ESPN said “bye-bye” to Hank. So who should take his place? (John Raoux/AP)

ESPN public relations rep Mike Soltys tweeted Thursday that “Barry Sanders will narrate this week’s opening,” ahead of the Chicago Bears matchup with the Detroit Lions. Really? A spoken word introduction?

What fun is that? At least give us some time to speculate...

Will they stick to the country genre and try to keep a leg up on Faith Hill’s weak remake of a Joan Jett classic? Will they look to pander to the younger generation by going pop?

Among those who most certainly will not get a call from ESPN today: Janet Jackson and the Black Eyed Peas.

But who says a national football broadcast needs a musical introduction with lyrics and dancers and ridiculous special effects? Why not return to the roots of the game and the roots of Monday Night Football?

If you want to go way back, here’s the original psychedelic theme, “Score”, performed by Bob’s Band, which sounds like it belongs in a not-safe-for-primetime low budget flick.

Too funky? Why not just turn the page back to 1989 when Edd Kalehoff ratcheted up the same theme football fans still hear today...

If we’re married to country twang, how about Bobby Bare’s “Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)”? Based on the miserable slate of Monday night games this season, why not go with the theme from Benny Hill?

We’re four days away from Bears-Lions. ESPN, you’re on the clock.

(H/T Matt Bonesteel)

What’s your take?

1) Does Monday Night Football need a musical introduction?

2) Who should perform it?

3) Are you ready for some Hank-less football?

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