Country Chatter

Hank Williams, Jr. is back on Monday Night Football


ESPN is bringing back Hank Williams Jr as the performer for the theme song for Monday Night Football. The network and the singer parted ways six years ago following controversial comments from Williams Jr. about then-President Barack Obama.

A newly recorded version of “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” — a play on Williams Jr.’s hit “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” — will debut on September 11, prior to a MNF game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings. The theme song will include Williams Jr.’s famous opening: “Are you ready for some football?” as well as two contemporary artists, who will be named at a later date. Williams Jr. and those two acts filmed the opening video on Sunday (June 4) in Nashville.

“I’m feeling at home, and it’s a real good thing …,” Williams Jr. says of his return to Monday Night Football. ESPN Senior Vice President of Events and Studio Production Stephanie Druley added, “I think it’s a return to our past in that it’s such an iconic song associated with football …”

“It was the original … It really is about returning to what fans know,” Druley adds. “It’s a Monday night party, and that’s what we’re all hoping to get back to.”

Williams Jr. first performed “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” during Monday Night Football‘s 20th anniversary season in 1989. However, in 2011, ESPN and Williams Jr. split after Williams Jr., during a TV appearance, said that then-President Obama’s golf game with then-Republican House Speaker John Boehner was “one of the biggest political mistakes ever … like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu!”

“I’m sure there’ll be some [backlash], but I’m not concerned,” Druley says of bringing Williams Jr. back. “It was the right time. We discussed it internally, and it was just the right time to bring him back.”

Williams Jr. added, “I hope there will be some happy people on Monday night again. It feels natural, fulfilling and satisfying at this point when you’ve kind of done it all.”

Recommended for you