Monday Night Football has returned, bringing with it one of the most interesting musical collaborations we’ve seen in a long time. Perhaps learning its lesson from the disastrous reception to the NFL’s undercooked Carrie Underwood and Ludacris song from a few years back, ESPN’s latest attempt to merge football’s disparate fanbases (“two Americas,” after all) finds a better balance between rap and country, meshing them through an ’80s rock power ballad, and tapping two undeniable personalities in Snoop Dogg and Chris Stapleton. The result is a remake of Phil Collins’ smash “In The Air Tonight” that actually captures the energy you want before a big game.
The new theme song premiered ahead of last night’s broadcast of the New Orleans Saints vs. the Carolina Panthers on ESPN, and played before the Cleveland Browns/Pittsburgh Steelers game on ABC. The hype video features the anticipatory buildup before a rivalry game game, as felt through the slow build of Collins’ original. In this version, though, that iconic drum breakdown kicks in early courtesy of drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, right before Snoop delivers a thematically resonant verse that captures the glory and passion of leaving it all on the field for your team and your city. Check it out below:
Can you feel it?
— ESPN (@espn) September 19, 2023