'Uncle Rico' stops at TIAA Bank Field, visits Jaguars' Gardner Minshew

Infamous actor spotted earlier in day at Waffle House

By Nick Jones - Digital producer, Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Football history was made Thursday at TIAA Bank Field when Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew met with actor Jon Gries, who you likely recognize as Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite.

If you're not familiar with the film, many people on social media have said Gries bears a striking resemblance to Minshew. Here is a look at News4Jax reporter Scott Johnson's interview with the man, the myth and the legend (reference to Uncle Rico).

Gries, dressed much to the likes of Uncle Rico, pulled up to TIAA Bank Field in the character's trademark burnt orange Dodge van. He was tight-lipped about his reason for the visit, but there are rumors he was throwing the pig skin with Minshew.

GALLERY: 'Uncle Rico' visits TIAA Bank Field
RELATED: 'Uncle Rico' dines at Jacksonville Beach Waffle House

Johnson: "What brought you out here today?"
Gries: "It's a secret. I can't tell you,"
Johnson: "Have you met Mr. Minshew yet?"
Gries: "I have."
Johnson: "Who had the better arm?"
Gries: "I can't tell you because I've got to protect myself, and I've got to protect him."

Acting much as though he was in character, Gries said he and Minshew "have a history," and he was excited about his visit to the River City. Gries is visiting to film a segment with Minshew for NFL Countdown, which will air on ESPN.

The comparisons between Minshew and Uncle Rico have been constant, so the Jaguars put out this tweet:

Johnson: "I noticed you brought your ban and everything."
Gries: "It was a long trip. I had to come in and say hello. Just stopped in to say hello."

In the movie, Uncle Rico believed he could throw a football over a mountain. On Thursday, he settled for launching one over the statue of the jaguar at TIAA Bank Field.

Only In Duval, a popular Instagram account, posted photos of the actor earlier in the day at Waffle House in Jacksonville Beach

Marketing Minshew Mania

Mark Braddock, owner of 8103 Clothing Inc., has taken note of the remarkable resemblance between Minshew and Uncle Rico. He's printing t-shirts that he says he can't print fast enough.

"Minshew Mania has exploded all over Jacksonville, and we're on board 100%," Braddock said. "Literally printing around the clock. Shirts flying off the shelves and internet orders.

WATCH: Marketing Minshew Mania

Braddock was contacted by ESPN who requested his shirts be part of the segment. He said even Mayor Lenny Curry is ordering some shirts.

"I'll be meeting with the mayor of Jacksonville tomorrow (Friday)," he said. "This is a roller coaster, and I'm holding onto my horses now."

The segment with Minshew and Uncle Rico is slated to air on ESPN this weekend.

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