Dale Earnhardt Jr. proudly claims to be one of the biggest fans of the Washington Football Team. Not surprisingly, his celebrity status affords him extra perks. In the latest episode of his podcast, the Dale Jr. Download, Earnhardt shocked his co-host when he revealed one of those benefits occurred this past week when WFT head coach Ron Rivera asked him to do a favor and welcome the team’s first-round draft pick, Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis, with a surprise phone call.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is big fan of Washington Football Team
Dale Earnhardt Jr. remembers the first NFL game he ever watched was Super Bowl 17, when Joe Theismann and the then-Washington Redskins dominated the Miami Dolphins, 27-17, after the strike-shortened season in 1982. He was hooked.
“They win the game, and I just latched on to that,” Earnhardt said on the Washington Football Team’s website. “My mom started buying me helmets and jerseys and things like that for Christmas, and we’d suit up and get in the yard. It was a lot of fun.”
Earnhardt has been a loyal fan since. However, during one period in his life, he admitted the team served a bigger purpose.
“I went to military school for two years. It’s a really strict environment. There’s not a lot of smiling going on around there. The best moment of those two years is watching the Redskins win the Super Bowl against the Broncos. Big play after big play. Just a lot to celebrate throughout that whole game.”
Junior welcomes Jamin Davis to Washington with a phone call
The Washington Football Team made the playoffs in 2020 and lost in the wild card round to the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Trying to build off of last year’s solid defensive performance, where the team impressively ranked No. 4 overall, the club selected Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis with the No. 21 pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Some questioned the selection. Earnhardt wasn’t one of them.
“I was watching the draft,” Earnhardt said on his podcast. “Big fan of Washington. Liking everything that’s going on. Hearting all the tweets. And I come across the information of Jamin Davis being a NASCAR fan. This is great. And he’s a Jimmie Johnson fan. Even better. Coach Ron Rivera texts me. He said, ‘Hey man, you mind calling him? He’d be thrilled to hear from you.’ He sends me his number and I stepped outside, gave him a ring.”
The revelation stunned podcast co-host Mike Davis, and he couldn’t help but interrupt Earnhardt. “How many days after the draft was this?” he asked.
“The next day. Really cool. How about that?” Earnhardt innocently said like it wasn’t a big deal. “I got to talk to him. Tell him how big a fan I am of the team. How excited I am about him being a part of it. Obviously, if he ever wanted to come out to a race — I wasn’t sure if he’d ever been to any races before — but if he wanted to go to any race, he’d be taken care of.”
Earnhardt has enjoyed numerous other perks
Calling the first-round draft pick of your favorite team is unquestionably a cool perk. It’s just one of several Earnhardt has experienced through the years.
He’s attended training camp and caught passes from former quarterback Kirk Cousins. He’s welcomed the players to his arena of action and taken them for spins around the track at speeds nearing 200 mph. In 2012, he enjoyed one of his most memorable experiences when the team’s broadcast team surprised him during an appearance in the booth and allowed him to call the play-by-play.
“I had no idea I was going to go into the booth and do anything like that,” he said on the team’s web site. “You guys turned the keys of the car over to me. I wasn’t even really prepared. I was fortunate the Redskins made it pretty easy…It was a dream come true for a Redskins fan to be able to do that.”
When it comes to dreams coming true, Jamin Davis realized one of his when Washington drafted him in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. The dream got exponentially better when one of the first calls the admitted NASCAR fan received came from none other than Dale Jr.