“I’m Hank Williams Jr., bitch.”
For the past five years, the “worldwide leader in
Boston sports” has carried a target on its back the size of Chris Berman’s underpants. Taking shots at ESPN (and Berman) is a blogger birthright: if you don’t openly loathe the corporate behemoth, you just don’t get it. To be fair, the persons writing on this site fall into that stereotypical mindset: we are the Davids of this industry and ESPN is the Goliath. So, who’s winning?
Well, getting into that discussion is a topic for another time (and probably another website). Instead of taking my cuts at ESPN, I come today to offer a temporary truce.
Early Monday, conservative millionaire and country virtuoso (circa 1987) Hank Williams, Jr. commented that the pairing of President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner on the golf course was akin to…
“That would be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. Not hardly. In the shape this country is in? They’re [Obama and Vice President Joe Biden] the enemy.”
Did somebody say “Hitler?” Oh no…
Faced with not a lot of time to act, ESPN hedged their bets and pulled Williams’ “All My Rowdy Friends,” the theme for Monday Nighters since 1991. Slap on the wrist. Williams apologizes, the country moves on, and we get to hear that stupid song for the rest of eternity.
“[I made ] a Dumb statement and I am very Sorry if it Offended anyone.”
Unfortunately, he did not apologize for his capitalization.
The “I’m sorry if I offended anyone” wore out its welcome probably during its third celebrity usage, which I’ve pinpointed took place on “The O’Reilly Factor” back in 1999. It’s the polite way of saying, “Hey, sorry you’re a candyass, but I’m not really sorry for what I said because I’m a self-involved schmuck.” God, I wish it still worked.
Anyways, at this point, you’re thinking typically-conservative ESPN will pull back, accept the tacit apology and move on, right? Nope. From Thursday:
“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
Not to be outdone, Williams offered this retort:
“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision,” he wrote. “By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.”
Who are his “Rowdy Friends?” Is he delusional enough to think people actually watch the opener of “Monday Night Football” for his stupid, hackneyed song? Are you like me in that you hope his “rowdy friends” include Gruden? Lesson to Hank: free speech in the workplace is for those who are independently wealthy and own the company. You may be one of those, but you aren’t both.
Now, who really knows the truth? Maybe ESPN was tired of Williams’ schtick and were looking for their own identity. Maybe they actually grew a pair and realized that we live in a world that surrounds us with political and religious dogma at every turn. We turn to sports as an outlet; an escape from the things that make us angry, sad, and scared. In other words, keep your freaking politics out of my sports. Hat tip, ESPN. I wish you the best of luck with coming up with an exciting new way to kick-off the show.
Who are we kidding? Nickelback is somewhere in a recording studio now re-recording “Photograph.”
Filed under: Uncategorized
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!