Oh Hank, we’ll miss your clever word wizardry on Monday nights, and your ability to rhyme “home” with “stone.” A Monday night institution is officially gone now thanks to a regrettable sentence comparing the leader of the free world to Hitler on Fox News.
Earlier this week Hank Williams Jr. did what passionate political folk often do: he become a little too passionate. The result was the now widely-viewed comparison between Barack Obama and Hitler when Williams was a guest on Fox and Friends.
The sane American public doesn’t take too kindly to its president being placed on the same level as the most evil dictator of all time. Neither did the wise executives at ESPN, who pulled Williams’ iconic Monday Night Football theme song from Monday’s game between Indianapolis and Tampa Bay.
Now the consequences of Williams’ words have been taken one step further, and ESPN has permanently parted ways with ol’ Hammerin’ Hank. The MNF opening segment will be a work in progress going forward and will likely look much more generic, although his week prior to the Bears visiting Ford Field it’ll be narrated by Lions legend Barry Sanders.
Here’s the official statement:
“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
Well, that seems simple and direct. A clean break following 20 years of dutiful service and four Emmy Awards because of an unfortunate remark. No confusion, no hard feelings, just business.
Yeah, we didn’t think so. Williams sees things a little differently, and claims on this website that he made HIS decision to pull HIS song after HIS ridiculous comments that were a demonstration of HIS right to freedom of speech.
“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment
Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.”
Thanks for the memories, Hank, and for giving us a song with only six words, or at least that’s all we could ever remember. The rest was just humming, and randomly yelling “PARTAYYY”. Oh, and something about Al, John, or whoever was in the broadcast booth. Now my childhood feels meaningless and empty.
Let’s do this one more time. Try to hold back the tears…