ESPN has announced that it will be replacing the “Monday Night Football” introduction song by Hank Williams Jr. The shake up comes as another change to the format of the weekly Monday night football broadcast after ESPN hired an all-new commentating crew to cover the games.
A new version of “Rip It Up” by Little Richard is replacing Hank Williams Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night”. A Virginia-based band called Butcher Brown will perform the instrumentals for the new rendition of “Rip It Up.” Also, the song will incorporate vocals of the late rock ‘n’ roll legend who just passed away in May.
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 The Hill]