When you think of football on television, music might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, from the famous classical music used by NFL Films to Hank Williams Jr. singing, "Are you ready for some football?" music plays a big role in all broadcasts.
When Faith Hill recently informed NBC that she was bowing out of singing "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night," a song she had done since 2007, there had to be a replacement. Enter country music superstar Carrie Underwood, who will now sing the theme song.
On Tuesday I spoke to both Underwood and NBC Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli. Clearly, adding Underwood to the broadcast was something both sides wanted.
Fred, what made you think that Carrie Underwood would a good replacement for Faith Hill?
Gaudelli » "Carrie appeals to both men and women, which was a key for us. We have the number-one rated show on television. We're number one in the men demographic, but we're number two in the female demographic. Just as Faith did, Carrie comes with a sterling reputation and is just very, very likable. The important things are she's a dynamic performer that sells a ton of records and generates a ton of publicity, all of it positive. I think she's got that all-American girl persona which appeals to our audience."
Carrie, what attracted you to this opportunity?
Underwood » "I am thrilled to be a part of NBC's Sunday Night Football and am so honored they asked me to be part of the team. For me, as a huge football fan, it just seemed like something fun to do. Seeing Faith get that hype before the game was awesome. So it seemed like a good fit and a good time. I will be meeting with Fred and we will go over how best to arrange the song. It will be sung in a different key and perhaps have a more pop music sound to it. We will see how things turnout once we get into the studio."
Fred, Is it true that Carrie was your first choice back in 2006?
Gaudelli » "Yes, Carrie was among our first choices to sing the theme back when the series premiered in 2006, but timing did not work out."
Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc.