The NFL season kickoff game was tonight, and NBC’s coup of getting the Monday night crew has seriously paid off. There’s nothing better than turning on the game and hearing the familiar voice of Al Michaels doing the playcalling. It instantly felt familiar. The new graphics and videos are stunning, the picture clarity and sound perfect and razor sharp – seriously, from the first kickoff tonight they’re hitting it right of the park. It doesn’t hurt that the game was fantastic, too, I suppose?

The big wins were obviously the MNF team and pacing, the amazing camera work, awesome replays and insightful commentary. Plus you get Chris Collinsworth (and a nice compliment in the booth for a bit) and Bob Costas at halftime. They had plenty of sound issues during halftime (is the field noise THAT loud?) that detracted from the experience, but overall it was solid. The new theme music instead of the triumphant “bum, bum, ba, dah, ba-bum, ba-bum” seemed more set for the Nightly News, but it’ll work. The sideline reporter was another weak link, but everything else was perfect.

Seriously, this is great news for Sunday nights. And with Manning vs. Manning next week, you can bet your life I’ll be tuned. Good luck, ESPN. You’re gonna need it.