Last week, ESPN traveled to Austin to cover the University of Texas home game against Louisiana State University. And with that, Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey was chosen to be ESPN’s College Gameday celebrity guest. It is important to note that McConaughey not only graduated from UT, but – as was recently announced – he will be teaching a class on filmmaking this fall on the UT campus, so he is technically a faculty member. Anyway… Professor McConaughey made a royal Texas entrance at the start of the pregame telecast in an epic showing of state pride, school pride, and with a tribute to the film that started his career.
McConaughey arrived at the game under a Killer Joe cowboy hat driving a burnt orange 1978 Ford LTD with Boss Hogg-sized longhorns on the hood. It was Foghat’s Slow Ride blaring out of the speakers as he parted the crowd of football fans, assuring them that everything was going to be alright… alright, alright.
The car is what originally attracted me to this story. And with further consideration, I found that whole scene is pretty inspiring. Austin, Texas made McConaughey. Not just by graduating from UT, but from his first acting role as Wooderson in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused, set in Austin during the late 1970s. You are watching someone come full circle, showing appreciation for the origins of his career and induction into pop culture.
I don’t think it’s crazy to say that Matthew McConaughey will be the unofficial King of Austin by the end of the fall semester. And to anyone who does not agree with that, I have just one thing to say…you be a lot cooler if you did.