Thanksgiving Football Game: Why Carrie Underwood Won't Be Opening This Year

Carrie Underwood fans tuning into the Thanksgiving Day Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints face-off might be a little disappointed to see the "Cry Pretty" singer taking a break from her annual holiday NFL performance, but NBC announced ahead of the game that another country artist will be taking her place, at least for this year.

The network revealed that Carrie "has the holiday off," but performing in her place will be the Zac Brown Band, planning to play an acoustic version of their 2008 hit "Chicken Fried."

In a promo for their performance, all the musicians are seen sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table with their instruments as they set up for the "perfect Thanksgiving."

"Hey America. It's Zac Brown here with the Zac Brown Band. We're getting set up for the perfect Thanksgiving," the band lead says. "We've got food, we've got family, we've got football, and we've got our guitars. Because we're getting ready to cook up a little tune for everyone to jam to."

As for Underwood, she'll be celebrating with her husband, Mike Fisher, and their two sons, Isaiah and Jacob, she shared with her record label ahead of the holiday.

“We don’t have too many set-in-stone Thanksgiving traditions," Underwood shared with her record label. "I find myself a lot of times working on or around Thanksgiving or unable to get home or whatever. We try to be together, but sometimes that just doesn’t work out. But I think it’s just about we eat. I eat a lot every year on Thanksgiving."

"I never skip THAT tradition," she added. "But yeah, that’s the gist of it, and I’m kind of lucky. I get two Thanksgivings, because I also get to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, so if I don’t hit one, I’ll definitely be able to get the other one.”

There's plenty to be thankful for this year, the American Idol winner recalled, including her family and her successful Cry Pretty 360 tour, which wrapped up in October.

“My list of things I’m thankful for is too vast," Underwood gushed. "First and foremost, my family. We had a baby earlier this year, which is crazy to think about all of the things that we’ve done and thinking about starting off this year pregnant and having a baby and all of the places that he’s already seen. I’m thankful for health and we’ve had safety along all of our travels.


"Of course, I’m thankful for the tour and I’m thankful to the fans that have come out to see us," she continued. "There’s a lot to be thankful for. God has blessed us with some incredible stuff and hopefully we’ve done good with what we’ve been blessed with.”

Photo credit: Getty images/Mike Coppola