Can't you just imagine the rousing speeches Matthew McConaughey would deliver? (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Things aren’t looking great for Texas football right now. The Longhorns’ defense is allowing 308 rushing yards per game, and the team has started 1-2 for the first time since 1998. It’s not even fair to the hot seat to say Mack Brown is on it. With rumors of athletic director DeLoss Dodds stepping down at the end of the year and basketball coach Rick Barnes’ future in doubt as well, Austin needs a spark.
The typical (and not-so-typical) names have been mentioned in the event Brown is let go: Alabama’s Nick Saban, Boise State’s Chris Petersen, Baylor's Art Briles (though, don’t hold your breath), TCU’s Gary Patterson, Washington's Steve Sarkisian and any other hot coach who is winning games and is younger than 60 has been mentioned. Sure, those would all be okay fits.
That’s not quite enough. Texas can do better. And it’s a guy who just needs to dust off his burnt orange shirt and put it on to show he means business.
The answer is Matthew McConaughey.
He's got the right combination of pride, notoriety and impeccable "Hook 'Em" form. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
No, really, don't click away. McConaughey was around for the glory days, he was on the sidelines the last time the Longhorns won a national championship. He's devoted to fitness, and he knows how to rally the troops and instill wisdom in today's youth. You don't have to look any further than his roles in Mud, where he was a modern-day Mark Twain character helping two Southern boys learn what it was like to be men, or Magic Mike, where he operated a highly successful gentleman's club and navigated the transition of said club from Tampa to Miami. Regime change? Matt can do it. He's calm, cool, collected, and he won't let the fans harsh his mellow.
Out there in Lubbock, there's a coach they're hyping to be as "Hollywood" as possible. Good joke, but you can't get much more Hollywood than Matthew McConaughey, rubbing elbows with stars and helping others with his J.K. Livin Foundation. Think about the publicity the Longhorns would get. The quickest way to get back in the national spotlight is to hire a guy who isn't scared one bit by that limelight.
You say none of this matters because coaching is more important than publicity, fine, but don't discount McConaughey's past as a football coach in We Are Marshall. He can pull recruits from the SEC hotbeds thanks to his role in A Time To Kill. And he knows what makes high schoolers tick. It's not as if he's lost the spirit he had early on in Dazed and Confused.
Matthew McConaughey can restore Texas football just like he did at Marshall. (Frank Masi/Warner Bros. Pictures/AP)
These are movie roles, you scoff, this says nothing about McConaughey as a person. But aren't coaches just playing a role of their own? Masking their personal lives and putting on a public front? Matthew can improvise, memorize plays like lines in a movie, and can you imagine how good he'd be in front of a podium? If he's trying to get people to believe, you'll believe. His four Teen Choice Award nominations and one MTV Movie Award win are evidence of that.
Imagine a coaching staff complete with Lance Armstrong in strength and conditioning, Channing Tatum at defensive coordinator and another Texas guy in Woody Harrelson calling the plays (Doubtful, you say. Well, his part in Wildcats with Goldie Hawn should change your mind). This is a hard-hitting team with panache, and the world will take notice. And Willie Nelson can write the official theme song.
He's a local boy who made good, and he's ready to come home. Lights. Camera. Hook'em.
All right, all right, all right.