Hank Williams Jr., Florida Georgia Line, and Jason Derulo are teaming up for an all new Monday Night Football theme song.
ESPN announced earlier this week that they would be bringing back the country music icon after his six-year hiatus, following their dispute in 2011 when Williams made a questionable comment about former President Barack Obama playing golf with Republican Speaker John A. Boehner.
“[It would be like] Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu [the Israeli prime minister],” Williams said during an episode of Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel.
Although Williams claimed the decision was his to have his song “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” pulled, it was coincidental that the decision came just three days after his comments were made. Now, six years later, Williams will be reviving his song with the help of fellow country music singers Florida Georgia Line (Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard), and hip-hop superstar Jason Derulo. So, why bring him back now, and what about the backlash?
“I’m sure there’ll be some, but I’m not concerned. It was the right time,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN’s senior vice president of events and studio production. “We discussed it internally, and it was just the right time to bring him back.”
“I think it’s a return to our past in that it’s such an iconic song associated with football,” Druley told the Tennessean. “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.”
ESPN is bringing Hank Williams Jr. back, 6 years after he was dropped for comparing President Obama to Hitler:https://t.co/mRxw9nRQsJ
— SB Nation (@SBNation) June 5, 2017
“‘Monday Night Football’ has the most famous anthem in sports and we wanted to make sure the new recording sounded as good as anything on the radio or streaming today,” ESPN project leader Mike “Spike” Szykowny added in a release. “The challenge was to create a new music track that captured the energy of Hank’s original, while showcasing the distinct new sounds of Jason Derulo and Florida Georgia Line.”
Speaking to the Tennessean, Williams said it was unexpected, but he is glad to be back to doing what he did for over two decades.
“I never said, ‘Are you ready for some football’ on stage one time the last five or six years, but I will now,” Williams said. “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.'”
He added, “I hope there will be some happy people on Monday night again. It feels natural, fulfilling and satisfying at this point when you’ve kind of done it all.”
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) June 5, 2017
According to the Boot, Jason Derulo is also excited to have the opportunity to work with Williams on the iconic song.
“It’s truly momentous to be featured in the Monday Night Football anthem for the upcoming season,” Derulo said. “I feel the opening song sets the tone and energizes the fans before kickoff, and this year I’m putting my swag on it.”
Williams Jr. first performed “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” during Monday Night Football’s 20th anniversary season that took place in 1989. Williams, Florida Georgia Line, and Derulo filmed the new rendition of the song on Sunday in Nashville, and it will debut on September 11 during the opening night of Monday Night Football when the New Orleans Saints take on the Minnesota Vikings.
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]