Last night, ESPN premiered the newest installment of their Monday Night Football theme song, which they announced this year would be a reimagined version of “In the Air Tonight” featuring Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg and drummer Cindy Blackman Santana.
The classic song by Phil Collins comes from his 1981 debut album Face Value, and I have to say, I love the way this trio reworked the song and gave it a really badass, almost haunting feel for MNF.
They premiered it last night ahead of the game between division rivals the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, and while it was a pretty horrific game to watch as a Panthers fan (don’t get me started), I at least enjoyed this intro before we went on to ultimately lose the game and start the season 0-2.
Anywho, over the years, plenty of networks have turned to some pretty iconic songs to kick off their football coverage. For years, Hank Williams Jr. served as the beginning to Monday Night Football with his classic “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” which is still one of the all-time greats in my opinion.
Then, in the world of college football, there’s Big & Rich’s “Comin’ To Your City,” which had been the theme song for College GameDay for 16 years (though their version of the song was recently replaced with a new versionfeaturing Lainey Wilson, Darius Rucker and the Cadillac Three).
But since ESPN stopped using Hank Jr.’s hit song for its Monday Night Football theme, the program hasn’t really been able to find an iconic song that’s stuck around for more than a season or two.
Last year, they had Butcher Brown perform Little Richard’s “Rip It Up,” but I think they definitely found a winner in this Chris, Snoop and Cindy trio.
I personally love the blend of genres, which certainly caters to the wide audience that tends to tune in to Monday Night Football from week to week, and I hope they stick with it for years to come.
I mean, it’s no secret that Chris Stapleton quite literally makes everything better with his insane vocal ability and range, so it was a foolproof decision to get him on the lead vocals.
In addition, Cindy is an incredibly badass and talented drummer, and Snoop’s verses added a fun element that brought it all together in a unique way that I think fans of all kinds of music will really love.
Honestly, I want a full studio version of this now… check it out: