Country music star Hank Williams Jr. is returning to Monday Night Football this season after a six-year absence. His classic All My Rowdy Friends was the program’s theme song from 1989-2011 on ABC & ESPN, highlighted by its “Are you ready for some football?” catchphrase. The tune and corresponding Monday Night Football-themed video will return to ESPN before the first Monday night game of the season, between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis on Sept. 11.
ESPN pulled the song and video during the 2011-2012 season after comments the musician made during an October 2011 appearance on Fox & Friends, where he compared then-President Obama golfing with then-House Speaker John Boehner to a golf outing between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Adolf Hitler. Williams also called Obama and Joe Biden “the enemy.”
According to The Tennessean, the new music video was filmed in Nashville yesterday and includes two additional contemporary music artists to freshen the song’s mood. The new acts will be named later this week and each artist will be featured in every MNF opening this season, the song lyrics being changed each game to reflect that night’s matchup.
“I think it’s a return to our past in that it’s such an iconic song associated with football,” ESPN svp 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.”
“I hope there will be some happy people on Monday night again,” says Williams. “It feels natural, fulfilling and satisfying at this point when you’ve kind of done it all.”