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Carrie Underwood reveals intricate process of recording the ‘Sunday Night Football’ theme song

There are plenty of versions she records that never see the light of day.
/ Source: TODAY

NFL teams don’t have game plans that are as thorough as the opening to “Sunday Night Football.”

Carrie Underwood is in her 11th season performing the iconic theme to the weekly prime-time game that airs on NBC and has peeled back the curtain on just how it all goes down, since each opening is tailor-made for that particular week’s game.

“It’s one main version top to bottom and then kind of filling in lines,” she told SiriusXM. “So, when we go in to record, we do it all at once.”

Underwood also says several other versions are recorded to prepare for all postseason matchups that could happen, regardless of the odds of some teams not making it.

“I do the whole main version, but then we go through and pick up all the matchups for each week of regular season football and then we go into playoff football,” she said.

“And I then sing every possible combination of teams that could possibly, maybe play each other, even if you know, even if in the back of your mind, you’re like, ‘I know they ain’t going to make it into the playoffs. I don’t know why we’re doing this.’ We do it anyway just because the one time you don’t they’re going to call you up and you’re going to have to go back in the studio, so just get it all done.”

Underwood also says her work with “SNF” does not preclude her from performing on the Super Bowl halftime show. Usher will headline the next big game when he performs at halftime of the 2024 Super Bowl on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas. Given her popularity and association with the NFL, it may be surprising to learn Underwood has never starred in the high-profile show. Would she ever do it?

Cris Collinsworth, Carrie Underwood and Mike Tirico
Carrie Underwood (center) went from performing the "SNF" theme to hanging out with announcers Cris Collinsworth (left) and Mike Tirico (right) before a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Las Vegas Raiders on Sept. 24, 2023, in Las Vegas.Ethan Miller / Getty Images

“I don’t know. I mean, that’s a lot of pressure. It would have to be just the right circumstances, and I don’t know,” she said.

Regardless of whether or not she ever performs on the Super Bowl halftime stage, Underwood takes pride in her “SNF” work.

“I think my favorite is when I hear people, and it kind of dawns on me that it’s like before these guys were playing in ‘Sunday Night Football’ games, they were watching ‘Sunday Night Football,’” she said.

“(It) would have been the equivalent of me watching award shows or people performing on TV and just being like, ‘Oh, my gosh, if I could only do that,’ and to think that these, I have been doing it 11 years, so some of these guys were younger, watching these football games, just thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, if I could be on “Sunday Night Football,”’ and then ... I’m a little part of their journey which is really cool.”