Thursday, September 18, 2008
In an interview yesterday with Sports Business Daily, your rowdy friend and mine, Hank Williams Jr. was asked a couple of questions about the differences between MNF on ABC and ESPN. The man who's been singing the opening MNF theme for twenty years didn't pull any punches when comparing the two and had this to say....
Q: How much do you feel like your career is identified with Monday Night"Special" is right my friend. If you ever want a shock to your system, sit through both the Sunday and Monday nighter this week. From top to bottom, NBC is a far superior product. And while ESPN is certainly trying to improve, they seem to be stuck in the mud at the moment. Well in every facet but ratings that is.
Williams: I'll put it this way. I checked into a hotel in Detroit and
everybody is saying, "Who is that?" And then one of the doormen says, "Man,
what's wrong with you? That¹s the rowdy friend." That was hilarious. He
couldn't come up with my name. He just called me the rowdy friend. I went to
a game in Yankee Stadium last year, and, let me tell you, they were all over
Q: Just because of Monday Night Football?
Williams: Oh, of course. I mean, come on. Twenty years of millions of
viewers, seven Super Bowls -- yeah, that had a little bit of an impact. A
one-year deal that's turned into an American signature of sports.
Q: How have things changed on the broadcast?
Williams: In the words of AL MICHAELS, he said, "Man, you¹re the only one
left." We kind of all know each other. And we¹ve been through the Mickey
Mouse thing, you know.
Q: What do you mean?
Williams: ABC moving to ESPN. Now they're all over there at that other
Q: Have you noticed a change in going from ABC to ESPN?
Williams: I think everybody has, sure. You've got different people, you've
got a learning curve with new people, you've got other people that come back
into the fold. And all of a sudden, it's a little bit different. We're not
back there with (HOWARD) COSELL and (DON) MEREDITH and all that. But it¹s
Oh and Hank, be careful my friend. That "Mouse" is very powerful and those twenty, one-year contracts you've enjoyed can quickly come to an end. Don't bit the hand that's been feeding you all these years.