Monday night football will never be the same. Starting with this week’s Indianapolis-Tampa Bay game, the Hank Williams Jr. song “All My Rowdy Friends” was cut from the opening of the program on both ABC and ESPN, ending its twenty-year run.
This drastic decision was made by ESPN after Williams made derogatory comments about President Barack Obama on the “Fox and Friends” show. He likened Obama playing golf with Speaker of the House John Boehner to Adolf Hitler playing golf with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
ESPN released a statement earlier this week, saying "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."
Williams delivered a reply through his publicist, stating "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."
Williams has been a critic of the Obama Administration since the beginning and has even changed the lyrics to his songs to make his disdain of the Democratic Party clear. He is planning on running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate in 2012.
It is hard to tell if this slip-up will hurt his campaign in the future, but many football fans are displeased with his behavior for misrepresenting the NFL after his song became a cornerstone in the sport’s Monday night tradition.
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