ESPN is bringing Hank Williams Jr back for ‘Monday Night Football,’ 6 years after firing him
Hank Williams Jr. is coming back to “Monday Night Football” six years after ESPN dropped the country singer for his comments about President Barack Obama.
ESPN says a new version of Williams’ longtime “MNF” theme and its “Are you ready for some football?” catchphrase will debut before the first regular-season Monday night game — a Sept. 11 matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings.
The network says in a statement that it’s bringing back what it calls “most iconic music video in sports television history” because fans missed it.
ESPN dropped Williams in 2011 after he compared Obama golfing with then-House Speaker John Boehner to Adolf Hitler golfing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I think it’s a return to our past in that it’s such an iconic song associated with football,” ESPN senior vice president of events and studio production Stephanie Druley told The Tennessean. “It was the original. 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.”
The new video was filmed in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sunday, according to USA Today. Two additional artists also participated in the shoot.
“I hope there will be some happy people on Monday night again,” Williams told USA Today. “It feels natural, fulfilling and satisfying at this point when you’ve kind of done it all.”