Phil collins‘ “In the air tonight” will never be used as evocatively as in Miami Vice‘s 1984 pilot —Turn on the Spyder, Crockett, and load that shotgun, Tubbs! – but He’s not afraid to try. ESPN’s football franchise joined Snoop Dogg, Chris Stapletonand drummer Cindy Blackman Santana to remake Collins’ 1981 hit as a new opening track.
And while it doesn’t touch on Michael Mann’s indelible use, the new interpretation is surely funny and moody. In the minute and a half recreation, Stapleton, with his collar turned up and a cowboy hat, is seen walking with determination through a stadium, while Snoop, in a tracksuit, arrives in a lowrider to sing a rap verse: “Rivals, we first, then survival.” . We must win, it is tribal.”
The video combines clips of various NFL teams with Snoop Dogg’s rapping, a team of dancers and Blackman Santana’s drumming. The video ends with a guitar solo from Stapleton as he plays the song’s high notes in the chorus: “Well, I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life, oh lord.”
The full version of the opener, produced in part by Stapleton’s longtime producer Dave Cobb, premiered tonight at game time when New Orleans takes on Carolina. Stapleton played high notes backed by Blackman Santana’s drums.
The country’s stars and soccer debuts seem to go hand in hand. Last Monday, Stapleton’s new single, “White Horse,” was played. Monday night football. And two Sundays ago, Carrie Underwood returned for its 11th consecutive season opening NBC shows Sunday night football with her “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,” a melodic new version of Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”
In February, Stapleton performed the national anthem before Super Bowl LVII and released his rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on streaming services in June. He will release his new album, Higheron November 10.
Meanwhile, Snoop Dogg has openly supported striking Hollywood writers and actors. In July, the rapper cancelled a pair of concerts planned at the Hollywood Bowl in October in a show of solidarity with the WGA and SAG/AFTRA.
This story was updated on September 18 at 8:31 pm to include a full clip of the song.