Sports

Seriously? ESPN Parts Ways With Hank Williams, Jr.

Did you happen to notice something missing from Monday Night Football on October 3, 2011?

Of course you did, since ESPN made a big stink out of some comments made by Hank Williams, Jr.

If you don’t remember what caused the Worldwide Leader to pull the famous MNF intro, here’s a brief recap. Williams went on Fox & Friends and said that the golf outing between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner would be “like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” and added that ”They’re the enemy,” and that by ”they,” he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Following those statements ESPN didn’t air the legendary intro, which has been a staple since 1989, and now, the two have parted ways.

While many of us don’t agree with what Williams said, and believe that it shouldn’t have said it at all, was it really offensive enough to get him axed?

No. Absolutely not. That’s why we’re just a bit agitated.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbpaxjNlGNw[/youtube]

First off, Williams has always been a rebel, as well as, an outspoken Republican. You never what he’s going to say or do, but that’s what makes him a legend.

Secondly, the MNF theme song is a reworking of the William’s 1984 hit “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” which is a fun, country party track. However, it’s the video that’s most interesting, since it features a reenactment of an infamous musical moment…George Jones driving his riding mower while smashed out of his mind. I guess when ABC decided to use the song that really didn’t bother anyone, because you know, we’ve all been there at some point during our lives.

Next up is the fact regarding our First Amendment. Like it or not, Williams had the right to make those off the wall comments. As noted earlier, we don’t agree with them, but it’s his right. That’s why he issued his own statement.

“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.” — Hank Williams Jr

There’s also the fact that if ESPN didn’t overreact to the whole situation it could have blown over. Instead, they had a fit about the comments and made it a bigger story than it really was, especially since not everyone watches Fox News and probably would have never known about it. Sure, people could have heard about it, but it wouldn’t have been as widespread is ESPN didn’t mention it.

Moving on to point number five, do football fans even care about fusing sports and politics? Without doing a poll, I would say that a majority of them just want to watch a sporting event. And, part of that whole experience on Monday nights was the Hank Williams, Jr. intro. I, for one, could care less about his politics, because there’s other places to go to for that. His statements don’t change the fact that the MNF theme song was awesome, fitting and got fans pumped up for the game.

Finally, if ESPN wants to pull the holier-than-though-card then we haven’t they blacked out, or refused, to show Monday night games featuring controversial players? They didn’t make any statements, or refuse to air, players accused, or found guilty, of sexual assault, drunk driving, having guns, killing dogs, etc. Heck, they could have had a lot to say about numerous players that have done and said fair worse things then Williams recently did. But, that would cost them money, wouldn’t it?

I guess what really grinds my gears is that they parted ways with Williams for a pretty lame reason. It wasn’t one of their commentators or reporters that made those idiotic comments. You know, someone there live on a weekly basis. It was a rebellious musician who did the theme song. If there was ever a time to separate politics from music this would have been it.

Sure, Monday Night Football will be fine without the intro and we’ll survive, but if they replace it with something as heinous as NBC’s Sunday Night Football there, it’s not going to be pretty…

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