Retired Player Barry Sanders Is Chosen

Hank Williams Jr. will be replaced by former player Barry Sanders this Monday.

Hank Williams, Jr.

Are you ready for Monday Night Football without Hank Williams, Jr.?

ESPN is and they're locked in on Williams, Jr.'s replacement -- at least for this Monday's game. It's Detroit Lions retired running back Barry Sanders. He'll narrate a pre-game segment on the broadcast where Williams Jr.'s song had been played since 1989.

"Ok, I admit it," tweeted Sanders on Thursday. "I will be at MNF this week and doing the intro."

It's fitting as the game is hosted by the Lions this week.

"The football-themed tease open that we have been using to start the MNF telecast will now air before kickoff," said ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz to in an email. "This week we have a terrific open narrated by Barry Sanders."

"This is the format we'll likely use the remainder of the season. We haven't made any decisions beyond that."

As for Williams Jr., the furor over his dismissal is growing. Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin weighed in on the Williams Jr. controversy on Sean Hannity's radio show on Thursday.

"I think it's pretty disgusting," Palin said. "Hank Williams and what he is going through now, I think it's a very clear illustration of a greater societal problem and that is the hypocrisy on the left -- the liberals who can throw these stones at a conservative and they [sic] knowing that they're not going to be held accountable."

Williams, Jr.'s intro song, "All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight," was pulled by ESPN from the Monday Night broadcast after Williams, Jr. compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler in an interview. Williams, Jr. subsequently apologized, but it wasn't good enough to have his song reinstated.

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Comments on "ESPN names Hank Williams, Jr.'s Monday Night Football replacement"

mrbill October 25, 2011 | 2:37 PM

I watched Rappers and movie stars bash Bush for years, nothing lost. So ESPN has pulled the plug, So as a football watcher I plan to keep a list of advertisers. Will contact these Co's and let them know a boycot of products until this is fixed. Several of my friends are doing the same. Play fair and we can all get along.

Bob Patterson October 07, 2011 | 3:21 PM

You made a big mistake by taking Hank Williams off of MNF. I'll read the scores in the paper but I will miss Hank's singing. I won't miss your broadcast. You made a very bad error.

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