Most of us know this song as the Monday Night Football
theme music. In 1989, the 20th anniversary of the telecast, Williams reworked the song the hype the matchup, adding an insistent piano riff and changing the lyrics, which work up to his iconic shout: "Are you ready for some football?"
Williams appeared in the opens, which changed every week, customized to the matchup. The lyrics varied from year to year, but they were along these lines:It's Monday night and we're ready to rock
Time to catch all the hits, the bangs and the blocks
It's the game of the week that's coming your way
The Cowboys and the Raiders are ready to play
We gotta get ready, we gotta get hyped
'Cause Monday Night Football kicks off tonight
Are you ready for some football?
A Monday Night Party?
The crew's all set, the crowd is psyched
'Cause all my rowdy friends are here on Monday night
Williams quickly became a Monday Night Football
institution. The show got huge ratings, drawing about 15 million of viewers every week even as the TV landscape fragmented in the '90s with the proliferation of cable channels. Ratings declined in the '00s, but Williams' open endured until 2011, when ESPN pulled it in the middle of the season after Williams made an awkward appearance on the show Fox & Friends
where he bloviated on politics, declaring Barack Obama and Joe Biden "the enemy." (Williams was on the show to promote the upcoming game, but the hosts asked him some political questions first).
By 2017, the controversy had blown over and Williams and his "Rowdy Friends" were reinstated with a version where he's joined by Florida Georgia Line and Jason Derulo. This lasted until 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic made the song inappropriate - nobody was coming over for a Monday night party under quarantine. The new song was a re-worked version of Little Richard's "Rip It Up