Carrie Underwood wrote and recorded “The Champion” long enough ago that husband Mike Fisher listened to it before he led his Nashville Predators to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017 and we’ve known for months the tune was coming before the Super Bowl, but the lyrics are ringing very true to what Underwood is going through right now.
Underwood said, “He would listen to it before playoff games. He was like, ‘I want everyone to hear it!’ and I had to tell him, ‘You can’t do that. You can’t play it in the locker room. I’m sorry.’ But that was a good indicator that we were on the right track.” She wrote the song with songwriters Brett James, Chris DeStefano, and Christopher Bridges (Ludacris).
Underwood has been singing the “Sunday Night Football” anthem for NBC since 2013, with “Waiting All Day on Sunday Night,” before rewriting Miranda Lambert’s “Somethin’ Bad” to “Oh, Sunday Night” in 2016.
“The Champion” is very much a sports anthem, with “Sunday Night Football” executive producer Fred Gaudelli saying, “I think it’s going to become a sports anthem. It’s going to be one of those songs that you see cut to highlights for the next 25 years.”
While that is very much true, it’s also being released during an interesting time in Underwood’s career. After falling outside of her Nashville home last November, she recently sent a note to her fan club members detailing the incident a little more. While it was originally reported that Underwood broke her wrist and underwent surgery, she revealed to her fan club that she also hurt her face and received 40-50 stitches saying, “even though I’ve had the best people helping me, I’m still healing and not quite looking the same. I honestly don’t know how things are going to end up… When I am ready to get in front of a camera, I want you all to understand why I might look a bit different. I’m hoping that, by then, the differences are minimal, but, again, I just don’t know how it’s all going to end up.”
Now, when she sings the lyrics, it’s about much more than a football game.
I’ve been working my whole life
And now it’s do or die
I am invincible, unbreakable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion
You’re gon’ know my name
You can’t hurt me now
I can’t feel the pain
I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win
I am the champion
When they write my story
They gonna say that I did it for the glory
But don’t think that I did it for the fame yeah
I did it for the love of the game yeah
And this is my chance I’m taking
All them old records I’m breaking
All you people watching on the TV
You go ahead and put your bets on me, ay
The tune also features Ludacris and the McCrary Sisters on background vocals.