Earlier this week, ESPN announced that Hank Williams Jr.’s Monday Night Football introduction song would be replaced. Now, fans can listen to the new theme song “Rip It Up” by Little Richard.
Little Richard belts out a tribute to letting loose and partying in “Rip It Up.” A new, updated version of the 1956 hit song will now hype up football fans before each Monday night game.
The new rendition of “Rip It Up” is replacing Hank Williams Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night”. A Virginia-based band called Butcher Brown performs the instrumentals and arrangements for the new song. Of course, Richard’s vocals were incorporated into the song posthumously, as he passed away in May.
“It’s Monday night and I’m feeling fine,” they sing, before Richard takes the lead on the chorus: “I’m gonna rip it up, I’m gonna shake it up, gonna ball it up.”
When Richard sings, “Got me a date and I won’t be late,” after a newly added referee whistle, the band sings, “The game is on and I just can’t wait,” instead of Richard’s line about picking up his girlfriend in an Oldsmobile 88.
Hank Williams Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends” Canceled (Again)
Supposedly, ESPN executives thought that Williams Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” would not resonate for games that will be played in primarily empty stadiums. Attendance at NFL games will vary from team to team. For example, the Buffalo Bills announced they won’t have fans in seats for home games as they start the season. However, the Miami Dolphins plan to host as many as 13,000 fans for their home games.
Yet, this is not the first time ESPN has dropped the Williams MNF song. In fact, in 2011, ESPN removed the introduction after the singer compared President Obama to Hitler during a television interview. The sports network brought Williams back to sing “All My Rowdy Friends” in 2017. The song has been the Monday night intro for the past three seasons.
In 1989, ABC was the first network to use “All My Rowdy Friends” for their Monday night football program.
“Monday Night Football” returns next week on Sept. 14 with back-to-back games. The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants face off at 7:10 p.m. EST, and then the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos play at 10:20 p.m. EST.
[H/T Rolling Stone]