ESPN Dropping Hank Williams Intro From ‘Monday Night Football’

The 2020 NFL season will look different than years past due to the lack of fans in attendance amid the coronavirus pandemic, but there will also be some noticeable changes to the “Monday Night Football” broadcast on ESPN.

According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, ESPN is dropping Hank Williams’ iconic intro from games this season.

ESPN previously removed Williams’ “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” anthem back in 2011 when he compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. The song was reintroduced to the broadcast in 2017. This time, however, ESPN is citing coronavirus concerns and the fact that the song “will not resonate for games that will be contested in mainly empty stadiums.”

Replacing the “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” intro will be the Little Richard song “Rip It Up.” The song will be revamped with instrumentals from the band Butcher Brown with Little Richard’s voice.

From the report:

ESPN instead will use the Little Richard song “Rip It Up,” with modern-day instrumentals from a Virginia-based band called Butcher Brown combined with Little Richard’s voice. The open will not show the musicians on-screen; the sound track will be put over game-specific highlights. The singer died earlier this year. ESPN worked with Little Richard’s estate and his label, Concord Records, to come up with the music for the open.

The 2020 Monday Night Football schedule is set to kick off on September 14 with a meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. In the second game of the season-opening MNF doubleheader, the Tennessee Titans travel to Mile High to take on the Denver Broncos.

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