Can We Maybe Not Invite Hank Williams, Jr. Over For Our Monday Night Football Party?

I want to try to keep this really brief if I can, all right, guys? I know it’s a busy time of year, and I really don’t want to cut into your schedules any more if I have to, all right?

It really has been a great year for the NFL, and I’ve been privileged to have the time to watch some wonderful games this year with you guys. You’re the best friends a guy could have, really. We’ve all been able to go to each other’s homes and enjoy some quality time bonding over craft beer and football and those amazing curried chicken wings that Himabindu made for us that one time. Those were amazing. You’ll have to send me the recipe.

Like everybody else, I thought it was really a lot of fun, back in Week Five, when Avery got the idea to invite Hank Williams, Jr. over to the weekly Monday Night Football watching party. That was an inspired move, and I know everybody appreciated it. If you’re like me, watching Hank Jr. do the Monday Night Football theme song for all those years on TV was such a part of our lives growing up. Now that he’s semi-retired, and isn’t doing the theme anymore, well, it was just a natural thing for him and come and sing the theme at our party. We all had a great time — I might even say a rowdy old time — and Hank Jr. was just so nice to everyone and took pictures with all of us. I know Avery still has his picture with Bocephus up in his cubicle.

So it was even more surprising the next week when we were all at Isaac’s house, enjoying that great cider that Isaac had brought down from his trip to Michigan, and Hank Jr. showed up right before kickoff. I was never really clear who invited him — I guess Avery had given him his card or something — but it was pleasant to see him again, and then when he got up on Isaac’s coffee table and did an acoustic set, well, that was just magic. I’ve never heard anyone sing in such a heartfelt way before as when Hank Jr. sang “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” the way he did. Of course, once he was through, he did pass out and knock over that bookshelf with Isaac’s family pictures on it, so there was that.

So every week after that, Hank Jr. just kept showing up to our Monday Night parties. That time when the Cowboys were on, he sang “This Ain’t Dallas” twelve straight times, and when he left he backed his truck into the passenger door of William’s Acura. The next week, he tried to make up for it by bringing those twelve cases of Miller Lite, which was very generous of him, but almost all of you called in sick the next day because you were so hung over. And then he brought that gumbo over the next week, and half of us got food poisoning after that.

Most of you don’t know, but I confronted Hank Jr. that next week, and told him that he was being a little too rowdy, and that we didn’t want the police coming over and raiding our party. At first, he was a little defensive, and said that getting drunk and having fun was a family tradition, and that I ought to respect that. And then he told the story about his dad dying in the back seat of a Cadillac, hopped up on whiskey and pills, when Hank Jr. was just a little boy. I was really affected by that, and I told him he could come over on Monday nights whenever he wanted.

I don’t think Bocephus is a bad guy. I know he’s been through a lot in his life, and it was hard for him to lose that connection to Monday Night Football. And I totally respect his talent as an artist, although I think that his late 2000’s albums kind of represented him coasting, just a little.

And I know, it’s my turn to host this week, and I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about Hank Jr. getting really rowdy and maybe knocking over that glass case full of NASCAR cars that I worked so hard to put together, or digging a barbecue pit in my backyard, or breaking a bottle of Old Crow all over the beige carpet in the man-cave. Darren supposedly heard him say last week that he was bringing over some roadies and would be setting up some amplifiers, and I don’t really have the money if we get fined for violating the township noise ordinance.

I’ve already asked Avery if he wanted to reach out to Hank Jr., and he wasn’t willing to do it because he thought that Hank Jr. looked so lonesome he could cry after the game ended last week. And I think that any of us would have a hard time looking the man in his battered face and telling him that he wasn’t welcome, and that maybe we weren’t ready for some football after all.

I think if we all do it collectively, we could have a chance. We just all go up to him and say that, like most of his rowdy friends, we’ve settled down, and we’d like the chance to watch our football games without hearing him sing “Dixie On My Mind” during the commercial breaks.

I’m open to other ideas. I know that Ali has been vocal about shifting the party to Buffalo Wild Wings, but honestly I think that causes more problems than it solves.

Okay, look. Tell you what. I’ll call his agent. Maybe we can get him booked in a gig at the riverboat casino on Monday. That way he has a valid reason not to go to our party, and it’s not our fault, and it gives him something constructive to do and salvages his pride. And maybe next year we can invite him back for one game, okay? Does that work for everyone?

Great. Thanks so much for your input. And, Himabindu, seriously, send me that recipe, because those were some awesome wings.

They really were.