There were times in the last six seasons when the highlight of NBC's Sunday Night Football broadcasts took place before kickoff. That's because the immortal Faith "Legatron" Hill hypnotized male viewers worldwide with her pregame song and dance before announcing on Monday that she's stepping down.
As Hill wrote in an online goodbye message, it's time to let someone else "rock the open."
Said "open" will still sound relatively similar, according to Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli, who told Pro Football Talk on Monday that Waiting All Day for Sunday Night will remain in place with a new performer.
Who might that new performer be? Who, pray tell, can do this justice...
USA Today's Chris Strauss suggests that NBC take a page from HBO's "The Wire" and use 17 different musical acts, which would be cool but might be tough to pull off logistically.
Regardless of what road they take, here are some of our early favorites...
1. Katy Perry: She possesses similar sex appeal but isn't as family-friendly as Hill. That's cool with me, but NBC might not want to go with such a risqué performer.
2. Beyoncé: I'd have to imagine she's the front-runner if NBC can get her. She's such a star and is almost as wholesome as Hill. Wholesome enough, in fact, to do the Super Bowl halftime show.
3. Carrie Underwood: Underwood sang the national anthem before Super Bowl XLVI, and she'll work best if NBC wants to keep it in the country music family.
4. Rihanna: She definitely has the Q rating, the sex appeal and the pipes, but -- like Perry -- she appeals to a slightly different audience. That could be a good thing, but it could keep NBC away.
5. Jane Lynch: Because at least she's done it before...
UPDATE: An honorable mention candidate comes from Alex Adams on Twitter, who reminds us that 30 Rock's Jenna Maroney is already well on track for the gig after doing the intro to Tennis Night in America...
Unlike other fans, I think Faith Hill started a signature detail for night live games.
I think NBC will add some rap star to replace her.
@awfulannouncing 'Who will replace Faith Hill on the NBC opening?' Hopefully no one. That dreadful, cringe-inducing intro needs to die.
@awfulannouncing Also not sure opening paragraph's assertion is correct. If FH's song was highlight of gm for anyone it was housewives.
@awfulannouncing How bout just starting the game? People no longer think football at night is special. Might as well save cash + skip song.
Katy...hot but too out there. Beyonce'...she's in Cuba hangin' with Castro I thought. Rihanna...she busy losing boxing matches. This is a no brainer...................Carrie.