June 23, 2009 — Hank Williams Jr. and "Monday Night Football." The two have been a perfect fit for two decades, and Bocephus has started what might become a third decade by shooting the opening package for this year's ESPN telecasts in Nashville's Centennial Park.
"Are You Ready For Some Football?" — a rejiggered theme built around his 1984 hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" — added to Hank's status with country music's many sports fans and turned him into an NFL icon for football fans who don't listen to country.
"Even in the most upscale place in Frisco, that song comes on and they're locked in on it," Hank told The Tennessean. "It's just unbelievable."
Hank shot interior scenes at Centennial's Parthenon with 250 extras on Monday. The Parthenon is an exact-scale replica of the Greek landmark and plays a role in the feel of the production, which director Bob Toms described as a "little museum of football artifacts that come to life."
Hank's first "Monday Night Football" promo debuted in September 20 years ago, and it's been revised and repackaged every year since then, winning four Emmy Awards along the way. Gretchen Wilson, Charlie Daniels, Brian Setzer, Little Richard and Aerosmith's Joe Perry are among the celebrities who've joined him in the theme package in the past. A Colin Powell impersonator appeared in one version, and cast members from Savion Glover's Broadway production Bring In 'Da Noise... Bring In 'Da Funk contributed to another. Gloria Estefan took part in Monday's shoot and will be featured in the Oct. 12 Dolphins game broadcast from Miami, where Gloria is based.
This year's version debuts Sept. 14 when ESPN airs a "Monday Night Football" doubleheader as the Buffalo Bills visit the New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers play the Raiders in Oakland. ESPN is scheduled to shoot exterior scenes at the Parthenon Tuesday night.