When Matthew McConaughey was at Redskins practice on Wednesday, posing with dang near the entire team, someone in the office wondered why the famous actor person was a Redskins fan. I had written about this issue after McConaughey told his childhood story to Jay Leno last year, but clearly it hasn’t entirely seeped into the consciousness of greater Washington just yet.
So anyhow, McConaughey sat down with Larry Michael on the set of “Redskins Nation” for nearly 10 minutes on Wednesday, and he told the story in even greater detail. Here it is.
“So I’m born in 1969,” he began. “1973, watching Westerns with my dad, Cowboys vs. Indians, and I’m rooting for the Indians. It starts with that. Later that year, I realized my favorite food is hamburgers. Well you’ve got a linebacker, No. 55, Chris HaNburger, with an N, who loved to wrap somebody up, maybe give ‘em an extra yard, then throw ‘em down and then walk around like I didn’t go down with you. So it started with that as a four-year old, where you’ve got your favorite food and you’re rooting for the Indians in a western.
“And then it went into John Riggins, the Fun Bunch, the Hogs, everything Joe Gibbs,” McConaughey continued. “John Riggins, 3.4-yard average per carry over his career. And I always loved saying, if you run him first down you get 3.4, run him second down it’s 6.8, run him third down it’s 10.2, that’s just enough for a first down.
[Note: Riggins actually averaged 3.9 yards per carry. But the point stands.]
“So I’ve always been a Redskin fan,” McConaughey said. “And I grew up outside of Dallas, so I was on my own. It’s all right. The Dallas fans, they didn’t like the Redskins. They didn’t like that I would show up, painted in burgundy, with the headdress and stuff. But they didn’t throw much stuff either. It was all right.”
All right. All rig…eh, you know.
Anyhow, then Michael revealed the special surprise: Chris Hanburger was calling into the show! McConaughey called him Mr. Hanburger and talked about hamburgers with him.
“Just call me Chris,” the Hall of Famer requested. “You make me feel a lot older than I am with that mister tag.”
McConaughey then talked at length about his foundation, but he also talked about this year’s team, and about Robert Griffin III.
“I like the focus,” he said after watching an OTA session. “I like the way everyone’s moving out there. I mean, it seems like they’ve got another fresh start, but it seems like even at this early stage they’re buying into it, and how they move around out there says a lot at this stage, so I liked it.”
“What a bright-eyed man that is,” he said of Griffin. “That’s the guy you want taking snaps. Not just physically but also mentally, and you can tell that he’s just on top of it. I hear the only problem with him is getting him to get out of this place and quit working out and quit training.”