Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sunday Night Football has Faith - Hill, that is - musically

This season, NFL viewers have an extra dose of Faith. Waiting All Day for Sunday Night is performed by Faith Hill at the start of each NBC "Sunday Night Football" telecast on the 2007 schedule. Set to the Joan Jett tune I Hate Myself for Loving You, the song is tailored to the two teams playing on the given Sunday; on October 21, the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Denver Broncos in Colorado.

Five-time Grammy winner Hill says NBC and NFL executives "just called and asked if I'd be interested in being the voice for the song, and I was blown away. It's a big deal.

"I can remember, as a child, hearing the music that would introduce the NBC news. I knew that would be the time I had to finish my homework and dinner would be ready. That is just embedded in my brain, and it's similar with the NFL situation. They play the song throughout the entire game, in the background or going to a commercial."

One sign of football's status as a Sunday tradition, Hill notes, is that "people are always rushing home from church to catch the game if you're Catholic, you're lucky - you can go during the day or at night. My mom struggled; it was like, 'I've gotta make it home for the (New Orleans) Saints game!' but she never wavered. She always went to church first."

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Hill is no stranger to doing certain songs countless times, as with Breathe and This Kiss, both included on her new CD The Hits (along with her latest single, Red Umbrella). She explains that for the football theme, overseen by her longtime producer Byron Gallimore, "I recorded several different versions because there's the opening night, there's the wild card, etc. Mostly, though, I would just insert each week's game after I had completed the overall song."

With her devotion to New Orleans' post-Hurricane Katrina recovery, Hill admits to a special thrill in singing the Saints' name.

"Hopefully, I'll be able to go back in and sing Tennessee Titans, " she says of her favourite team, which could wind up on 'SNF' through the network's flexible schedule. "Maybe the season will change and they'll be added to the list somehow. I've already asked the NFL and NBC about it."

Hill and her husband, fellow country superstar Tim McGraw, share a passion for football. It's part of a home life that includes their three daughters, three big reasons she says the couple's second, recently ended 'Soul2Soul' concert tour was their last.

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