Hank Jr.'s Big Problem?
When I was in high school, I was the trainer for the varsity football team. Team rituals are important, and there were many that passed through the locker room each Friday ahead of the game. One of the big ones back at my school was playing a song to get people “fired up.” And the song of choice back then was “Family Tradition” by Hank Williams Jr., was the quintessential country rebel anthem, and that cassette tape of Hank Jr’s Greatest Hits never seemed to get old.
A few years later, Williams’ call “Are You Ready for Some Football?” was the battle cry of Monday night, and a reworked version of “All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight” became the national anthem of televised football. To me, it seemed fitting, and I had no qualms about it. Having one of the nation’s rowdiest good-time singers introduce some smashmouth gridiron action every week made a lot of sense to me. But if anyone had told me then that, 24 years later, Bocephus would be called on to offer his perspectives on national politics by Fox News, and have his association with MNF derailed by it, I wouldn’t have believed it.
First off, Fox didn’t have news back then, it had only one hit show, “The Simpsons.” And our local affiliate was a part-time station. Second, the ancient-philosopher-sounding nickname notwithstanding, I just couldn’t see anyone mistaking him for Socrates. I can see someone asking him for advice on chewing tobacco, but politics? It’s not like all his rowdy friends come over on Mondays to discuss the nature of justice or which player has “gold” in his soul.Continued on the next page