(The Sports Xchange) – Country star Hank Williams Jr. will be bringing his iconic song back to “Monday Night Football” this fall, six years after ESPN parted ways with him following controversial remarks about President Barack Obama.
Williams will debut a new version of “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” — including his trademark opening, “Are you ready for some football?” — before the first MNF game of the season on Sept. 11 between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings.
“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 USA Today. “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’m sure there’ll be some (backlash), but I’m not concerned. It was the right time. We discussed it internally and it was just the right time to bring him back.”
The new music video will air during “Monday Night Football” each game week of the 2017 NFL season. It was filmed in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday and includes two additional contemporary music artists to be named later this week to freshen the song’s presentation, according to USA Today.
Williams first performed the iconic song, based on his hit “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” during the 20th anniversary season of MNF in 1989.
ESPN dropped Williams in 2011 after he called then-Republican House Speaker John Boehner playing golf with then-President Obama “one of the biggest political mistakes ever.”
“It would be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli leader) Benjamin Netanyahu,” Williams explained on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” Williams also referred to Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden as “the enemy” when asked to explain his analogy.
Williams said returning to ESPN and MNF is an unexpected homecoming.
“I never said, ‘Are you ready for some football’ on stage one time the last five or six years, but I will now,” the singer, seated in his dressing room during a break in filming the commercial, told USA Today. “I’m feeling at home and it’s a real good thing … It’s kind of like the Nashville Predators playing for the Stanley Cup, it’s like ‘Wow.'”