Monday night’s “Two Games, One Night” special just became even more exciting with the debut of a new music video as the opening act. The video featured a cover of Phil Collins’ classic “In the Air Tonight,” performed by Grammy Award winner Chris Stapleton, rap legend Snoop Dogg, and world-renowned drummer Cindy Blackman Santana. Stapleton led the chorus of the nostalgic song, while Snoop Dogg contributed football-themed rap verses, and Cindy Blackman Santana wowed with a drum solo, setting the stage for the doubleheader of NFL games.
The opening number made its debut before the Saints vs. Panthers game at 7:15 p.m. ET and the Browns vs. Steelers matchup at 8:15 p.m. It is set to continue throughout all “Monday Night Football” games for the remainder of the season, including ESPN’s Week 18 Saturday doubleheader, Super Wild Card weekend, and its first divisional playoff game. The concept for this new theme was initiated in 2021 by ESPN’s creative content team, as revealed by ESPN’s Vice President of Creative Content Production, Julie McGlone.
While the “Monday Night Football” team gave the project the green light, they emphasized taking the time to craft something that could match the energy of NBC’s “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,” performed by Carrie Underwood. According to video producer Rico Labbe, the goal was to excite millions of fans in a contemporary way from the comfort of their homes, which presented a challenge. They aimed to blend the voices of fans, artists, and the essence of “Monday Night Football” throughout the project, a task they believe they successfully accomplished.
For fans of the iconic “Monday Night Football” theme music, “Heavy Action,” there’s no need to worry, as it will continue to play after the new opening video. It will smoothly transition into the voices of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and Lisa Salters. The video will run for 90 seconds before cutting to the sports broadcasters, providing a quicker build-up to the drum change compared to the original song. Labbe described the project as a musical gumbo, combining different sounds like country western, hip-hop, and rock, reflecting the diverse tapestry of the United States.