Fans and viewers likely noticed that ESPN cut its long-running opening song, “Are You Ready For Some Football?,” from last night's match-up between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The elimination of the Monday Night Football song came as the result of some remarks made by Hank Williams Jr., the tune's recording artist. The song is a variant of Williams's “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” which has been used as the Monday Night Football theme since 1989 and has won four Emmy Awards.
Williams's comments involved President Obama and were made during a television interview.
The 62-year-old country music singer, who is rarely seen without his trademark hat and sunglasses, made a recent appearance on Fox News Channel's “Fox & Friends" program. While talking to hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade, he compared the president's recent round of golf with GOP House Speaker John Boehner to “Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.”
“They're the enemy,” Williams said.
“Who's the enemy?” Kilmeade asked.
“Obama! Biden! The Three Stooges,” Williams said.
“That's only two,” Doocy quipped.
The hosts attempted to give Williams the opportunity to soften the Obama-Hitler link.
“You used the name of one of the most hated people in all the world to describe, I think, the president,” Carlson said.
Williams stuck with his statement.
“That's true,” he said. “But I'm telling you like it is.”
Williams also picked Herman Cain as his favorite candidate in the prospective GOP presidential field.
ESPN released a statement, indicating, “While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight's telecast.”
Suggesting that he was misunderstood, Williams issued the following statement of his own: “Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme – but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me – how ludicrous that pairing was. They're polar opposites and it made no sense. They don't see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the president.”
ESPN has not indicated whether or not it will bring back the Williams song.
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