Minister of Culture and Austin FC part-owner Matthew McConaughey talked about the "long-run goals" of Austin FC with club commentators Adrian Healey and Mike Lahoud on Twitter Spaces on Wednesday.
Like a cowboy storyteller over a campfire, McConaughey painted a picture of Austin FC's triumphs and battles, the origins of his iconic Verde suit and his recent phone call with Head Coach Josh Wolff.
The team is hot off of a 3-1 triumph over the Portland Timbers but remains tied for last in the Western Conference with the fewest goals in MLS. But he isn't too worried about the losses—McConaughey, who coined the phrase "100-year war" for the team, said that their long-haul mentality is what will get the team through its pitfalls.
"What the '100-year war' mentality does is, when you don't win today, it doesn't suck everything out of you," McConaughey said. "It's an owner's mentality—we're not for rent, we're here to own."
McConaughey has been part of the team for years, watching as it was built from an idea to a stadium to a fanbase of thousands. "I had real chills when we laid the grass down in Q2," McConaughey said.
Nothing to see here. Just Matthew McConaughey in a green suit playing a bongo to pump up Austin FC fans. pic.twitter.com/auM64jWRG4
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) June 20, 2021
The award-winning actor also brought out his talents as a performer for Austin FC's first home match on June 19, when he banged a conga drum in front of the thousands-strong supporters' section. McConaughey said he was honored to help chant the fan base's mantra on the pitch of the first-ever home crowd.
McConaughey took to the pitch in none other than a Verde suit on June 19, an investment he said he had made over two years ago with his suitmaker in England.
"I got the swath of the trademark Verde that day," McConaughey said. "I hadn't worn it because I was saving it for that night...and the only thing when I looked at it before I headed out to go to the stadium I was like, 'I hope the damn thing still fits.'"
McConaughey said that the Black Angels song that Austin FC uses as they enter the pitch evokes the grit and battle mentality that the club has every time they play. "Win, lose or draw, if we can play with that fierceness, vitality, attack, and mental acuity just absolutely locked in that song, then we're on the way forward, and we can play that song for the next 100 years."
But the club hasn't always seemed fully fit for battle. An expansion team has unique obstacles and pressure, especially on Wolff. McConaughey said he gave Wolff a call a week or two ago at the height of his criticism as the team was losing games.
"We've gone through a rough patch, trying to move around some chess pieces, you know, got a few losses in a row," McConaughey said. "And I can see he's grinding. I can see the players grinding. I can see his own molars are meeting in the back of his mouth... And so I just wanted to give him a call for support and just say, 'Hey, how are you doing?"
Now with a "flash of excellence" here and there, especially at the hands of keeper Brad Stuver, McConaughey said the team just needs to settle in their identity to keep consistently triumphant.
"It's part of trust in teammates, it's part of trust in each player and trust in themselves," McConaughey said. "We're still intellectualizing some of what we're doing and what we need to do to win is when that mind process slips down into the guts, hearts and minds of our players. It's not a thoughtful process, it's an instinctual process... we're growing with it and I think we've got a great base."
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After months of speculation, a new report says political personality Beto O'Rourke is mulling a run for Texas governor that he will announce later this year.
Sources tell Axios the former congressman is preparing his campaign for the 2022 election, where he will likely vie for the position against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott. The only other candidate that has announced he will take on Abbott for governor is former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West—no Democrats have announced they are running as of yet.
"No decision has been made," Axios reports David Wysong, O'Rourke's former House chief of staff and a longtime adviser, said. "He has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state."
A new poll from The Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Tyler shows O'Rourke is narrowing the gap between himself and Abbott's prospects for governor. In the poll, 37% said they'd vote for O'Rourke over Abbott, while 42% said they'd vote for Abbott.
Abbott has been in the hot seat due to his handling of COVID-19 and the signing of landmark legislation into law, including new abortion and voting rights laws; 54% of poll respondents voted they think the state is headed in the "wrong direction." Still, Texas hasn't had a Democrat as governor since the 90s.
O'Rourke's people-focused approach to the 2018 Senator race, which he lost to Sen. Ted Cruz, gave him a widespread following and many hoped he'd throw his hat into the ring since he said he was considering it earlier this year.
"We hope that he's going to run," Gilberto Hinojosa, the state chair of the Democratic Party, told Axios. "We think he'll be our strongest candidate. We think he can beat Abbott because he's vulnerable."
Austin rapper Jordi Esparza may not have won the 2021 Red Bull Batalla, the world's largest Spanish freestyle rap competition, but for a spirited two rounds, the 22-year old Mexican native looked like he had every right to.
On Saturday evening in Los Angeles, the event itself looked like Cobra Kai meets Star Search with graphics adding a very Batman Beyond aesthetic. Over a dozen rappers hoping to represent the U.S. in the international round of the competition took to the stage with in-your-face jabs at accents, sexual orientation and odors, among other things.
This was Esparza's second rodeo; he had placed third at the 2020 National Finals, automatically securing him a spot this year.
However, things were different this year. He was not nervous about the contest. Unlike in 2020, when he made his Red Bull Batalla debut, the anxiety of the event led him to "feeling so bad."
Affecting a casual calm, the locally-based landscaper said he just felt "so relaxed, so happy" and primarily wanted to "enjoy everything."
Choosing his first-round opponent, Esparza, whose stage name is Jordi, elected to go against LA-based Boss.
Esparza freestyled an attack on his opponent's weight and cholo style of dress.
Boss—bracketing his Latin freestyle with English appeals to the crowd—mocked Jordi's lack of education, made fun of how clean Jordi's shoes looked and suggested that Jordi just came back from a Footlocker.
That first round went to Jordi.
But his next opponent Eckonn would prove to be his undoing.
Eckonn compared Jordi to Hannah Montana, while Jordi soulfully explained that he had learned from the best.
Esparza's verbal dexterity is matched by a rattling rhythm and a game face that is as mawkish as it is mockish. The overall effect is that of an underdog with bite.
Eckonn beat Esparza in that round with the overall championship going to Palm Beach-based rapper Reverse.
However, Esparza was just happy to be there. He recently told Austonia going to the finals again was a dream come true—a pinnacle that he said he won't know how to top.
With his nimble jabs and sneaky prowess, honed from pop culture and the swagger of a young working man hungry to be more, Jordi Esparza is just getting started.