"Are you ready for some football," with the singer whose "iconic" voice left Monday Night Football six years ago? The Tennessean reports that Hank Williams Jr. has returned to ESPN's good graces, with his signature opening and music video for a reworked "All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night" set to appear during all Monday Night Football showings throughout next season. The video will debut with the Sept. 11 game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints. "I think it's a return to our past in that it's such an iconic song associated with football," says Stephanie Druley, the network's senior VP of events and studio production. "It belongs to Monday Night Football. It really is about returning to what fans know."
Considering that Williams and ESPN broke ties in 2011 over Williams' controversial remarks about then-President Barack Obama—in which he said Obama playing golf with then-Speaker John Boehner was "like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu," per a CBS News article at the time—not everyone is thrilled with Williams' return. "Really @NFL and @ESPN?" tweeted journalist and activist Shaun King. "You all are bringing Hank Williams Jr. BACK to Monday Night Football after the racist/bigoted s--- he said? Really?" Druley shrugs at any backlash that might come ESPN's way. "I'm sure there'll be some, but I'm not concerned," she says, per the Tennessean. "It was the right time." (Williams on Obama a year after his ESPN severing: "We hate him!")