‘Rowdy’ Bocephus rocks the world

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Whoa is me…no more fist pumping, chest bumping, sing it at the top of your lungs for this and other diehard NFL fans on Monday night.

Hank Williams Junior’s famous pre-game anthem is now officially dead. All my rowdy football friends are deeply saddened by this totally unexpected departure.

For those sleeping under a rock or for you non-football fans (sadly, there are a few who watch other Monday night TV shows, such as that Nielsen rating giant “The Sing-Off”), Hank Jr. appeared last week on the tube’s “Fox and Friends Show” where he offered his personal thoughts on the 2012 presidential campaign. He was asked of his opinion of a recent round of golf that included President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner.

“That would be like Hitler playing golf with (Israel Prime Minister) (Benjamin) Netanyahu,” Williams said.

Let the firestorm begin.

The mainstream media jumped on Bocephus quicker than a catfish on cut bait. He was chastised for making such a remark…most everyone initially saying that Hank Jr. had compared Obama to Hitler, the most hated figure in world history for the role he played in the horrific slaughter of innocent people of the Jewish faith.

I hope everyone has since had the chance to listen to Williams’ words. Never did he say that Barack and Adolph were twins, separated at birth. Rather, he was making a comparison, noting that, in his opinion, arch enemies on the political battlefield should never join together for a friendly game of golf.

“That was one of the biggest political mistakes ever,” Williams said to the “Fox and Friends” crew. “That turned a lot of people off.”

However, perhaps the most controversial statement Williams made on that show wasn’t the golfing analogy, but rather his calling the president (and vice president) as “the enemy.”

Of course we all (football fans or not) know by now that ESPN pulled the plug on Williams’ Monday Night Football pre-game lead in, “Are You Ready for Some Football” (a re-worded version of his “All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight.” I guess ESPN took the preemptive strike in an effort to stave off any naysayers, which would include their advertisers, of Hank’s comments.

Meanwhile, the South and country music were taking the fallout. Because of Hank’s comments, both were again stereotyped as Confederate flag-waving rebels that have a great disdain for anyone outside the Caucasian race. Sports radio host Bomani Jones, appearing on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” made the statement that Hank’s “Rowdy Friends” song included no mention of blacks. He’s right, but Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” contained no mention of whites, not unless the verse containing the words “pocket full of rubbers” and “smoking an ounce” were secret references to that particular race.

Folks, we’re making way too much of one man’s constitutional right to say what the heck he pleases. Personally, I like Hank’s music (heard him for the first time in the 1970’s at a nightclub in Raleigh), but I think he went a little over the top with his comments on the Fox show.

Hank Jr. is the proverbial car wreck that race fans put down big wads of cash to see on a weekly basis. For those that have followed Hank’s career, they all know he’s more than willing to speak his mind on a number of subjects.

NFL football is big enough to survive without Bocephus. Likewise for Hank Jr.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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