Colin Kapernick does a quiet fist pump.
NBC recently got sued for plagiarizing its 2018 “Sunday Night Football” intro. So it created a new song this year and swept the scandal and publicity under the rug. It just happened to sweep America under the rug as well.
For years, “Sunday Night Football” has been NBC’s top-rated show, helping the network this past year earn the highest viewership in the nation. Since 2013, Carrie Underwood has been kicking off the show singing the intro. To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of professional football, and with incentive from songwriter Heidi Merrill’s plagiarism lawsuit, NBC rewrote the intro, bringing in rockstar Joanne Jet to play with Underwood.
Although with this new version NBC pulled out all the stops to get fans hyped for this historic season, there is still a small problem: the video doesn’t once make any patriotic references in its visuals or audio. That might not seem to be too big of a deal, except for the fact that for the past 10 years, NBC has consistently called attention to things like “America’s Game” and “the Red White and Blue.”
Sitting down to watch the intro at the beginning of the season, you might have expected to see at least one American flag, but you didn’t. The flag is gone. This comes in sharp contrast to the 2010 and 2011 intros, in which Faith Hill sang ringed by American flags and Executive Producer Dick Ebersol’s name was displayed on an American flag billboard. In seven of the past ten years the intro has shown American flags and even at times the U.S. capitol and other patriotic sights. In this season’s intro, the producers showed the Seattle skyline.
In every one of the past 10 years, there has been an explicit patriotic reference in the lyrics; the previous two years (which featured new theme songs) talked about “America’s game” while before that Underwood and Hill sang about the “star-spangled fight” that bled “red, white, and blue.” Now returning to the original theme song, NBC edited out those lyrics to talk about “a prime-time fight” that’s “kicking into high gear.”