Posted by Will Brinson
Who will replace Hank Williams Jr. on Monday Night Football now that he's gotten the boot by ESPN? That is the eternal question that will probably be answered in the next day or so (or not), and asking these questions is why the bosses pay me the big bucks*.
Or something. Anyway, let's roll through some possible suggestions for new MNF opening acts.
10. Tripping Icarus
What? You haven't heard of them? DO YOU EVEN LIKE FOOTBALL? Of course you do. I was just kidding. But if you love football, you should know this band, since they're fronted by Minnesota Vikings punter -- and friend of the podcast! -- Chris Kluwe.
Having this happen is a longer shot than Kluwe's team winning the Super Bowl (sorry, Chris), but it would still be awesome. Plus, they have a tune that's got a killer intro in Misery though the lyrics might need to be tweaked. And the title. Unless the league keeps scheduling the Dolphins for prime time anyway. Then it's pretty apt.
Oh, and they have at least one "celebrity endorser."
9. Black Eyed Peas
I dunno, it just seems like any time there's a convergence of "we need a band" and "what bands are still cool" and "we need a band quickly," executives at broadcasting companies are totally willing to jump all over Fergie and Co.
They have that stupid altered-lyric version of "Let's Get It Started," and we're all already numb to it thanks to the NBA playoffs a few years ago. Don't forget that they also owe football fans for their miserable performance at the Super Bowl in Dallas, so maybe they'll do it on the cheap.
8. Hank Williams, III
Perhaps Hank's a bit ... close to the situation, being Hank Jr.'s son and all, but he's already come out and said that his dad is kind of a goofball for "mixing political views and music." That means he'll be a guy who won't cause a stir with any Godwin's Law screwups.
Does anyone care about his music? Well, I can't speak to that, because I don't know what he sings. But I do know there's like a 75 percent-plus chance that he could call his dad up, swing by the studio with a fifth of Jack Daniels, and "talk him into" signing over the rights for "Are you ready for some football?"
He could probably score a sweet camo Alabama hat out of it too, and then ESPN could keep carrying on like 1989 never became irrelevant.
7. The Who
Are they too old to play the MNF theme? Perhaps, yes. But they did recently play the Super Bowl and while they were fairly panned, they did an acoustic jam session at their press conference that pretty much made my life.
But Roger Daltry's been cruising around doing spots on Sirius, and I'm sure they have some remastered album coming out soon. They always do.
And have you seen the Monday Night Football schedule for the rest of the year? "Who Are You?" would be a perfect theme.
6. Dixie Chicks
Hahaha. OK, OK, so this a horrible idea. (Mrs. Brinson made me do it; she knows how much I love ... er, she loves "Sin Wagon.")
But we should at least try and provide equal political party representation for people who ruin their careers based on stupid statements about the President, right?
Yes, I know they're French. Don't be a jerk about it. They're still sick nasty (and were once the theme of "The [Blank] Jones," which gives them tons of street cred with the kids!) and really energetic.
Plus, if Roger Goodell has his way, every single NFL game will be played in a foreign country by the time ESPN's MNF contract expires, so we might as well export the music too.
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
The best band you don't know about -- the Juniors -- don't really fit the profile of a band that would play Monday Night Football, mainly because they're "not mainstream enough" for a suit to agree to, and because they don't necessarily have the "same sound that your dad likes." Or whatever Carles would say.
But (and full disclosure -- they are also friends of the podcast!) I think they represent one pretty cool idea that MNF could take with the musical direction. Why not have a local, albeit famous-enough, band perform a song that's related to the city where the game is being played? Like "We Almost Lost Detroit" -- embedded below -- which is not only fantastic but totally true about MNF and the Lions, who haven't been the home team on a Monday since 2001.
Travel around the country and have different intros with an up-and-coming band from that area. They'd do it for free and it would be way better than listening to one lame act sing every week for the next 20 years.
3. Jack White
The White Stripes are broken up and I think he's abandoned the Raconteurs to go do his own label thing, but would anyone be more perfect for this gig than Jack White?
The dude rocks hard, he's got respect from people in every single genre of music, and he dresses weird but is cool enough to pull it off. Mrs. Brinson and I were playing Rock Band the other night (she's a killer bassist) and she heard the Raconteurs for the first time and loved them right off the bat.
"Ball and a Biscuit" is all up on a commercials these days, and I'd listen to that song for the next 30 years in a row non-stop if it meant nothing ridiculous like ESPN hiring Jimmy Buffett. But just to prove that White can provide something more commercially viable for the cranky football-watching adults in your family, here's "Many Shades of Black."
This would be freaking AWESOME. (Or perhaps you prefer awesome-sauce?) And, if the WWL wants to keep moving in a similar direction as Bocephus, these guys rock out hard in a country-but-not-quite-alt-country way.
"Three Dimes Down" is one of my favorite songs ever and while it's not necessarily the song that would fit for the intro, it a) shows they've got the sound and b) isn't totally obscene like "This F*****g Job."
Come to think of it, forget they wrote that, ESPN.
Hey, dad, do you know what you like these days? And no, I'm not speaking to my dad. I'm speaking to you, Mr. 30-plus-year-old, key-demographic, football-watching, how-did-I-already-become a father of two who's reading this post.
You like Wilco don't you? Yeah, that's what I thought. In fact, you probably love Wilco enough -- for the record, as do I -- that you didn't even think their decision to do the background tunes for the recent Volkswagon campaign constituted "selling out."
You probably embrace their "Dad Rock" style and, well, that's cool. We are the generation of fathers and soon-to-be fathers who will be watching MNF to escape family time over the next eight years and more. The least ESPN could do is cater to us.
Bonus: Wilco already has a song named "Monday" that's fast-paced and fun to listen to!
*The small bucks, natch