Huge news for those who think ESPN has gone all soft and politically correct: Hank Williams Jr. is coming back to “Monday Night Football”!
Six years after giving Williams the boot for comments about then-president Obama, ESPN is bringing back the iconic “All My Rowdy Friends” theme song (you know, “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?”) The song will feature some contemporary artists in conjunction with ol’ Bocephus, and each week the song’s lyrics will be updated to reflect that night’s games. The first airing will be Sept. 11 before the Saints-Vikings Adrian Peterson Revenge Game.
It’s been a little while, but you remember the Hank tune. It’s encoded in the DNA of every football fan. I mean, just check out this video:
Fighter jets! Cheerleaders! The Statue of Liberty! Football! Fields of grain, for some reason! Man, that just screams AMERICA right in your face, doesn’t it?
Williams, a man so conservative he won’t even turn his truck left, is happy to scream America into your face. And that extreme patriotism got him into a bit of trouble back in 2011. On “Fox & Friends,” Williams called Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden “the enemy,” and said of a golf outing the president played with then-House Speaker John Boehner, “It would be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli leader] Benjamin Netanyahu.” Back in that kinder, gentler time, comparing the president to Hitler actually got you in trouble, and Williams got fired from the gig he’d held since 1989.
But time heals all wounds — or, as a cynical sort might say, ESPN is looking to shore up defense against the charge that it’s too liberal — and so Hank is back. ESPN officials indicated they expect a bit of backlash, but nothing they can’t handle.
“I never said, ‘Are you ready for some football’ on stage one time the last five or six years, but I will now,” Williams told USA Today on Sunday. “I’m feeling at home and it’s a real good thing.”
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.