- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 21, 2021

ASHBURN — With no game to play Sunday, Taylor Heinicke sat back and watched this past weekend’s slate of games as a normal fan would. The Washington quarterback said he relaxed and drank a few beers.

One brand, to be precise.

“A couple of Heinekens,” Heinicke said. 

Despite the name drop, Heinicke said he still doesn’t have an endorsement deal with the beer company — even with his best efforts. “I’m trying, man,” Heinicke said. “I’m trying.” 

And tried he has. 

After last year’s playoff performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Heinicke pursued a deal he figured was a natural. He recalled how Heineken told his agent that they sent a 24-pack to Heinicke’s home — only for the beer to never arrive. 

On following up, Heinicke said he was told the beer company couldn’t deliver to his address. Even though there was a gas station “a block away” that carried the beer, he said. 

“At some point, I might just start calling out Bud Light,” Heinicke said with a laugh. 

In February, Heineken told NBC Sports Washington in a statement that it had “no plans” to partner with Heinicke, but congratulated him for his performance against the Buccaneers. “We’re glad to see that so many fans think of us in association with one of their favorite athletes,” Heineken said. 

Who knows if Heinicke’s push Tuesday will get the brand to reconsider. But if not, another beer company appears to have heard Heinicke.

“Ready and waiting,” Bud Light tweeted, responding to a tweet containing Heinicke’s comment about the company.

Heinicke, it should be noted, does have … experience with Bud Light. In a video clip that went viral in 2019, Heinicke was shown double-fisting two Bud Light Seltzers in the locker room following a St. Louis Battlehawks win in the XFL. 

Back then, Heinicke was just a backup in the upstart football league — a year or so removed from the NFL. 

But recalling the moment Tuesday, Heinicke said he was ecstatic over the fact that wins in the XFL meant a $4,000 bonus for players — and cases of beer.

“I want to say there were four, 24-packs of Bud Light Seltzers and we’re like, ‘What’s this for?’ They said, ‘You guys won. It’s for you guys,’” Heinicke said. “So you know, with that, and everybody just winning $4,000, we were all pretty pumped. We were having a good time in there.

“That was the cool thing about the XFL, you had a lot of fun.”

Heinicke will earn a lot more than $4,000 on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. The 28-year-old signed a two-year, $4 million extension in the offseason and is now once again Washington’s starter following Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hip injury. Heinicke, too, played well in Thursday’s win over the New York Giants, throwing for 336 yards and two touchdowns. 

Even as his fame grows, Heinicke’s easygoing personality seems the same. From the press conference podium, he wore a black NASA t-shirt. The overall look wasn’t too different from the Fleetwood Mac t-shirt he sported after a Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. 

They aren’t designer shirts, either. 

“I just like wearing graphic tees with stuff that I like,” Heinicke said. “I just ordered a Jimi Hendrix shirt the other day. I’ll probably be rocking that soon. … I haven’t been the biggest dressy guy, but those guys in the locker room are trying to get me right.” 

In return for fashion tips, Heinicke can give a beer recommendation or two. 

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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