Long before Justin Timberlake took the field at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday night, and even before the Philadelphia Eagles faced off with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, Carrie Underwood got the party started with the video for her new fight song with Ludacris, “The Champion.”
The bombastic anthem, recorded as NBC’s theme song for both its Super Bowl and upcoming Winter Olympics coverage, was revealed last month its video only appeared on Sunday, airing as the introduction for the game broadcast. Condensed from nearly four minutes to a little over two for TV purposes, the video features Underwood – who’s performed the theme song for NBC’s Sunday Night Football series for the past five years – singing and dancing before a backdrop of legendary NFL figures.
Underwood’s verse and choruses featured players like Emmitt Smith and Joe Montana and coach Vince Lombardi, for whom the Super Bowl trophy is named, as well as memorable moments from previous Super Bowls, including David Tyree’s game-winning catch in Super Bowl XLII. The song’s second verse, rapped by Ludacris, features other former stars onstage while their own highlights play in the background. Joe Namath, Ronnie Lott, and Roger Staubach are among the retired players to be joined by the two starting quarterbacks for Sunday’s game, the Eagles’ Nick Foles and the Patriots’ Tom Brady.
The game went down to the final play, with the Eagles coming out triumphant over the Patriots, 41-33, as Philadelphia claimed its first Super Bowl title and first NFL championship since 1960. Coincidentally, famous fictional Philly native Rocky Balboa gets a shout out in the opening verse of “The Champion.”