When I was a little kid, my parents got me a Monday Night Football video game for the PC. It was no Tecmo Bowl, but it was great. What I liked even more about it was what it came with: A 45-minute VHS tape about the then-20-year history of MNF. I must’ve watched that tape 100 times.
After a series of highlights, the tape opens with Hank Williams Jr. doing the Monday Night Football theme and asking us all one question: “Are you ready for some football?” It was a special song for the tape, and I still remember the lyrics: I’ve seen Morton through Elway/ Fran the Scrambler too/ And everybody witnessed what The Fridge could do.
Though one year ABC tried using a different artist each week for the theme, for the most part from 1989 to 2011 Hank Williams Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” was the theme of Monday Night Football. Then in 2011 Williams went on Fox News and said, of President Barack Obama playing golf with John Boehner, “That would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. Not hardly. In the shape this country is in?”
He got canned by ESPN, which was airing MNF by this point, though Williams said he was quitting, actually. We now live in a country where the president once bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy,” so I guess it doesn’t matter what Hank said six years ago. Tonight, he returns to Monday night!
I don’t know much about Hank Williams Jr., other than his talented father and his songs about his rowdy friends coming over, watching football, and later settling down. But I do like his MNF theme. It reminds me of being a football-obsessed kid. It reminds me that I should invite my rowdy (or possibly my mild-mannered friends) over for football on Monday nights. And I enjoy how the opening is often completely fucking bonkers.
Take the 20th anniversary video I watched so much as a kid. The intro features a group of fireman who are steamed a fire call is interrupting their viewing of an NFL game, as well as a bunch of grannies who root for football with props!
But no Monday Night Football video beats the one from the mid-1990s where Hank Williams Jr. directs an airstrike on the United States mainland that destroys several national monuments. I’m not kidding.
Please watch the entire video above. What is your favorite part? Is it when a fighter jet vaporizes the Washington Monument and turns it into a pair of football goalposts?
Or perhaps it’s when the fighter jets alter the Statue of Liberty and make her so she’s celebrating a touchdown instead of offering a beacon to the world?
Or maybe it’s the ending, where a group of fighter jets destroys Mount Rushmore and replaces the four presidents with Frank Gifford, Al Michaels and Dan Dierdorf (though Dan kind of looks like Joe Paterno)?
I’m sure Hank Williams Jr. has strong opinions on Colin Kaepernick, though he’ll probably keep them to himself now that he has his Monday Night Football gig back. Personally, I am for dissent. I believe protest is an effective tool to improve America. I do not think people who protest are unpatriotic.
If you disagree with Mount Rushmore or the Washington Monument, then fine. That is your right. However—and I don’t want to get too political here—calling in an airstrike to destroy three national monuments absolutely crosses a line.