Bocephus has officially been removed from ESPN’s Monday Night Football telecast.
His song “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night,” which has been used as the intro for Monday Night Football since 1989 (with a notable hiatus) has once again been removed from the broadcast.
However, according to Sports Business Daily, it has nothing to do with Hank’s political views like it did back in 2011. This time, ESPN said the song doesn’t make sense given the fact that the stadiums will mostly be empty in light of COVID-19. They said the song would “not resonate for games that will be contested in mainly empty stadiums.”
ESPN will opt instead to use a remixed version of Little Richard’s “Rip It Up,” with new music from a Virginia-based band called Butcher Brown.
Of course, Hank Jr. was dropped once before back in 2011 when he compared President Obama to Hitler and called Joe Biden “the enemy” in an interview. He then returned in 2017.
Whether you’re a fan of Hank Jr. or not, it’s not hard to see why folks would be skeptical of the reason given by ESPN. Given the current political climate (and Hank Jr.’s previous comments about Joe Biden) it’s probably not a stretch to argue that there were other motives behind the choice to remove the song.
Either way, ESPN will kick off the 2020 season with another Week 1 doubleheader.
The first game will be the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers, and the second will feature the Denver Broncos at the Tennessee Titans.