This is going to be a big weekend for the legendary actor Henry Winkler.
He wraps up filming Season 4 of the award-winning TV show “Barry” on Friday, then heads to SoFi Stadium to watch the Chiefs play the Chargers on Sunday Night Football.
While it’s not a given that you would describe yourself as a football fan, Winkler is a huge supporter of the Chiefs quarterback. Patrick Mahomes As you will find.
“It’s just something, and they’re talking about Josh Allen and all the other cool guys, the guy I think is from Florida[Tua Tagovailoa],” Winkler said Wednesday in a phone interview. “Patrick, you just see his brain thinking, ‘How am I going to get to this end zone? He’s just walking around thinking; you don’t see much banter going on.
“It’s very closed off, ‘How am I going to get to the end zone?'” Hmm. There are these big guys over there, I guess I’ll go over here. And then – boom – like a cobra. “
Winkler, who turned 77 last month, was on “The Rich Eisen Show” earlier this year and interrupted the host’s question about “Barry” to inquire about Mahomes, who named Winkler his hero. When Eisen said he met Mahomes and sometimes watched the show, Winkler turned around and addressed Mahomes directly, Invite him to dinner.
A few months later, Mahomes was on “The Rich Eisen Show” and said he would invite Winkler to a game the next time the Chiefs were in Los Angeles. Well, this Sunday, Winkler will be at a booth at SoFi with his sons Max and Jed, along with brother-in-law Rob Reinis, thanks to Mahomes.
Unfortunately, Mahomes won’t have time for dinner.
“It won’t happen, but the invitation is open,” Winkler said. “On a drop of a hat, the chicken will flop out of shape. But the fact that it turned out to make Rich Aizen laugh, I’d really like to somehow connect with Patrick, maybe a friend of his who watched this show and[tell him]that’s how it turned out.”
It’s an unusual route that will have Winkler seeing Mahomes in person for the first time.
While Winkler doesn’t plan his week around NFL games, Mahomes has seen enough to know that Chiefs quarterback is something special.
“On Sundays my youngest son Max, sometimes my eldest son Jed and some of their friends come over and watch (football) or I watch it myself,” said Winkler. “I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t always get it. And I’m drawn to technique, how nicely a person plays.”
“And now I’m watching all these people, and it’s not that I disparage the other players, but when you watch Mr. Mahomes play, there’s no bullshit. There’s a guy so focused. The subtlety and improvisational nature of his ability—he captured my imagination.”
Mahomes is known for adapting whatever defenses give him, which means that he sometimes adjusts a play called. Sometimes that means he’ll quit running. Other times, he’ll scramble and throw a runaway.
It’s the mathematical equivalent of an actor improvising.
“In Hulk Comes Freedom,” said Winkler, who starred in “Happy Days,” and later in “Arrested Development,” “The Waterboy,” and many other projects during his five decades as an actor. “So all the guys who play football know exactly what it is, all those complex plays and where they go and what they do and feints and everything else. And then inside that structure comes someone like Patrick, who not only is able to execute it, but is, at the moment, in The absolute magical second when he has to slow down time in his brain, he is then able to create yet another piece to an already established play.This is great to watch.
“There are actors who can have a moment in between two that you would never have imagined existed. You can’t even insert a piece of cardboard between a conventional act and then improve. You know what I mean? You’ve seen it on stage. You know, there’s an analogy.”
It is this admiration for Mahomes’ abilities that leads Winkler to ask Aizen if he knows a quarterback captain. Winkler wanted to tell Mahomes how much he loves what a quarterback does on the football field.
In fact, it’s a moral imperative for Winkler, who also authored it More than thirty children’s books With Lin Oliver.
“I swear to God,” Winkler said, “I really think if someone out there is doing anything somewhere that’s cool, you have to mention it.” “You have to tell them, ‘Yeah, this flew all the way through the wires, through the waves, into my house, into my brain and gave me joy.'” And I think you have to tell the person, and you don’t know if they know. You have no idea if they’ll see it.”
Those who know how Winkler feels about Mahomes are Chiefs fans. They routinely respond to Winkler when he tweets after the game. He noted the “warmth” when Chiefs fans responded to him on social media.
On Sunday, WInkler will join many Chiefs fans, who have been known to show up in droves at SoFi Stadium for games against the Chargers.
While the dinner won’t happen at his home, Winkler hopes to entertain his hero.
“I don’t know if I’ll meet him,” Winkler said. “I know Mrs. Mahomes is pregnant and won’t be traveling. So I know they can’t come to my house for dinner. But if I could, I would proudly post it on what looks like dog days on Twitter.”
This story was originally published November 17, 2022 8:53 AM.