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Should Hank Williams Jr. remain voice of 'Monday Night Football'?

October 4, 2011 | 10:05 am

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Hank Williams Jr.'s classic intro song for "Monday Night Football" -- with its signature line "Are you ready for some football?" -- was pulled from this week's game on ESPN after Williams used an analogy to Adolf Hitler in discussing President Obama.

Should Williams' removal be a permanent one? Writers from around the Tribune Co. are discussing the topic -- check back throughout the day for more responses. You can join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

In the first place, I don't think of Hank Williams Jr. as the voice of "Monday Night Football." The guy made a dumb, nonsensical analogy on a news show -- why was he being interviewed for his opinion on politics anyway? -- and now we're wringing our hands and feeling obligated to react.

Don't we have more important things to worry about? The guy has an opinion and a right to that opinion, no matter how wacked out it might be. We should stop investing so much energy into worrying about what celebrities say just because they're celebrities.

Just promise me this: Don't interview Faith Hill on her political opinions, whatever those might be. I like that intro and don't want to see it scrubbed.

Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

Hank Williams Jr. is free to speak his mind in this country, as he should be. But if you are ESPN you have to think long and hard about whether or not you want someone with his opinions and history representing your company. 

In his most recent remarks, Williams showed utter insensitivity and terrible judgment. It’s OK to disagree with politicians and their policies. Comparing them to Hitler is going a tad far. This is not the first time he has created headlines for the wrong reasons. He also was charged with assault for trying to choke a waitress in 2006.  

Williams has made such a spectacle of himself that you wonder if from now on every time we hear him sing “Are you ready for some football?” we’ll think of Nazis instead of Patriots.

[Updated at 11:35 a.m.:

Shannon J. Owens, Orlando Sentinel

So the Monday Night Football guy is a bonehead? That's breaking news?

I respect ESPN’s decision to drop Hank Williams Jr’s song from the Monday Night Football broadcast. ESPN has been consistent in its approach to its talent’s use of the word Hitler.

But in the broader perspective, I don’t think anyone was looking to the “Are You Ready For some Football” guy for moral direction. The better point to focus on is why Fox News gave a platform to Williams to speak on politics when his expertise (and I use the word loosely) is clearly in entertainment.

If ESPN decides to boot Williams for good, I won’t cry any tears for him.

But this could be a teachable moment. If ESPN gives him another chance, perhaps, Williams could learn something about a character trait he clearly doesn’t possess right now – tolerance.]

ALSO:

Sam Farmer: NFL is a league that must deal with some trust issues

LeGarrette Blount, Curtis Painter find redemption on Monday night

Photo: Hank Williams Jr. performs during the recording of a promo for ESPN's broadcasts of "Monday Night Football." Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press

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