So the query for Dan Feeney was as follows:
If beer chugging was an Olympic sport, may you win a gold medal?
Dan Feeney chuckles and says:
“I don’t know. There’s a lot of good drinkers in the United States, so I don’t know. I’d like to think I’d be on the USA Drinking Team, for sure.”
Funny how life works generally. You spend your soccer profession toiling within the anonymity of being an an offensive lineman, you signal a free-agent contract with the Jets as a key backup, and subsequent factor you recognize, you change into a viral cult hero, raucously cheering on the Islanders, whose followers are instantly cheering you on as the Beer Chug Guy.
He would be the one with the mullet and the mustache at The Barn for Game 3 of Islanders-Lightning. He would be the one in an Islanders No. 67 jersey — his Jets quantity — whipping himself and a crew of Jets teammates and his new band of brothers, the Islanders followers, into much more of a frenzy.
“Oh my God,” Feeney mentioned. “The atmosphere at The Barn is unreal. … It’s electric.”
He would add: “It’s contagious. It feels like that thing’s dang near shaking.”
The electrical energy appears to crackle by way of Feeney’s 6-foot-4, 305-pound physique. Asked what will get into him, he says with a chuckle: “Obviously excitement, if you couldn’t tell from the videos. It’s an incredible place to be, man. We love having fun there, we love supporting a fellow New York team. We love going out there, having a couple of cocktails and, you know, having a couple bits of fun.”
Feeney usually caps his beer chug by smashing the beer can towards his head a number of instances. Where did that originate?
“Years of practice in college,” Feeney mentioned.
“I don’t know, I just got really excited,” Feeney mentioned. “It seemed fitting for an electric atmosphere.”
His beer of selection? “I guess Budweiser’s kind of my go-to lately,” he mentioned.
Feeney grew up within the Chicago space as a Blackhawks fan, however by no means performed hockey. “I’m not too good on skates,” Feeney mentioned. “I look like Bambi.”
He by no means attended a Blackhawks playoff recreation there. The Islanders — all the time the workforce of selection for Jets guard Greg Van Roten, a local Long Islander — have gained him over.
“They’re awesome,” he mentioned. “There’s no, obviously, like no huge superstar, but they’re a very well-oiled machine, they play so well together, just nice fundamental hockey.”
He particularly likes Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier and difficult man Matt Martin.
“I love that the Islanders are just this gritty team. … All these guys are in sync with each other, their lines have been solid, they’re obviously switching every 23 seconds, they’re out there for a minute, they’re grinding it out,” Feeney mentioned.
He loved being acknowledged by Islanders followers because the Beer Chug Guy, and his household is on board along with his sudden fame.
“My family’s kind of running with it,” Feeney mentioned.
His mullet and his mustache now adorn charity Feeney T-shirts for the MS Society, the place his sister Shannon works. “She’s a do-gooder, always has been,” Feeney mentioned.
Feeney is hoping rookie Jets quarterback Zach Wilson will once more be a part of him and his different teammates on Thursday evening. Feeney blocked final season for Chargers phenom Justin Herbert. I requested him to check the 2.
“It’s hard to compare, because they’re too different personalities, two different styles of quarterbacks,” Feeney mentioned. “But I think obviously Zach, he’s got a great head on his shoulders. I think the sky’s the limit for this kid. I think he’s gonna be in the league for a while. He seems very understanding, he is picking up the offense very well, so I’m just excited to see him progressing.”
Feeney may by no means think about changing into an web sensation and cult determine. Who may?
“Not really, not really,” he mentioned. “The ball rolls, gotta roll with it.”
He plans to maintain rolling with the Islanders on their Stanley Cup journey. And with Islanders followers. “They’re pretty passionate people, I know that,” Feeney mentioned. “They’re diehards for sure.”
Of course he watched Game 2 on Tuesday evening. Feeney gained’t be troublesome to identify on Thursday evening. Mullet or no mullet. Will he preserve carrying it?
“It kind of seems like I have to,” Feeney mentioned, “but you never know how the world turns out.”
You certain don’t.