All Hail Gardner Minshew II, King of the Hot Dirtbags

Who doesn’t want to ride that mustache
Image: Getty

Gardner Flint Minshew II, second-string quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, has recently been demoted back to his rightful place on the bench. Nick Foles, starting quarterback, has recovered from his broken collarbone, and will make his triumphant return to the field whenever it is the Jaguars play next. I have not watched a single one of his games this season, but am confident in my assessment: Gardner Minshew II’s mustache heralds the return of the hot and handsome scumbag, and I am very much here for it.

As I know very little about football beyond the information I needed to poorly manage a fantasy team, I couldn’t really say how his record has been. From what I understand, the men in the suits played him because they had no one else, and their prized show pony, Foles, hurt himself doing something—playing in the first game of the season—and had to take a breather. Enter Minshew, a 23-year-old rookie from Mississippi who looks like a 43-year-old tired dad with a pickup truck and a roving eye, nursing a Bud heavy in the bottle, looking for trouble.

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I suppose it would be important to the sake of my mission to present some facts about Minshew’s career. However, since the source I’d usually consult for these facts has passed away, I present to you my findings from ESPN.

Minshew, the team’s sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State, stepped in for Foles and had an impressive debut: 22 of 25 for 275 yards and two TDs with one interception. Minshew started the next eight games and led the Jaguars to a 4-4 record.

From where I sit, that’s pretty good. Also good? Minshew’s mustache, body, face, and mind, somewhat in that order. Everything I’ve learned about him to date has only strengthened my desire. Here are some facts, taken from a very helpful article the Washington Post published about this man.

He stretches in nothing but a jockstrap in the locker room, grooms his mustache with utmost care and regards shirt buttons as optional. He pairs Technicolor headbands with jean shorts. His grandfather wanted him to be named Beowulf. His parents instead chose Gardner Flint Minshew II, even though there is no Gardner Flint Minshew I.

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There’s more in there, mostly about his record, his yardage, the throwing, etc, but this is not what concerns me. Minshew stretching in a jockstrap in the locker room concerns me. Minshew’s mustache arouses me and is, unfortunately, the locus of my desire—a Tom of Finland-ass look on a man too young to know that reference. Most likely, Minshew’s ‘stache is in homage to an original football ‘stache, that of Joe Namath, the New York Jets man whose off-field sartorial choices called to mind a pimp in a bad blaxpoloitation film and had a mustache that followed the contours of his chin—walrus-like, lush, and slightly pervy. Other football men have followed in Namath’s footsteps. Former Mr. Olivia Munn Aaron Rodgers has had a mustache at some point in his career as has Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger—a facial hair choice that does not change the fact that he resembles, in some lights, a refrigerator.

Part of me thinks that Minshew is cultivating an air of eccentricity so that he can remain top of mind while Foles straps on that little arm-journal quarterbacks wear and gets down to business. But the rest of me, which mostly wants to watch Minshew do Romanian dead-lifts on a hot summer’s day without his shirt on, feels certain that this ‘stache is just who he is: a tall drink of water leaning against an idling pickup truck, in jorts and a visor, waiting just for you.

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