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ESPN has pulled country singer Hank Williams, Jr. from its "Monday Night Football" broadcast of the Indianapolis Colts versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
By now, you're already aware of HankBamaHitlerGate, in which Monday Night Football mainstay Hank Williams Jr. compared the President to Hitler.
More importantly, by saying Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were "The Three Stooges," he broke the cardinal rule of Moe, Larry and Curly analogies: You need three people to draw a proper comparison. Now Hank is offering up a weak apology for his tirade, and here it is:
I have always been very passionate about Politics and Sports and this time it got the Best or Worst of me. The thought of the Leaders of both Parties Jukin and High Fiven on a Golf course, while so many Families are Struggling to get by simply made me Boil over and make a Dumb statement and I am very Sorry if it Offended anyone. I would like to Thank all my supporters. This was Not written by some Publicist.
Clearly, it wasn't written by a publicist, because a publicist would understand when to capitalize words and when not to. You can tell Williams is excusing himself for his comments as he's apologizing, and the fact that he defended himself in a separate statement at his website makes it clear he's only apologizing because someone forced him to.
I'm all for free speech, and even though Williams made a clumsy and stupid analogy, I don't think ESPN should fire him for it. I DO think they should fire him because his song is old and awful and one of the highlights of my week is skipping past that entire sequence on the DVR. It's a lame song that only persists because it spawned a far more valuable catchphrase (Are you ready for some football?), and it represents the worst kind of middle America pandering that ESPN has become so proficient at in recent years.
ABC tried to kill off Hank a long time ago, back when Dan Fouts and Boomer Esiason were added to the MNF booth. Instead of going with Hank, ABC replaced him with various current rock songs playing underneath game action. People cried out in protest, and Hank was back in no time, wearing his big hat and singing his big goofy song.
So Hank already knows he's something of an institution in this regard, which is probably why he thought he could issue such a weak apology. But I don't know why ESPN wouldn't decide to fire him and replace him with NOTHING. I mean, do you really need a song to open your football game? Wouldn't you rather just get right to the football? I know I would. Monday Night Football already has about six opening sequences. We don't need another. You can take Hank out of the broadcast and while some people might complain, no one's gonna stop watching. We should have moved past Hank ages ago. His song isn't even the definitive song you think about when you think about MNF. You think of the duh-duh-duhhhhhhhh song. Play that song, have two helmets smash together, throw up a ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL super, and get to Jaws and Gruden giving me a headache. That's all you need. It's time for Hank to go, and I'd like to thank him for giving ESPN a decent excuse to put him out to pasture.