As the NFL opens for yet another season, we thought we’d take a look at some of the more well-known Washington football fans who have made their allegiances known.
Some of these are a bit more obvious, but perhaps we’ll surprise you with one or two of the celebs on our list. And you can take solace in the fact that next time you’re cursing at your TV, angry about the latest holding penalty, maybe Dale Earnhardt Jr. is right there with you -- in spirit, at least.
1. Josh Brolin
The “Goonies” actor has been pictured in a jersey (with his name on the back, no less) and he’s attended some games, as well.
2. Scott Van Pelt
Van Pelt, of ESPN fame, is definitely a more vocal University of Maryland fan, being an alum, after all. However, he has confirmed that he roots for Washington, as well, and reportedly said years ago that his two favorite players were Sonny Jurgensen and John Riggins, according to NBC Sports.
3. Denny Hamlin
NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, who races for Joe Gibbs, identifies as a lifelong Washington fan. And check this out: He even cheered for the team when Gibbs was coaching, so his fandom has really come full circle.
4. Taraji P. Henson
For this “Empire” star, the love for “her” team, as she often refers to them on social media, runs in her blood. Henson’s father once worked as a janitor for the franchise, according to the team website, and Taraji has confirmed on Twitter that her dad was a “diehard fan.”
In 2015, the team proved it loves Henson back, even putting up a Facebook post in honor of her NAACP Entertainer Of the Year award.
5. Matthew McConaughey
All right, all right, all riiiiight. Look who’s a fan!
McConaughey, who has attended training camp, games, and spoken out many times about his love for the team, explained it best while chatting with Jay Leno in 2013: “(I was a) Longhorn in college, but (I cheer for) Washington in the NFL,” he said. “I grew up watching westerns with my father. I was always rooting for the Indians instead of the Cowboys. My favorite food was hamburgers growing up (and) they had a linebacker, No. 55, Chris Hanburger. And then John Riggins. When you’re 4 years old, that’s why you really commit to a team, for reasons like that. It goes way back.”
6. Kevin Durant
ESPN has referred to this NBA icon as a “superfan” of the team. Durant has even been honored at a Washington game for his Olympic success and, despite switching teams several times in his own league, his love for the team hasn’t seemed to waver, judging by his Twitter account.
7. Trey Songz
Trey Songz, who hails from Virginia and is a self-professed Washington fan, once told Wendy Williams that the best present he’s ever gotten was a pair of Washington slippers from his grandma, according to NBC Sports.
8 and 9. Benji and Joel Madden
These two Good Charlotte band members, who are Maryland natives, both love the team, along with sharing love for the Baltimore Orioles. Joel once told ESPN that his next tattoo would be the old Washington logo on the top of his hand. Worth following up on, don’t you think?
Wale, a rapper and native of Washington, D.C., put out a song in 2013 called “No Pain, No Gain,” chock full of Washington Football Team-related lyrics. Wale has said of his fandom that he’s been following the squad closely ever since childhood.
11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The NASCAR driver has loved the team ever since he was 9 years old. Enough said, right? Not so fast; here's another fun fact: It's been reported that Earnhardt wouldn't even drive a car painted in Cowboys colors because of his love for Washington. Very loyal, sir!
12. Jon Bernthal
Bernthal has starred in “The Walking Dead,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and more. But he wants you to know, according to published reports, that he’s a “ride-or-die” Washington fan -- and has been since the ’80s.
13. Michael Ealy
The actor even got to announce the team’s draft choice of Oklahoma standout Samaje Perine in 2017. Pretty cool gig, huh?
14. Jeffrey Wright
The actor is known to drop some Washington football team references on his Twitter page.
15. Sean Doolittle
The relief pitcher, who grew up in New Jersey -- Eagles country, as he called it -- also had a dad who loved the team, similar to Henson. “After the 1991 season, I can remember the party that we had, so that was the beginning of my formative years,” he said in an interview. “I guess that kind of cemented that I was definitely going to be a fan. I was raised correctly.”
All photos, unless otherwise marked: Getty Images
This story was first published in 2018. It has since been updated.