The Thursday night matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars will feature a battle between one quarterback with the best beard in the league and one with the best mustache.
So, of course, this became a thing Tuesday when Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose beard would make Grizzly Adams envious, was asked about Gardner Minshew II.
Specifically, Fitzpatrick was asked about entering the NFL as a late-round draft pick as Minshew did — and then was asked why beards are better than mustaches.
And if you didn’t think Fitzpatrick was going to play along, well, you just don’t know Fitzpatrick very much.
“The mustache versus the beard, I think the beard is a cooler look,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think guys that grow mustaches a lot of times have patchy sides for their beards, so they just stick with the mustache. My wife appreciates the mustache trimmed up a little bit more. But she does hate the beard too, so I guess that’s a lose-lose for me.”
Not to be outdone, Minshew was ready when he was asked about Fitzpatrick’s comments and had to defend his mustache.
“Oh no, man, I’ll let mine speak for itself,” Minshew said. “I think I’ve shown I can grow a beard with no patchy sides. But you know, I’m going to have respect for my elders, especially when they’re much, much elder. I’ll be respectful.”
Minshew turned 24 in May; Fitzpatrick will turn 38 on Nov. 24.
Jaguars second-year defensive end Josh Allen, who himself sports a beard, got involved in the whole beard/mustache conversation.
“You know what’s so crazy, I felt like I was just thinking about that yesterday,” Allen said. “I was looking at him and I was like, ‘This dude does have a really good beard’, but you can’t beat the stache, though. Gardner doesn’t just have a little [mustache]. He rocks his. You have a lot of guys that try to do the little thing Gardner does and it just doesn’t look right. I feel like everybody can rock a nice beard. I got me a little beard. It’s not like his, but I rock mine. A lot of people can’t do what Gardner does, so I’m going to have to rock with my dog and keep that mustache game going.”
While he sided with his quarterback in the beard-mustache debate, Allen did admit to some beard envy when he was asked whether he had a better beard than Fitzpatrick.
“I mean no, but it’s good for me,” Allen said. “I’ve been growing it out for a couple years now. I haven’t cut it yet, so I don’t think it’s going past this right here, but I wish I had a beard like that. It’s pretty cool.”
Of course, one wonders why it was that Allen was thinking about Fitzpatrick’s beard in the first place.
“What was I doing?” Allen said. “I was watching film. Last night we were in a little team meeting and somebody just brought up the beard and I was like, ‘Bruh does have a really good beard’ because his chinstrap is so small, and the beard is just everywhere. It’s kind of cool, but like I said, I still rock with G-Money.”
Hair and age aside, the quarterback matchup features two guys coming off 300-yard performances, albeit both in losses.
Fitzpatrick passed for 328 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the Dolphins’ 31-28 loss against the Buffalo Bills, while Minshew threw for 339 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in Jacksonville’s 33-30 loss against the Tennessee Titans.
It was Minshew’s third consecutive game dating back to last season with three touchdown passes, setting a franchise record.
“I haven’t seen him play a ton but the few times I have, I like watching him,” Fitzpatrick said. “I enjoy his playing style. It looks like he’s out there having fun. It’s not easy to play quarterback in this league. It’s not easy to play as a young quarterback. He’s already had a lot of success. He’s had a great start to the season. He’s a guy that I don’t think I’ve played against him, so I’m excited to watch him play and see how he does.”