Counting Down The Hanks: ESPN’s Football Is A Hankless Proposition

During my senior year at the University of Michigan, I had an apartment in a sub-divided house that was owned by Cincinnati Bengals tight end Eric Kattus, himself a former Michigan alum. I lived in that two bedroom, second story apartment with the backside entrance for sixteen months and had several roommates along the way. One of my roommates was a guy named John. Despite having an Italian surname, he hailed from the wilds of rural Michigan, somewhere near Howell I think.

Dig that `stache

John was a nice guy with a typical 1980s Midwestern mustache, working on an engineering degree at Michigan. And though we’ve not stayed in touch, I have fond memories of him. John was a very honest and amiable guy. In particular, I remember him cooking up venison burgers made from the meat of a deer that his brother had shot. I laid off meat over 15 years ago, but back then I was partial to the mushroom Swiss.

We were joking around one day when John quoted his father saying: There’s two kinds of people in this world: Those who like Hank Williams and those who like Hank Williams, Jr.

The obvious part of the joke is the assertion that everyone likes country music. But assuming you do like country music, as John’s father did, the implied humor is that Hank Williams is the patron saint of the genre while his son is a bit of a bozo.

Honestly, who on earth likes Hank Williams, Jr. better than Hank Williams?

All my saucy friends!

No doubt there are a few, but their numbers are recently thinned after Junior’s recent outburst comparing Barack Obama to Adloph Hilter and, strangely enough, Speaker of the House John Boehner to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu. And quite frankly, the man who once sang about how getting stoned was a family tradition looked pretty stoned as he rambled on, at one point referring to Obama and Boehner as The Three Stooges. Seriously.

As a result of this dust up, ESPN decided to yank his introductory song “Are You Ready for Some Football” from Monday Night Football. Hey, if icons can be replaced, what chance does the son of an icon have?

In some ways, however, the most embarrassing part is Junior’s response via his website. First he claimed he was totally dumping her and that there’s no way she’d ever dump him, because he’s like a totally awesome stud! And then he attempt to wrap himself in the flag.

AFTER ESPN SUSPENDS HANK JR. FOR ONE-WEEK, HANK JR. DECIDES TO PULL HIS SONG FROM BEING USED ON ESPN FOR REMAINDER OF SEASON!“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. 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.” — Hank Williams Jr

Yeah, no, this absolutely not a free speech issue, as in, not even close.  Perhaps a quick refresher is in order. The relevant part of 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

Don't Mess with H3

So to clarify Hank, neither Congress nor any other government passed a law saying you couldn’t sing your song. You simply got shit canned. Hell, if I showed up to work stoned, disheveled, and told everyone that Obama was like Hitler and Boehner was like a foreign Jew, I’d probably get shit canned too. And I have tenure.

Anyway, John’s dad was right. Hank, Sr. was balls out awesome. And hell, Hank Williams, III is pretty damn radical too, mixing acoustic country and hardcore. And I think H3 summed the whole thing up quite nicely recently. When asked about his dad’s tirade, he responded: “The only person out there worthy of mixing political views and music is Jello Biafra.

Are you ready for some punk?

Either way, get ready for some Cheesy Bruin tomorrow.

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About The Public Professor 79 Articles
Mattville's George Plimpton, The Public Professor, is indeed a real, honest-to-goodness, legitimate professor at a major Maryland university. But because he doesn't have a cell phone or cable, he's crazy enough to be with us. A member of Angry Ward's Urban Spur Posse, the terrorized Bronx graffiti artist's by correcting their grammar. His loves? The Yankees, Knicks, NY Rangers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also has a real website: ThePublicProfessor.com (http://www.thepublicprofessor.com/).