"This is the best part of fall," says comedian Rob Riggle (The Hangover, 21 Jump Street, Step Brothers). "Crisp cold weather, smell of burning leaves in the air, grabbing a beer, hanging out and watching college football. Such great memories.”
It’s actually late summer, but the rainy weather in New York has brought a fall-like chill to the air. We’re with Riggle aboard the Intrepid, a decommissioned aircraft carrier-turned-Naval museum in New York, to celebrate Dos Equis. This fall, the beer company is searching for The Most Interesting Fan in College Football. And in Riggle, they've certainly picked the right guy to lead the search.
A University of Kansas grad and rabid Kansas City Chiefs fan, he spends his non-movie time in the fall shooting sketches for Fox NFL Sunday and, more importantly, watching as much football as he’s allowed. We spent a few minutes with Riggle to chat about college life, what makes a great fan and how betting on dogs is the key to winning your fantasy league.
InsideHook: When you were going to Kansas, would you go to games?
Rob Riggle: Absolutely. I would sit in the student section, during a time when we weren’t that great. There was [enough] room to lay out on the metal bleachers and sleep off the previous night. Every now and then we’d hear a roar and we’d stand up go “Yeah!!!” and then go back to sleep.
IH: Did you dress up?
RR: Not a face painter. Only because we’d usually go out directly from the games. But I definitely put on my colors, my jersey, a hat and my sweatshirt.
IH: Besides Kansas, do you like any other teams?
RR: We have kids, so I have to be selective about what I watch. I can’t just sit down for a day of football anymore. But I get the College GameDay ticket, so I can get KU games. Navy is my backup. And like every other American, there’s a Notre Dame game on somewhere (laughs). Every team they play is a rival! Whoever they’re playing, it’s intense.
IH: You’re on for another year of Fox’s NFL coverage. Do they ever veto your sketches?
RR: I came up through UCB [Upright Citizens Brigade, New York’s leading improv center], so I love doing sketches every week. Problem is that it has to be PG or even G-rated, football-centric and exactly a minute forty-five seconds. It’s a narrow lane. But it’s so much fun.
IH: Do Jimmy Johnson and the guys really know what you’re talking about?
RR: They know — they’re VERY savvy. They like to act “Hey Riggle, where did THAT come from?” But we do enjoy each other.
IH: What’s the deal with the Most Interesting Fan? Do you get to choose?
RR: I wish! I wish I could compete. My job is to lead fans to the mountain. It’s a great contest: Whoever becomes the Most Interesting Fan gets their statue in the College Football Hall of Fame. Think about the pictures and Christmas cards you could send with that! At some point, you get to put that statue in your man cave.
IH: What’s the difference between an interesting fan and an annoying one?
RR: Therein lies the eternal question. It’s a fine line. I think, at the end of an interaction, if people are not making eye contact and trying to exit, you’re annoying. If people are laughing, making eye contact and patting you on the shoulder, you’re probably interesting. I guess that applies to meeting girls. Or everything.
IH: What’s your fantasy football tip this year?
RR: Running backs have been a bust. I’m a Chiefs nut, so maybe it’s my fault — I always used to take Jamaal Charles and he kept getting hurt. So I’m done with running backs. I’d say it’s a big year for receivers. And, this is not scientific: When I go to the dog track, and I see the dogs being paraded out, the dog that stops to take a whiz ... put your money on that dog.
RR: Now, you’re wondering, how does that apply to fantasy football? Contract years! Look for a player who has to have a good year to land that fat contract. Dez Bryant got the big contract, but hasn’t done anything thee last two years.. He has a lot of pride, a lot of skill, and now he has Dak. So I think he’s gonna have a big year — I don’t know if he’s in another contract year, but he hasn’t delivered on the last one he got, and people will start questioning him. So basically, anybody who needs that great year, those are the guys.
IH: Are you still able to watch games with other people?
RR: Games are meant to be shared! I’ve watched games by myself — it’s a lonely experience. I still yell, but all I’m doing is upsetting family members in other rooms.
IH: Is the Dos Equis guy really the "Most Interesting Man in the World" or not?
RR: He is as advertised.