Following Sunday’s win over the lowly New York Jets, it didn’t take long for backup Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew to become a full-blown folk hero in Philadelphia.
The mustache, the Top Gun jacket (worn because it’s his parents’ favorite movie), the postgame celebrations with fans and his family — it’s no surprise the jort-loving quarterback has quickly become the go-to topic on sports radio across the city.
Despite his performance Sunday and the fandom that has followed, Jalen Hurts is expected to start the Eagles’ next game against Washington on Dec. 19, but prepare for a full-blown quarterback controversy if the young player struggles.
Minshew might not even be playing in the NFL if he hadn’t failed to execute a harebrained scheme hatched during college.
In a 2019 interview on the Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take, Minshew was asked to tell “the most Gardner Minshew story of all time.”
It’s quite a doozy.
After transferring to East Carolina University in 2016, Minshew was third on the depth chart, so he planned to redshirt to gain an extra year of eligibility and start at quarterback for three years. That plan was disrupted when he was put into a game due to injury, only to be benched the following week.
So the only option available was a medical redshirt.
“I go home, I grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels, and a hammer,” Minshew said. “And I go back in my room, I take a pull of Jack Daniels and put my hand down on the table and ‘Boom, boom, boom, one-two-three,’ and hit the hell out of my hand.”
Gruesome? He’s not finished.
“I’m sitting there shaking, but I know it’s not broken, so I’m like, come on,” Minshew continued. “Take another pull, 1, 2, 3 again. Still nothing. I’m just shaking at this point, man, but I knew it wasn’t broken. So one more time, another pull, another three hits and that was all I could take. I couldn’t break my own hand.”
Minshew said his hand was swollen for a few weeks, and when coaches asked him about his bruised throwing hand, he told them he closed it in a car door. But despite the injury, he ended up playing seven games that season, including two starts. Had he broken his hand, he may never have had the chance to transfer to Washington State, where he threw for over 4,700 yards and was ultimately drafted by the Jaguars in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
So how was he able to avoid breaking his hand despite hitting it nine times with a hammer?
“I had to go left-handed with the hammer trying to hit the right hand,” Minshew said. “It’s a lot harder than you would think.”
You can listen to the full interview here. Minshew joins the show at the 29:44 minute mark:
Christiana Mall gushes over Charles Barkley’s revelation
During a recent appearance on his The Steam Room podcast, Sixers legend Charles Barkley made a surprising revelation — he named his only daughter after a shopping mall in Delaware.
“There’s a Christiana Mall in Delaware that I used to always go by. That’s how she got her name, Christiana,” Barkley said to stunned cohost Ernie Johnson, who has known Barkley for more than 20 years.
“Stop … You named your daughter after a mall? Why?” Johnson asked.
“I don’t know. I just liked the mall,” Barkley said.
Christiana Barkley, 32, is a Villanova graduate and the director of writing and senior account manager at the Koppelman Group. In March, she married Ilya Hoffman, the founder of the marketing technology company DemandByte who only knew her father from his appearance in Space Jam.
Later in the podcast, Johnson returned to the Christiana Mall discussion and asked what name Barkley would have chosen if he’d had a son.
“Orange Julius? Johnsons asked, laughing.
“Burger King,” Barkley responded.
Managers at the Christiana Mall, located just off I-95 about 40 miles south of Center City, were thrilled to hear their tax-free shopping haven inspired Barkley to pass on their name.
“We’re honored that Sir Charles has such a strong connection to our center. We welcome him, his daughter and family back any time to visit her namesake,” said Steve Chambliss, the mall’s senior general manager.
“I can’t think of a better and more relevant ambassador in this region for Christiana Mall other than Philly’s own ‘round mound of rebound’ Sir Charles!” said Joe Hope, the mall’s vice president of leasing.
» READ MORE: Eagles announcer Merrill Reese pulled a Tony Romo
On Sunday, ESPN received criticism over the poor quality of its main broadcast camera during the Union’s loss to New York City FC in the MLS Eastern Conference final. ESPN looked into the problem, and told the Inquirer the quality was caused by a faulty game camera. “We have worked with the vendor that supplied the technical equipment to ESPN and the camera will be replaced for all future events,” a spokesperson said.
Amid reports he’ll be calling Thursday Night Football games for Amazon next season, longtime NBC Sunday Night Football announcer Al Michaels said he wants to return to the booth. “My contract is up, but we’re still talking about the future and a couple of other things are out there,” Michaels said during an interview on KLAC 550 AM in Los Angeles. “I, at this moment in time, hope to be doing games next year.”
Speaking of Sunday Night Football, Kathryn Tappen will once again fill in for sideline reporter Michele Tafoya this week for Bears-Packers. NBC said Tafoya has a few weeks off as she did last season, and will return Dec. 19 for Saints-Buccaneers.
According to Michael Mulvihill, an executive vice president and the head of strategy and analytics at Fox Sports, eight NFL television markets are averaging over a 30 rating for their home team games this season. Mulvihill told the Inquirer that Philadelphia is averaging a 25.2 across all networks, which ranks the city 15th out of 32 NFL team TV markets.