In the roughly 25 or so years that I’ve been able to understand football (I’m 34), Hank Williams Jr. has been the speed bump that delayed the Monday Night Football kickoff for 2 minutes or so. When I was 12, those 2 minutes were crucial, as my parents would eventually make me go to bed before the game ended, what with the ridiculous East Coast start time of close to 9pm. And now that I’m 34 and have the sleep patterns of a 90-year old, I pretty much never make it through a full game unless it’s one of the NFC East teams playing. And even when I try, there’s a good chance I’ll wake up on the sofa at 4am with some infomercial running, having no idea who won. Any time wasted on pregame nonsense, to me, is, and has always been useless.
I never had anything against Hank Williams Jr personally. He was just the annoying guy that sang a tired song every week during the fall/winter before a football game, the same way Faith Hill now does on Sunday Night. I don’t really care about a hick country singer’s views on the President. I don’t really care whether Hank Williams quit or whether he was fired. I also don’t care about Williams’ misunderstanding of what the First Amendment is… I mean, sure, you have the right to compare President Obama to Hitler, just as ESPN has the right to say, “Really, Hank? Bye.” Tough titties, Hank.
Not surprisingly, from what I’ve gathered over the past few days, people are generally happy that the opening song will be gone. Me too. But in case any of you are unaware, the TV suits are completely oblivious to what they think makes for good entertainment. FOX has no idea that the fans have ZERO interest in watching Frank Caliendo make an ass of himself every Sunday morning, or that a dancing robot in no way, shape or form enhances the audience’s football viewing experience. NBC has no idea that people that tune in for Sunday Night Football don’t give a crap about Faith Hill. And ESPN/ABC/Disney is the worst of them all, evidenced by their past hires of Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser, who added literally nothing in the way of actual football analysis during their respective reigns of terror in the broadcast booth. The only network that has it even close to right is CBS.
What would my solution be if I were ESPN? How about nothing? Maybe just start the game 2 minutes earlier? But don’t bet on it. Expect the Hank Williams Jr void to be filled rather quickly by something/someone that’s equally misplaced and unentertaining. How about THIS? They’d only have to change one word.