Matt Birk is a former football center who played in the NFL for 14 seasons with two teams; Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens.
Only a handful of football players in the NFL have been to Harvard, and our man right here not only went to Harvard but graduated with a degree in economics in 1998.
The Saint Paul, Minnesota native played college football for the Harvard Crimson football team at Harvard University.
Matt spent most of his professional career with the Vikings but won Super Bowl as part of the Baltimore Ravens in 2012.
The six-time Pro Bowl selectee also won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2011.
Similarly, the sixth-smartest athlete, according to the Sporting News, after retiring from organized football, has engaged in several charitable endeavors and politics.
He is an outspoken anti-abortion and anti-same-sex marriage activist.
Moreover, in the 2022 Minnesota gubernatorial elections, he was the Republican runner for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota.
For more intriguing details like this, please stick with us till the end. But before going any further, please check out the facts table below.
Matt Birk | Quick Facts
|Birth Name||Matthew Robert Birk|
|Known As||Matt Birk|
|Date of Birth||July 23, 1976|
|Birthplace||Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States|
|Current Residence||Naples, Florida, United States|
|Father’s Name||Randall Cobb Sr.|
|Mother’s Name||Tina Cobb|
|Age When Died||46 Years Old|
|Profession||Former Professional NFL Player|
|Education||Cretin-Derham Hall High School, Harvard University|
|Height||6 ft. 4 in/1.93 m/193 cm|
|Weight||310 lb./141 kg|
|Hair Color||Light Brown|
|Children||Eight (Sydney Birk, Cole Birk, Ava Birk, Madison Birk, Grant Birk)|
|Team||Minnesota Vikings (1998-2008), Baltimore Ravens (2009-2012)|
|NFL Stats||Games Player: 210
Games Started: 187
Fumble Recoveries: 5
|NFL Draft||1998 / Round: 6 / Pick: 173|
|Career Highlights||Super Bowl Champion (XLVII)
6X Pro Bowl
50 Greatest Vikings
2X Second-team All-Pro
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award (2011)
|Jersey Number||75, 78, 77|
|Net Worth||$12 Million|
|Last Update||February 2023|
Matt Birk | Early Life & Education
One of the 50 greatest Vikings of all time, Matt Birk was born Matthew Robert Birk on July 23, 1976, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States, to Randall Cobb Sr. and Tina Cobb.
Matt grew up in a small house along with his two brothers.
His parents and the rest of the family have a lot to do with where Matt stands today. Matt and the brothers did not grow up in a prosperous household.
They did not even have cable TV to watch the typical children’s shows.
So the only source of entertainment for them was to play outside with other kids which, in a way, inspired Matt to pursue football professionally.
Those invaluable experiences developed a natural love for sports within Matt.
He eventually became a decent enough athlete to play multiple sports at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He was a letterman and a standout athlete in basketball, track and field, and football as a high schooler.
Matt graduated high school in 1994 and went to Harvard University.
He played for the Harvard Crimson football team for four years before graduating in 1998 in economics.
How It All Started?
Birk first played football in 5th grade but quit. He did not care much for the tough guy mentality.
In tenth grade, he transferred to high school. By then, he was into weightlifting and thought about giving football another try.
His practice began in August before school started, so he thought it would be a great way to make friends at the new school.
Matt Birk | Age, Height, Weight & Wonderlic
As 1976 born, Matt Birk is currently 46 years of age. A man with a large build he stands 1.93 meters tall and weighs around 310 lbs.
He used to be way heavier before retirement and once stated consuming more than 7,000 calories a day.
And this makes sense, given the fact that football is a physical sport and requires a lot of stamina and strength to play excellently on the field.
After retiring from the sport following the 2012 season, Matt lost an incredible 75 lbs. and 10 inches from the waist.
Also, news about him running to the next Vi Model came out in 2014.
Furthermore, in 2010, Sporting News named Matt, the sixth-smartest athlete.
Like most of the rookies, Matt took the Wonderlic test and completed it in a short time than average athletes.
Because of the time limitations of the test, a score higher than 40 in twelve minutes is considered exceptional, and only a few can do it.
Birk scored a 46 on the test, the seventh-highest in NFL history.
