ESPN Sacks Hank Williams Jr. from “Monday Night Football” Open

Williams's “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” is headed to the bench

ESPN Sacks Hank Williams Jr. From "Monday Night Football" Open
Hank Williams Jr. performs at DTE Energy Music Theater in 2016.
Getty Images

Announcers Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland aren’t the only familiar faces who are being sacked from ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcasts this season.

First reported by Sports Business Daily, ESPN will replace Hank Williams Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” with a new version of the Little Richard song “Rip It Up” as the opening theme song for MNF telecasts.

ESPN previously cut Williams and his song from broadcasts in 2011 after the country star compared President Obama to Hitler and described Joe Biden as “the enemy” during a television interview. The network brought the song back in 2017 and it has served as the opener of the popular broadcasts for the past three seasons.

The decision to replace Williams this time around has nothing to do with politics, a source confirmed to The Washington Post. Instead, the switch is being made because there’s “a sense” that Williams’s references to “All my rowdy friends” would be “incongruous with the expected lack of attendance” at games this season.

This season’s broadcasts will also be different as the two-man announcing crew of Tessitore and McFarland has been swapped out for the trio of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese.

This season of MNF kicks off on Monday with a double-header featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants followed by the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos.

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