ESPN’s Monday Night Football (MNF) will feature the return of its iconic anthem this fall when legendary country singer Hank Williams Jr. kicks off the weekly Monday primetime game by asking NFL fans: “Are You Ready for Some Football?” Every Monday night during the 2017 NFL season, Williams will perform his hit song “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Monday Night” with superstar duo Florida Georgia Line and multi-platinum recording artist Jason Derulo.
Williams returns to MNF for the first time since 2011 to perform the show’s opening anthem for an unprecedented 24th season, a ritual that has earned him four Emmy awards (1991-1994) and national acclaim among legions of football fans. Florida Georgia Line and Derulo will be appearing in the MNF video for the first time.
“Monday Night Football has the most famous music video in sports television. It’s time to bring it back,” states Stephanie Druley, Senior Vice President, ESPN events and studio production. “The combination of Hank Williams Jr. with Florida Georgia Line and Jason Derulo will get fans excited and ready for kickoff every Monday night on ESPN this fall.”
The MNF kickoff video features team-specific lyrics and visuals each week based on the 17 regular-season ESPN matchups. All three artists recorded audio tracks in May. They filmed the opening video together June 4th at the Marathon Music Works in Nashville.
“I started in 1989 when ABC was celebrating the 20th season of Monday Night Football,” states Williams Jr. “It soon became a staple that fans grew to expect and wanted to see and hear. I am thrilled to be back and bring the fans such a new and dynamic rendition of this anthem. Are You Ready For Some Football? Cause I sure am!”
“I am thrilled to be back and bring the fans such a new and dynamic rendition of this anthem.”
Ricky Reed (Nice Life Recording Company), a 2016 Grammy Award nominee for Producer of the Year, is the music director. Mike “Spike” Szykowny (producer) and co-directors Lucas Nickerson and Chris Mantzaris of ESPN Creative Services are overseeing production of the video with MNF producer Jay Rothman and Vice President, Creative and Studio Direction, Bob Toms. Habana Avenue produced the video shoot.
Monday Night Football’s 48th season kicks off with an ESPN doubleheader on Monday, September 11th between the New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (6:55 pm ET) and Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (10:15 pm).
Williams Jr. lost the gig in 2011 after comparing former President Barrack Obama to Adolf Hilter during a Fox and Friends interview about the president’s round of golf with Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
“It’d be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Williams said.
The controversy caused ESPN to pull the theme song after 23 years. It’s been a staple of MNF since 1989.