This season’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts will begin with a familiar tune.
ESPN announced Monday it has decided to bring back country star Hank Williams Jr., who supplied the “Monday Night Football” theme song from 1989 to 2011.
A new version of Williams’ “All My Rowdy Friends” — best known for the iconic line “Are you ready for some football?” — will precede each Monday night game this season, beginning with the Week 1 matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 11.
“I never said, ‘Are you ready for some football’ on stage one time the last five or six years, but I will now,” Williams told USA TODAY’s Cindy Watts. “I’m feeling at home and it’s a real good thing.”
ESPN dropped Williams from its broadcast midway through the 2011 season after the musician made disparaging comments about then-President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on FOX News’ “Fox & Friends.”
Williams called Obama and Biden “the enemy” and compared then-Republican House Speaker John Boehner golfing with Obama to Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with Adolf Hitler.
Stephanie Druly, ESPN’s senior vice president of events and studio production, told USA TODAY she expects some pushback over the network’s decision to bring Williams back into the fold.
“I’m sure there’ll be some, but I’m not concerned,” Druly said. “It was the right time. We discussed it internally and it was just the right time to bring him back.”
Thumbnail photo via Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via USA TODAY NETWORK