Hank Williams Jr. Is Out on Monday Night Football, Again

Welp, you win some, and you lose some. Just a few weeks after it was announced that Hank Williams Jr. would finally be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame a good decade or more after he should have already been, it was announced this week Bocephus has been booted once again out of his high-profile Monday Night Football theme song spot. But this time (luckily), politics are not directly involved.

Since most, if not all of the upcoming NFL season is likely to be played in stadiums with limited or no fans, and congregating in large groups is still discouraged due to COVID-19, having a bearded redneck rework a song about “having a party” and having “all your rowdy friends coming over tonight” is not really seen as cool. So ESPN has decided to give the song the ax. Perhaps some might construe that as political to some extent. But it’s also understandable.

There’s no reason to believe that when things return to normal, Hank Jr. won’t return to the Monday Night Football theme as well. But for the interim they have decided to tap “Rip It Up” performed by the band Butcher Brown. It’s the band’s version of the classic Little Richard song. Little Richard of course passed away earlier in 2020.

Hank Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” was a take on his “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” which was a play on “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down.” Hank sang the theme for 22 seasons, starting on Monday Night Football’s 20th Anniversary in 1989 all the way up to 2011 when an off-handed comment by Williams on Fox & Friends landed him in political hot water.

Hank Williams Jr. said that Republican House Leader John Boehner playing golf with Barack Obama was like “Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.” The comment was not meant to be a direct comparison of Hitler and Obama (any more than Boehner and Netanyahu). It was meant as an illustration of Boehner and Obama’s political differences. Benjamin Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of Israel. However, the off-handed comment was taken differently by some elements of the public, and ESPN felt pressure to remove the country icon from the opening.

Hank Jr. returned to singing the Monday Night Football theme song in 2017.

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