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Matt Birk | Career
Coming out of college, Matt was ranked the No. 16 offensive tackle available. Consequently, Minnesota Vikings picked Birk 173rd overall in the sixth round of the 1998 NFL Draft.
Sports Illustrated described him as “maybe the best Ivy League prospect to come along in several years,” who “could be a nice developmental type pick.”
He was a backup offensive lineman in 22 games during his first two seasons with the Vikings.
However, he changed his position to starting center in 2000 and started all 16 games. He was named to his first Pro Bowl the same season.
Matt missed the last four games in the 2004 season because of a sports hernia. Similarly, he missed the following season due to hip surgery.
After playing for the Vikings for eleven seasons, Matt signed a three-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens as an unrestricted free agent in the 2009 offseason.
His first career championship came in 2012 when the Ravens beat the 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII.
All in all, he ended his career with the Ravens with no fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
He announced his retirement on February 22, 2013, and then pursued business and served several positions within football.
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Matt Birk | Post-Retirement Career
After his football career came to an end in 2013, he briefly served as the NFL director of football development.
Similarly, he co-founded Unity Catholic High School, a private Catholic school in Burnsville, Minnesota, in 2019.
Matt also is actively involved in politics. As a matter of fact, in the 2022 Minnesota gubernatorial elections, he was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota.
Nevertheless, he lost in the general elections on November 8, 2022.
His political ideologies basically revolve around Catholicism.
Matt Birk | Activism
Matt Birk has been quite vocal against same-sex marriage and abortion rights.
In 2012, he made it quite clear where he stands in the same-sex marriage situation, filming a video in opposition to Maryland passing the same-sex marriage law.
Birk even did not attend the celebratory meeting with then-President Barack Obama after the Ravens won the Super Bowl XLVII, citing Obama’s comments in support of Planned Parenthood.
In 2020, he made a “joke” about how it was wrong to allow women to drive in the first place.
He also went on to call abortion “evil” and said undergoing the medical procedure to terminate the pregnancy as a result of rape “will only make things worse.”
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Matt Birk | Net Worth
As of 2023, the former football center Matt Birk has a net worth of $12 million.
He has earned more than half of his fortune from his super successful 14 seasons NFL career.
According to sources, he made $51,498,037 from NFL alone.
Of which $35,940,000 came as salary, $8,958,037 as signing bonuses, $4.6 million from roster bonuses, and $2 million from option bonuses.
The largest contract of his career was the seven-year $31 million extension he signed with the Vikings.
This extension included a $3.80 million signing bonus, a $4.37 million average annual salary, and a $3.80 million guaranteed.
Aside from his NFL income, he also made a couple of millions from his businesses and endorsement deals.
Matt Birk | Family
The former football star Matt Birk is married to Adrianna Birk. The couple shares eight children together; six biological and two adopted sons. The family currently resides in Naples, Florida, United States.
They met at a diner in Minnesota where Adrianna was a server in college, and Matt was an eater.
Talking a little about Adrianna, she is from Saint Paul, Minnesota, originally just like her husband.
She grew up with her three sisters (one full and two half) and shares a healthy relationship with her mother and siblings.
Adrianna attended a private Catholic school.
Moreover, she volunteers at a crisis pregnancy center.
She most recently started a boutique store that sells women’s clothes for parties.
- In February 2013, Birk announced his intentions to donate his brain to the Boston University School of Medicine (BUMC) for research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
- In 2002, Birk established the HIKE Foundation, which is an educational nonprofit targeting at-risk Twin Cities, young people.
- Birk spoke at the 45th annual March for Life in January 2018.
- Hike Foundation, Taste of the NFL, Pro-Life Movement FINE, and Greater Naples YMCA are some of the favorite charities of Birk and his wife, Adrianna.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Is Matt a Hall of Famer?
No, Matt Birk is not a Hall of Famer.
What years did Matt Birk play for the Ravens?
Matt played for the Ravens for four seasons from 2009 through 2012.
How did Matt lose weight?
By the time he retired, Matt knew he had to lose some weight.
He used ViSalus products, did a lot of exercises, and followed a healthy diet plan to chop off those 75 lbs.
How can I contact Matt?
According to his site, his admirers can simply text BIRK to (888) 444-8774 to contact him.
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