With the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Carolina Panthers twin sister team, coming to town, there was only one topic I could reasonably ask our opposing SB Nation blog about. And no, it wasn’t the serendipity of facing each other in each franchise’s 25th year in what was also the NFL’s 100th year. It wasn’t the fact that both teams are trying to pull together a season from the ashes of an injured starting quarterback, either. Though that is closer to the mark. No, the only real topic of relevance is the man and the mustache behind their magical backup quarterback and current NFL/fitness sensation, Gardner Minshew.
As always, you can check out my answers to their (much more serious) questions by visiting BigCatCountry.com. They will have those answers and so much more from the Jaguars perspective in advance of this weekend’s game. I’d also like to give a big thanks to Ryan O’Bleness for humoring our unprofessional interest in Minshew.
The man. The myth. The legend. Gardner Minshew’s story grows a little bit taller with each telling, but there is one thing I really need to know for sure. Is it true that he can throw the football clear over them mountains?
It’s funny, Minshew’s arm strength was the big question mark about him in the pre-draft process. What we’ve come to find out is not only can Gardner Minshew II throw a football over them mountains, but he can also throw a pigskin a quarter mile. Mentored by the great Uncle Rico himself, Minshew is well on his way to become the next legendary quarterback. I can keep talking about this, or I can show you proof:
ICYMI: Gardner Minshew + Uncle Rico.— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) September 30, 2019
“Do it for all the dreamers.”pic.twitter.com/ysLQBLWy9x
The Jaguars have one of the most self aware fanbases in the NFL outside of Cleveland. What is the motivation, or at least origin, behind putting so many L’s in “DUVALLLLL!”?
Well, the official spelling, at least for the Twitter hashtag, is “DUUUVAL” with the triple U (of course, you may hold the “L” at the end if you wish). You really have to hold that “UUU” in the middle for emphasis, though. Duval is of course the county that Jacksonville resides in (well at least the majority of the city). Jacksonville is uniquely placed, and is such a large city that it is actually the only city in Duval County. Therefore there is a lot of pride from the residents who live there. The chant became most popular in 2013 after a Twitter poll, but the roots go back much further than that to the early 2000s or maybe even the ‘90s. It provides a sense of pride for Jaguars fans and is a rally cry for the team and fanbase alike.
Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen has had a series of homecomings of a sort this season. His first start was against former college teammate Kyler Murray. His second was in his college town, Houston. This week has a similar story line. How does Minshew feel seeing his own son line up at quarterback for the Panthers this week?
A bombshell many folks are probably unaware of, especially since Minshew is actually two months younger than Kyle Allen, but this is just the latest chapter in the the Legend of Minshew. Try as he might, though, Allen will always live in the shadow of the Min-show. I have not had the opportunity to talk to Gardner about this family affair, so it’s hard to peg exactly how he is feeling, but I think it’s safe to say pops is ready to teach a lesson. However, I am sure Allen is ready to prove himself against the master. At the end of the day it’s going to be like your dad letting you score a few points on the driveway basketball hoop when you’re young to get your confidence up, before blocking every shot attempt you try to put up afterward and then dunking on you repeatedly.
The last Jaguars quarterback to go viral was Blake Bortles, who was most recently caught by the Los Angeles Rams. Is there any indication that Minshew could be similarly contagious and, if so, is there any way for the rest of the league to protect themselves?
Minshew Mania appears to be a real condition. Minshew Magic seems to be equally as real, at least on the football field. The only prescription is more cowbell. Oh wait, that’s something different, sorry. There is no prescription. There is no hiding from it. It has taken over Jacksonville, so much so that local bands already have songs dedicated to him. It’s spreading throughout the rest of the league like wildfire, too. People have taken notice at a national level, which is why he’s getting features on places like ESPN (linked in question No. 1) and NFL Network. Here is a great SB Nation feature story on Minshew, as told by his father.
In all seriousness, I think Jags fans and non-Jags fans alike can agree that it’s been one hell of a ride so far. His decision-making, confidence, ability to lead, feel for the game and just tendency to make plays has been so much fun to watch. I don’t know how long it’s going to last and whether or not Minshew will turn back into a pumpkin, but I am surely enjoying it so far.
RETWEET IF YOUR TEAM HAS THE BEST QUARTERBACK IN THE NFL! pic.twitter.com/BLwhANLii0— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) September 29, 2019
Minshew’s power obviously comes from his glorious ‘stache, fueling everything from his on field performance to his off field work out routines. Is there any worry that it, or the antics it inspires, will cause a distraction in the Jaguars locker room that would be detrimental to team?
Oh, yeah I wholeheartedly believe all of the magic flows directly through the incredible mustache and courses through the rest of the Minshew’s body. There are certainly some wild, but true stories about Minshew in the past. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
- He once tried to break his own hand to receive a medical redshirt and play more football
- He works out/warms up in nothing but a jock strap (Leonard Fournette refers to him as the “Jock Strap King”)
- He has been known to tuck a full-sized bottle of Crown Royal in his waistband while walking around town
- He used his cute puppy to recruit more Washington State fans to attend the game against Arizona
- His grandfather wanted to name him Beowulf
There are many more of these stories, but there are no signs of distractions or disconnect from said antics. Despite all of the adversity around the team this season -- the Nick Foles injury, the Jalen Ramsey drama, the 0-2 start, etc. -- the team, much like the fanbase, has rallied around Minshew.
This was exactly what happened at Washington State last year when the team was dealing with tragedy following the sudden death of incumbent starting quarterback, Tyler Hilinski. Minshew helped bring an entire team and community together in Pullman (while honoring Hilinski’s memory), and he is doing similar things of bringing the community together (in much different circumstances) in Jacksonville.