When the Eagles open up the season in the NFL Kickoff Game on Sunday Night Football against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 6, they won't just be taking the field — they'll be flooding the opening credits.
Ahead of the 2018 season, NBC is debuting a new opening of Sunday Night Football. Returning for the sixth consecutive year is Grammy Award-winning singer Carrie Underwood, and, as usual. she'll be joined by a cadre of NFL players, including Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Of the 10 NFL players selected to take part in the new opening theme, four are Eagles players — Carson Wentz, Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz and Fletcher Cox.
"There is a lot of excitement around this year's Eagles team coming off the Super Bowl win, and when we were planning out this year's show we wanted to recreate the final moments before the team takes the field. To make it authentic we needed more than one player, so to the victors go the spoils," said Sunday Night Football executive producer Fred Gaudelli. "That's why we have four Eagles, all stars in their own right."
The new opening will be teased during the NFL Kickoff Game, and air for the first time in its entirety on Sept. 9. The Eagles shared a short video of the foursome filming the new opening.
As of now, the Eagles are scheduled to appear three times on NBC (once more than last season), though the network can flex in and out of games beginning Week 5:
Week 1 (Thursday, Sept. 6): Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles
Week 10 (Sunday, Nov. 11): Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Week 15 (Sunday, Dec. 16): Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams
Speaking of Sunday Night Football, NBC's new rules analyst Terry McAulay will make his debut during the network's coverage of the Hall of Fame preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Aug. 2. McAulay spent 20 years as an NFL game official and worked three Super Bowls (including Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005 between the Eagles and the New England Patriots) prior to retiring during the offseason.
The Phillies made a small bit of sports media history earlier this season when they took part in the first digital-only national broadcast on Facebook back in April against the New York Mets. Since then, they've played in two additional Facebook exclusive games — April 26 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and May 10 against the San Francisco Giants.
On Aug. 16, the Phillies will take part in their fourth Facebook broadcast, which will air the first part of their doubleheader against the Mets. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m., and unless you plan on attending the game or listening to it on SportsRadio 94.1 WIP, you'll have to log in to Facebook to watch the game live.
The game is part of a $30 million deal between MLB and Facebook that allows the social media giant to exclusively air 25 games this season on Facebook Watch. It's the first time a major U.S. sports league has ceded exclusive broadcast rights to Facebook, which has made a push in recent years to acquire sports content to stream on its platform.
Recent viewership information hasn't been made available by MLB. Facebook broadcasts averaged between 65,000 and 85,000 concurrent viewers over the league's first three games, and despite the relatively low viewership numbers, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred signaled his support of the live streams back in May.
"I expect we will move forward with Facebook, and I think that we will continue to refine the offering in order to test how effective that platform can be in terms of delivering our games, particularly to fans that may not be engaged with the traditional broadcast offering," Manfred said.
Here is Facebook's complete schedule of MLB games for August:
• Wednesday, Aug. 1 – Indians v. Twins, 1:10 p.m.
• Wednesday, Aug. 8 – Mariners v. Rangers, 2:05 p.m.
• Thursday, Aug. 9 – Braves v. Nationals, 1:05 p.m.
• Thursday, Aug. 16 – Mets v. Phillies, 4:05 p.m.
• Wednesday, Aug. 22 – Rangers v. Athletics, 3:35 p.m.
• Thursday, Aug. 30 – Twins v. Indians, 1:10 p.m.
Nearly 25 years after anchoring his first SportsCenter, longtime ESPN anchor Steve Levy will rejoin his former and current colleague Keith Olbermann to anchor a special edition of the show at 11 p.m. Thursday.
It was Olbermann who was on air with Levy back in 1995, when the SportsCenter anchor was filling in for Dan Patrick and made what many consider to be one of the funniest bloopers in all of sports media — mispronouncing Maurice Hurst's "bulging disc" as something we can't print in a family newspaper.
"I'll always recall the words of wisdom that I've lived by ever since that fateful night on the air when we learned about 'bulging discs' from Steve," Olbermann said in a video put together by ESPN. "When we walked back to our shared desk, he said these words that I have lived with and lived by ever since: 'Do you think I'm going to get in trouble for that?' "
Levy revealed the backstory behind the embarrassing incident during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show on Monday. According to Levy, "discs" was typed correctly in the prompter, and he genuinely thought he was going to be fired when he was summoned into the office of then-SportsCenter boss and current ESPN VP Norby Williamson. Fortunately for Levy, Williamson thought the segment was hilarious.
"To this day, once a month, someone will approach me and say, 'Hey, you're the bulging disc guy.' And I'm like, 'Yeah, cool. Guess I am. Got to be known for something.' "