Burt Reynolds cheered on Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII

Brian Tinsman
September 06, 2018 - 5:48 pm
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Beloved movie star and American pop culture icon Burt Reynolds died at the age of 82 on Thursday, leaving behind a legacy that frequently intertwined with sports.

One such entanglement was with D.C. sports legend Joe Theismann, who appeared alongside Reynolds as Mack the truck driver in Cannonball Run II.

That movie was released in June of 1984, but the duo was already friendly when Reynolds made a guest appearance on Joe Theismann's Redskins Report with George Michael on January 15, 1984.

Here's the episode in its entirety:

More than 34 years later, the episode serves as a remarkable time capsule for Redskins fans from that era.

In the early moments of the show, George Michael quotes disgraced sports reporter Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder, who would not be fired for making racist remarks until four years later. The episode, which also featured linebacker Rich Milot, shows how confident the team was going into its Super Bowl tussle with the L.A. Raiders. 

We now know that confidence was misplaced, as the Redskins lost, 38-9.

Noteworthy lines from the show include that Reynolds had tickets to the Super Bowl and would be going in support of the Redskins. When questioned by Michael on how he could cheer for the Redskins against a Los Angeles team, Reynolds deadpan responded, "I don't have any friends in L.A."

One of Reynolds' notable roles was in The Longest Yard, both as the star of the original and as a sagelike role to Adam Sandler's character in the remake. According to his interview on Theismann's show, Reynolds was a blue-chip football recruit out of high school, with scholarship opportunities at some of the biggest football programs in the nation. He is known for having played running back at Florida State, where he remained an involved alum long after his playing days.

Apparently, at some point, his dream was to play professionally in the NFL--something he wanted "more than anything in the world." When he went undrafted out of college, he was "heartbroken...shattered." However, he notes that opportunities like The Longest Yard gave him a chance to play the part anyway.

"I got to do it. I got to play football and get paid for it, just because I was doing a movie, but I got to do it," he said. "I got to live out my fantasy."

On Thursday afternoon, Theismann tweeted out a goodbye to his long-time friend:

 

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