The opening to "Sunday Night Football" is going to be different this fall. Not completely different though – Carrie Underwood will still be performing the theme song to broadcast TV's top-rated program. Only now that tune will be based on one of the country superstar's own hits, rather than the '80s pop rock song the show has used the last 10 years. The new theme for "SNF" will be entitled "Oh, Sunday," based on the 2014 song "Somethin' Bad," which Underwood performed with Miranda Lambert. With lots of enthusiastic requests for the listeners to "stomp your feet, start clapping," the song seems like it will easily translate into an anthem for prime time football.
The NFL wants to conquer the screens that dominate 21st-century culture: computers, tablets, and mobile phones. After years of fumbling its digital presentation, the league is finally embracing live streaming as part of a "tri-cast" distribution model of broadcast, cable, and internet. Thanks to these developments, there are now more ways than ever to get your gridiron on when the season gets underway on Thursday, September 6, with a matchup between the Super Bowl LII Champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons. Unlike the NBA, NHL, or MLB, the NFL plays a simple 16-game schedule with each team playing one game per week. That lends itself to fairly predictable TV programming.
A year ago, Amazon secured the rights to stream Thursday Night Football, reportedly beating the previous year's online broadcast partner Twitter (along with Facebook and YouTube) with a $50 million bid. Today the NFL announced it's renewed its deal with Amazon for both the 2018 and 2019 seasons. As was the case with the previous agreement, only Amazon's 100 million Prime members get access to 11 games in the season. But the TNF games will also be streamed on Twitch, and you won't need a Prime membership to watch. Similar to last year's agreement, Amazon will stream Thursday Night Football, while Fox Sports will broadcast games between weeks 4 to 15 of the season and simulcast on NFL Network.
He may be listed as backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers lineup, but all eyes will be on Colin Kaepernick when the national anthem plays for the team's first Monday night football game of the season, at home against the Los Angeles Rams. Kaepernick has ignited a National Football League controversy by refusing to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the start of the team's preseason games to protest what he has called racial injustice and police brutality. The gesture by Kaepernick, who is African-American, has been imitated by numerous other NFL players in recent days. On Sunday, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, also black, raised his fist during the national anthem for his team's home-game season opener against the San Diego Chargers. His action recalled the raised-fist salute by black athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
The two teams both sit in first place and are tied for the best record in the NFC. The latest betting odds have Carolina favored by three points at home, via OddsShark, and the over/under is 45.5. Through just five weeks, Carolina has some real quality wins on their resume. Of course, there is the Week 4 win at New England, but the team's Week 5 victory in Detroit is a big one, as well. Even beating the Bills at home is an impressive win, considering Buffalo is looking like a legitimate threat to make the playoffs.