

As in past years, the video also includes interstitial scenes in which various NFL stars are shown preparing for a football game; however, given its sheer length, upwards of 200 athletes, coaches, and front office personnel are now featured.

Initial reaction to Underwood’s elaborate conceptual work has so far been positive.

“This is exactly what we were looking for,” said Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli, adding that the end product more than justifies the cost of the elaborate lighting, multiple backdrops, and stage props required for the song’s performance. “What Carrie’s done here is truly remarkable. She’s taken the stale, predictable football rock genre to an artistic and intellectual plane it’s never before seen. Some of our more unadventurous viewers may not be able to get into it, but I think this track is an immediate classic.”

“I mean, I’ve had that mellotron part from the halftime interlude stuck in my head all day,” Gaudelli added.

The producer additionally spotlighted the final five minutes of the song’s video—following the Dance of the Endzone, a driving 9/8 instrumental passage featuring a frenetic Moog solo from guest musician Keith Emerson—in which Underwood defeats the Blackout in battle, frees a captive Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth from the Bog of Suspensions, and emerges from the Great Tunnel clad in white for the song’s rousing finale.

“The evil is vanquished, the monster’s at bay,” Underwood sings, a bank of football stadium spotlights illuminating as the sun sets behind her. “Now the warriors shall meet on the field of play/For now all is beauty, now all is light.”

“And I’ve been waitin’ all day for Sunday night,” Underwood concludes.


Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close