Hank Williams Jr.’s ‘Monday Night Football’ Theme Scrapped for 2020-2021 NFL Season
Monday Night Football viewers will not hear Hank Williams Jr.'s voice welcoming them to each week's broadcast during the 2020-2021 NFL season. ESPN has scrapped the country star's "All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night" for upcoming games — but this time around, the reason is not political.
Sports Business Daily reports that ESPN is concerned that Williams Jr.'s song does not make sense for this NFL season, as games will be played in mostly empty stadiums due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the network will use a version of the Little Richard song "Rip It Up" that will feature the late artist's vocals and a modern melody from a Virginia band named Butcher Brown; rather than having the artists onscreen during the opening theme, the song will soundtrack a compilation of game highlights:
"All My Rowdy Friends ..." was the Monday Night Football theme song from 1989 through 2011, during which time games aired first on ABC (until 2005) and then on ESPN. However, after Williams Jr. compared a golf outing between then-president Barack Obama, his vice president Joe Biden and fellow politicians John Boehner and Josh Kasich as "Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu," ESPN removed his song as their theme.
ESPN welcomed Williams Jr. back as their Monday Night Football theme performer in 2017. The network, Sports Business Daily says, has not decided if it will begin using "All My Rowdy Friends ..." again next NFL season.
The 2020-2021 NFL season begins on Thursday (Sept. 10). The first Monday Night Football game will take place on Sept. 14.
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