Redskins

Redskins

One of the Burgundy and Gold's biggest fans hails from right in the middle of Dallas Cowboys' country. He's also a pretty dang good actor, too.

Matthew McConaughey was born and raised in Texas, but the Dazed and Confused, Dallas Buyers Club and Wolf of Wall Street star never grew an affinity for 'America's team.' Instead, he chose to support the Cowboys most-hated rivals.

Alright, alright, alright. So, how did this happen? 

At the Redskins Welcome Home Luncheon on Wednesday at the Washington Hilton, McConaughey told those present how he developed his fandom for the Redskins at an early age.

"I'm four years old and my favorite food is a hamburger," he said. "No. 55 [at the time], Chris Hanburger. When you're four years old, those are the things that make sense to you."

Rooting for the Redskins in Texas is a brave thing to do. But McConaughey's fandom for his beloved team never wavered.

Growing up, McConaughey's parents had a strict bedtime for their son. But they made an exception any time his favorite team was featured on primetime.

"The game, it's the only reason I could stay up past 8:30 on a school night," he said. "'If the Redskins are playing Monday night football, you got the whole game, Matthew.' No matter what the age was."

But on Sundays, sometimes he'd have to be secretive in order to follow his favorite team. With kickoff usually at 12 p.m. in the Texas time zone, sometimes the start of Redskins football would conflict with the end of Sunday church.

 

"I would sneak out of church and go listen to the Redskins game on AM radio, because church would go past noon," he said. 

When asked how he was able to pull that off, the actor pulled the classic bathroom card.

"I told my mom I have to go pee," he said. "I've been a Redskins fan a long time. I would sneak the keys out and listen to the radio in the shotgun seat of the car."

McConaughey started following the Redskins in the 1970s, just before their glory years. Joe Gibbs became the head coach of the Burgundy and Gold in 1981 and led the Burgundy and Gold to three Super Bowls over the next decade and some change.

"After that, it became the Hogs, The Fun Bunch, Darrell Green, and Joe Gibbs," McConaughey said. "How he would get players that other teams would be like they got their last Pro Bowl year out of them, and Gibbs would get two more Pro Bowl years out of them."

McConaughey admired the way Gibbs would get the most out of his players, and how his style of winning was different than other teams in years prior.

Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1970s were headlined by consistent and impressive quarterback play from Pittsburgh's Terry Bradshaw, Miami's Bob Griese, and of course, Dallas' Roger Staubach. But in the 1980s and early 1990s, Washington hoisted the Lombardi Trophy three times, with a different person at the helm each time. 

"The way they won Super Bowls with different quarterbacks," McConaughey said. "Doug Williams, the first African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Jay Schroeder ripping."

While Washington has not been as successful recently as they were during the early years of McConaughey's fandom, his love for the Burgundy and Gold has stayed the same. Looking at the crowd at the luncheon provided the award-winning actor some perspective.

"The legacy continues today, I think we should all be reminded, present players especially, look at the legacy we got," he said. "There are not many teams that have the legacy the Redskins do. You look at the alumni that are here; it reminds us where you came from, what you do now, and where you are headed. This is a wonderful franchise that I've always followed through thick and thins."

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