Dale Earnhardt Jr. made his name in the world of motorsports. If he had his wish, he might have wanted to make his name in the NFL. He’s always been a huge fan of the Washington Redskins, the team now known as the Washington Football Team. He’s such a big fan of the team that he paused his honeymoon because of former Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows his football
Growing up, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was a diehard fan of the Washington Redskins. Today, he’s still rooting for the team, now referred simply as the Washington Football Team after the organization made the move to rid itself of the nickname many perceive as offensive. Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t just root for the team. He eats, sleeps, and breathes Washington football.
Like many Washington fans, Earnhardt Jr. wants his team to be successful and Washington hasn’t had a whole lot of success in recent years. The team hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1992 (1991 season) and has only been to the playoffs seven times since then. This year they made the playoffs with a 7-9 record by finishing first in the weakest division in the NFL.
Back in 2018, Earnhardt Jr. said he wanted his team to become relevant again. “This is a genuine feeling, I think, among all the fans — not that the team doesn’t feel this way … but I think we just want to be relevant,” Earnhardt Jr. said, according to The Washington Post. “I always felt like this was the nation’s team, man. We’re here in D.C. I know the Cowboys are ‘America’s team,’ but we’re in D.C. We’re supposed to win. And to be relevant again, and be respected in the NFL, is all that any team wants.”
Earnhardt Jr. supported his team’s name change
After years of insisting he would never change the ‘Redskins’ nickname, team owner Daniel Snyder caved in. Under an immense amount of financial pressure from sponsorships, Snyder pulled the nickname and the team has been known as the Washington Football Team for the 2020 season. While some loyal fans were against the name change, Dale Earnhardt Jr. supported it.
“I’m all for it,” Earnhardt Jr. said in July, according to The Sporting News. “I’m ready for this conversation to no longer be part of my experience as a fan of the team, and the debate over this and the frustration over it and how it affects the franchise. It’s a dark cloud over it all the time and it’s not going away. And it’s hard to continue to support the franchise when this is part of the conversation.”
Although he said it was difficult to support the team with that dark cloud over it, he wasn’t planning on finding a new team. “Leaving a team like that is one thing, but then you’ve got to find another team,” he said “It’s not just as easy as just walking out the door and saying, ‘All right, I’m done with this.’ But then you’ve got to find another team. Nothing out there, really, has that appeal to me.”
Junior’s honeymoon was briefly on hold because of Kirk Cousins
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was a big fan of Kirk Cousins during the quarterback’s time in Washington. Cousins made a name for himself in Washington, guiding the team to a 2015 postseason berth. In 2016, Cousins played under the franchise tag. Prior to the 2017 season, he tried to work out a long-term agreement with the team.
In February of 2017, Earnhardt Jr. made his feelings known about Cousins. “Quarterbacks don’t grow on trees,” Earnhardt Jr. said, according to The Washington Post. “You’re taking such a huge risk in the draft trying to acquire one. You look at the talented quarterbacks in the NFL and where they were drafted — not all of them were first-round picks, so it’s not about trying to get the college star. We’ve got a guy that knows the system and that has done extremely well — set franchise records, broke his own franchise record last year (in total passing yards),. Sign the damn quarterback up. Sign him up. I’m tired of waiting. Don’t even franchise tag him this season. Get him signed up.”
A month before that, Earnhardt Jr. was on his honeymoon and spent $15 for WiFi on the plane. He couldn’t resist making his feelings known about Washington’s quarterback situation. “.@Redskins need to finalize a deal with @KirkCousins8. Great production. Great head on his shoulders. You can build and win with the guy,” he tweeted. We knew about Earnhardt’s passion for racing, but his passion for his football team is right up there as well.