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The Man And His Mustache: Homages And Heisman Talk For WSU Quarterback

Young Kwak
AP Photo
Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew II (16) walks on the field after an NCAA college football game against Eastern Washington in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

Football and facial hair. That's the topic of this week's conversation between KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel and Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

The 6-3 Washington Huskies host Stanford Saturday night in Seattle. And the 7-1 Washington State Cougars host Cal Saturday night in Pullman, led by star quarterback Gardner Minshew and his much talked-about mustache.

'Pop Culture Star'

"Minshew's mustache, in the Heisman Trophy voting among media polls, is starting to get votes," Thiel said.

Of course, there's Heisman talk for Minshew himself as well.

He is a fifth-year senior transfer quarterback. He left East Carolina after earning his bachelor’s degree in communications. He was able to transfer anywhere without having to sit out a season. He committed to Alabama but ended up in Pullman.

"I think he's become a pop culture star, not only because he's been playing well but that mustache is just a phenomenon," Thiel said.

Thiel said WSU is playing remarkable football. This week, they earned the No. 8 spot in the initial College Football Playoff rankings.

Praise For Cougars, Controversy For Huskies

The University of Washington has been struggling more than expected this season. They're 6-3, which Thiel said isn't that bad, but they're dealing with a controversy that began last weekend when coach Chris Petersen benched starting quarterback Jake Browning.

"There's still bewidlerment everywhere over changing quarterbacks in the third quarter," he said.

According to Thiel, both teams are still alive in the hunt for the (Pac-12) conference championship. He said it could come down to the Apple Cup on Fri., Nov.23, in Pullman.

Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Sports With Art Thiel with iTunes orGoogle Play now. You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest and

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.