Matthew McConaughey and Texas Longhorns: What drives celebrity fan’s love for college football?

Texas is making its first appearance in the College Football Playoff, and that means their No. 1 fan likely will make an appearance at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1. 

Who is that celebrity? A three-word hint … 

“Alright, alright, alright.” 

Over the years, Matthew McConaughey – whose breakout performance in “Dazed and Confused” launched a successful acting career, is a regular on the Longhorns’ sidelines. 

McConaughey celebrated his 54th birthday this season by attending Texas’ 33-30 victory against Kansas State on Nov. 4, and the actor led a celebration with the chant from “The Wolf of Wall Street.” 

So, what is behind McConaughey’s love for the Longhorns? A closer look: 

Did Matthew McConaughey play college football? 

McConaughey grew up in Uvalde, Texas. In an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2014, McConaughey said he played football and baseball until he attended Longview High School, when he took up tennis and golf. 

Jim McConaughey, Matthew’s father, played end at Kentucky and Houston from 1950-52. He was drafted with the 270th pick in the 1952 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. 

Did Matthew McConaughey attend Texas? 

McConaughey attended the University of Texas from 1989-93, where he graduated in 1993 before pursuing an acting career. 

Texas was in the Southwest Conference at that point. David McWilliams’ stint at Texas ended after the 1991 season, when John Mackovic took over. 

Texas’ best season when McConaughey was a student was 1990 – when they finished 10-2 but lost 46-3 to Miami in the 1991 Cotton Bowl Classic. 

Matthew McConaughey and Texas’ 2005 national championship 

McConaughey had become an established Hollywood star in 2005, when the Longhorns finished unbeaten in the regular season and had a matchup in the Rose Bowl against No. 1 USC. Texas coach Mack Brown encouraged McConaughey to be around the team. 

That is when McConaughey’s Texas fandom became legendary. According to Chron: “In the week leading up to the game, actor and super Longhorns fan Matthew McConaughey showed up to the Rose Bowl for the Texas team photo. McConaughey taught the players a song he had made up that went, ‘Somebody don’t think so, somebody knows so.’ The doc had footage of the players all clapping and singing that song together as they prepared for the team photo.”

Texas, led by Vince Young, beat USC 41-38 in the 2006 Rose Bowl. That was the Longhorns’ last national championship. 

What sports movies is Matthew McConaughey in? 

McConaughey’s first role in a sports movie was as outfielder Ben Williams in “Angels in The Outfield” in 1994. He co-starred with Al Pacino in the 2005 movie “Two for the Money,” in which McConaughey plays Brandon Lang, a former college football quarterback turned sports gambler. 

In 2006, he played Marshall coach Jack Lengyel in “We Are Marshall,” which detailed the rebuilding of the football program after the tragic 1970 plane crash that killed 75 people. McConaughey also played Roy McDaniel in the HBO comedy series “Eastbound & Down.”

Will Matthew McConaughey be at the Sugar Bowl? 

McConaughey attended Texas’ last Sugar Bowl appearance in 2019, when the Longhorns beat Georgia 28-21. It’s a good bet he will be on the sidelines for the Jan. 1 matchup against Washington. 

The College Football Playoff championship game is at NRG Stadium in Houston on Jan. 8, so if Texas wins you can almost count on McConaughey being in attendance for that game, too. Given McConaughey was involved in “The Pat McAfee Show” simulcast of Texas’ victory against Alabama on Sept. 9 this season, it’s a good bet he will play a supporting role in this College Football Playoff. 


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