Carrie Underwood, who has been singing the "Sunday Night Football" theme for a decade, gets Thanksgiving off. She's got a local favorite to take her place.
NFL Hall of Famer John Randle doesn't sing a note in the special opening for the prime time game between the Vikings and New England Patriots. But he's got plenty of holiday spirit.
The 100-second bit, which NBC taped earlier this month at U.S. Bank Stadium, features the legendary player making Thanksgiving decorations with five local children, whom the network recruited with the help of a casting agency.
"We found the right combination of 8 and 9 year olds who could hold a conversation and give John a run for his money," said Tripp Dixon, the show's creative director.
The opening has some local touches, like leaving lutefisk on the Patriots sidelines and mourning Gary Anderson's missed field game during the 1999 NFC Championship Game. It also features a cameo from Viktor the Viking.
For past holiday games, NBC has recruited celebrities like Zach Brown and Trombone Shorty. This time out, they wanted a Minnesota legend to help honor the first time the Vikings have hosted a prime time game on Thanksgiving Day.
"He was delighted to help us set the table for the matchup," Dixon said.
Here's a sneak preview: