Hank Williams, Jr. was a Monday Night Football staple for over 20 years, ringing in the signature event with “All My Rowdy Friends.” He was removed by ESPN in 2011 after he made comments on Fox & Friends about President Barack Obama where he compared Obama playing golf with John Boehner to Hitler playing golf with Benjamin Netanyahu. He then said Obama was the enemy. (Apparently, not everyone was eager to play golf with the previous President.)
“I think it’s a return to our past in that it’s such an iconic song associated with football,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN’s senior vice president of events and studio production.
“It was the original,” Druley told The USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee. “It belongs to Monday Night Football. It really is about returning to what fans know. It’s a Monday night party and that’s what we’re all hoping to get back to.”
Of course, back when Hank Williams, Jr. started on Monday Night Football, it was THE event for the football week, broadcast on ABC, and often featuring key matchups. It was the equivalent of Sunday Night Football now. If ESPN wants to return to a Monday Night Party, it will likely take more than a song, and probably better matchups and competitive and compelling games.
The new version will also include two other unidentified artists. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the original version from 1989.