Hank Williams Jr. and his iconic theme song will not return to ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” the network announced Thursday.
In the wake of Williams using an analogy involving Adolf Hitler and President Barack Obama to make a political point on the Fox News Channel, Williams’ “All My Rowdy Friends” will no longer be part of the MNF opening.
“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr,” ESPN said in a statement. “We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
On his own website, Williams said he was the one who made the decision.
“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.”
In an interview Monday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Williams, unprompted, said of Obama’s outing on the links with House Speaker John Boehner: “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
Asked to clarify, Williams said, “They’re the enemy,” adding that by “they” he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
ESPN pulled Williams’ opening to Monday night’s Indianapolis-Tampa Bay game and issued a statement saying: “While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
Williams, through his publicist, said on Monday: “Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme — but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me — how ludicrous that pairing was. They’re polar opposites and it made no sense. They don’t see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the president.”
Tuesday, he issued another statement.”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,” Williams wrote on Facebook and his website. “I am very sorry if it offended anyone.”
Williams’ song has been part of “Monday Night Football” since 1991 on both ESPN and ABC. He is a Grammy award winner who also was a three-time entertainer of the year from the Academy of Country Music in the 1980s. — Source ESPN
Grammy award-winning musician Barry Manilow told The Daily Caller that he agrees with “just about everything” 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul says, calling him a “solid” contender for the highest office in the land.
“I like him. I like what he says, I do. I like what he says. I think he’s solid,” said Manilow, who confirmed to TheDC in an interview at the Capitol on Thursday that he contributed to Paul’s last campaign for president.
“I agree with just about everything he says. What can I tell you?” Manilow added.
INDIANAPOLIS — At least four people were killed and 40 people were injured in a stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair during a severe thunderstorm on Saturday night.Indiana State Police confirmed the fatalities and said the injuries to some victims are so severe that the death toll could rise.
Information about the people who died wasn’t immediately released. ISP 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten said that the Marion County Coroner’s Office had confirmed the identities of two of the people who were killed by early Sunday morning.The number of injured could also increase, as authorities don’t have a handle on how many people drove themselves to hospitals or were taken there by means other than an ambulance.
The collapse happened about 8:50 p.m. as Sugarland, a country music act, was preparing to perform on the fair’s main stage.The National Weather Service said winds estimated at 60 to 70 mph buffeted the stage ahead of a line of severe thunderstorms. A severe thunderstorm warning had been issued for Marion County before the collapse.”What hit really wasn’t a storm. It was a significant gust of wind,” Bursten said.David Lindquist, a reporter for the Indianapolis Star who was there to cover the concert, told 6News that an announcement was made that weather was moving in about two minutes before the winds kicked up, but those in front of the stage had little time to get out of the weather, if they wanted to do so.
Thoughts and Prayers for the families of those who lost their lives, the injured, and everyone else in Indiana. Also, keep Sugarland in your prayers tonight, as I would imagine they are going through hell right about now.
I remember hearing about on the CBS Morning News the following day. What I distinctly remember about that report was that instead of the concert being cancelled, fans brought their guitars and went on stage to play Chapin’s songs. That has always stayed with me. In 2001, I comemorated what happened the day Chapin died with a poem called “A Thousand Guitars & A Cello” which would later appear in my first poetry chapbook, Oysters & The Newborn Child:
When it was announced that you would not perform
The observers and participants continued to arrive
Refusing to be deterred by the bitter storm
Determined to see that the music would survive
A thousand guitars ascended the stage
Accompanied by a single cello
Our stories would fill the blank page
For one night we all stood friend & fellow
In a land where hope is faint
Destiny and fate are still ours to choose
The portrait of ourselves we paint
Challenges us to better fill our shoes
Life will not be about loss and win
When we understand that the circle never ends or begins
When Chapin wasn’t performing in concert or working on his latest album, he could be seen on Capitol Hill lobbying Senators and Congressmen about the issue of world hunger. Although Chapin leaned liberal (before he became famous he worked on one of Allard Lowenstein ‘s congressional campaigns in New York), he would talk to anybody about addressing world hunger – Democrat or Republican. Well, Chapin made an indelible impression. Then Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole eulogized him on the floor of the Senate. Dole was one of nearly forty Senators and Congressmen paid tribute to Chapin that day. When he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in December 1987 both Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch were on hand to sing Chapin’s praises. Chapin didn’t hate the people who didn’t share his politics. On the contrary, he wanted to persuade conservatives just as much as he wanted to persuade liberals.
Now a few thoughts of my own about Harry Chapin:
Harry Chapin was one who, unlike many of the entertainment industry, actually practiced what he preached. Unlike many of the Hollywood and entertainment Liberal crowd in California, Chapin saw wrong and tried to fix it. Was he a liberal? Absolutely, however back in Chapin’s day, being a liberal meant an entirely different thing, than it does today. I truly believe if he saw what the Democratic Party was about today; at the very least, he would be a libertarian.
Chapin was a part of the “thinking” artists and liberals of his era. He fought for what he believed in, did what he loved and helped one hell of a great deal of people doing it. He; like Gordon Lightfood, like Jim Croce and many more like them — inspired many in that era to not accept what the previous generation told them, but to think for themselves.
America is a much shallow place without him.
Rest in peace Harry — God knows, you earned in the short time you were here.
We lost Clarence Clemons, a great sax player with the E-Street Band.
Clarence Clemons, the saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, whose jovial onstage manner, soul-rooted style and brotherly relationship with Mr. Springsteen made him one of rock’s most beloved sidemen, died on Saturday at a hospital in Palm Beach, Fla. He was 69.
The cause was complications of a stroke he suffered last Sunday at his home in Singer Island, Fla., a spokeswoman for Mr. Springsteen said.
In a statement released Saturday night, Mr. Springsteen called Mr. Clemons “my great friend, my partner.”
“With Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music,” he added. “His life, his memory and his love will live on in that story and in our band.”
That my friends is the formal definition…. of torture. Waterboarding?!?! Ha! Put the terrorists in a cell and play this, over and over and over…. they’ll tell everything they know and most likely make up a few as they go along!
Remember what I said about… prayer? Yes, Please, much of that… much!