The NFL looks down upon premeditated celebrations, but it seems that restriction doesn't apply to the No Fun League's broadcast partners. Despite NBC's Bob Costas gasbagging about celebrations earlier this season, the Peacock Network elected to enhance Victor Cruz's celebration with a bit of Latin music after scoring the first touchdown of Sunday's Giants-Cowboys matchup.
There was actually a good amount of debate online regarding whether the music was played by NBC or if it was just the MetLife Stadium music coming through especially loud on NBC's stadium microphones—with some arguing that since the music came through on the overseas ESPN America feed, it couldn't have been NBC's doing.
I got a hold of NBC's Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli (winner of ten Emmy Awards) who explained that yes, the music came from the broadcast truck, and that they'd planned to use it unless Cruz scored on a crucial play or if the Giants were being blown out. But what I found most interesting is that the truck kept game announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth in the dark about the plan, wanting them to be surprised. For what it's worth, neither Michaels nor Collinsworth reacted to the music (though they didn't talk over it, either).
I think the stunt was funny though jarring because as far as I know, the national network broadcasters of a sports event have never enhanced an athlete's celebration live before. (Adding music to a replay later is something else entirely, and relatively common.) But is this the future of sports broadcasting? If Tim Tebow scores a touchdown Sunday, will CBS accompany it with that Michael W. Smith "Our God is an awesome God" song? When Ndamukong Suh sacks Drew Brees Saturday, can we expect a live drop of Tiny Tim's "Living In The Sunlight"?