The thing about having the last name "Heinicke" is, if you find yourself in the position of being an NFL starting quarterback in search of endorsements, it would lend itself nicely to a partnership with Heineken beer. At least, that was the thinking of the Washington Football Team's current QB1, Taylor Heinicke.
While hustling for a Heineken partnership didn't work out exactly the way Heinicke had intended, his persistence did lead to backing from another adult beverage: Bud Light.
Earlier this week, when asked about his attempt to get sponsored by Heineken, Heinicke conceded:
"I'm trying, man. At some point, I might just start calling out Bud Light."
Yes Heinicke is angling for a Heineken endorsement. Nothing yet. Says maybe has to start shooting for Bud Light. pic.twitter.com/enfR7dJwqw— John Keim (@john_keim) September 21, 2021
Heinicke explained that the joke really took off in Washington. "It was after the Tampa game last year. I really tried to get something. My agent said that they had sent me a 24-pack at home, never received it. And they said they can't deliver to my address when there's a gas station a block away that has Heineken."
When asked if he always liked Heineken, the quarterback expressed it was more of a general affinity for beer. "I like to enjoy, you know, three, four beers. Just kick back and watch some football," he said. "I'd rather drink some beers than take some shots."
Luckily for Heinicke -- who has quickly become a fan favorite among the Washington faithful -- it appears Bud Light heard his cry and had no trouble delivering to his address.
... And thus "BudLighticke" was born.
The 28-year-old -- who is the latest starter under center for a franchise in the thick of a painful 29-year search to fill the position that has been plagued with poor timing, unenviable luck and questionable decisions -- has enjoyed a journey quite unlike the majority of his comrades.
Last season, he found himself thrust into the spotlight when he started a playoff game in place of an injured Alex Smith against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Heinicke had been a student taking classes at Old Dominion just a month prior.
He entered the 2021 season as Ryan Fitzpatrick's backup, but quickly found himself reprising the starting role when Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury in the second quarter of the WFT's Week 1 game vs. the Los Angeles Chargers. In Week 2, Heinicke threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns as he led Washington to a 30-29 win over the New York Giants.
ESPN's Washington Football Team reporter John Keim contributed to this story.