ESPN is bringing back a tradition for the upcoming season of “Monday Night Football” with the return of Hank Williams Jr. singing the opening theme, “All My Rowdy Friends.”
The song, which features the “Are you ready for some football?” catchphrase, will debut before the 2017 season’s first Monday night game, when the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings face off Sept. 11.
“ESPN pulled the song midseason in 2011, following controversial comments made by Williams on Fox News that compared then-President Barack Obama golfing with then-Rep. House Speaker John Boehner to a meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Adolf Hitler,” ESPN News reports. “Williams also called Obama and Joe Biden ‘the enemy.'”
At that time the song had been airing on “Monday Night Football” telecasts since 1989.
A new version of the song, and a new video, will be used throughout the season on “MNF.” The video was filmed Sunday in Nashville.
The Tennesseean quotes Stephanie Druley, ESPN senior vice president of events and studio production, saying: “I think it’s a return to our past in that it’s such an iconic song associated with football. 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.”