Since debuting earlier this month, 'The ThomaHawk Show' podcast -- hosted by Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas and former wide receiver Andrew Hawkins -- has enjoyed instant popularity as it continues to rise up the iTunes podcast charts.
From a content standpoint, however, the show may have peaked during its most recent episode, when Hawkins shared a story from the Browns' 2014 season.
As Thomas discussed a friend who often trades him when playing with the Browns in video games, Hawkins was reminded of a memorable Madden matchup from the team's 2014 season. In a season that already wasn't short on dysfunction, Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon added to the mess when he dealt then-Browns starting quarterback Brian Hoyer the highest of insults.
"I don't remember the exact story. This is like long ago. I don't know if Gordon and Hoyer might have gotten into it about something in practice," Hawkins recalled. "We were sitting in the lobby and they were playing Madden -- Gordon was playing Madden. Hoyer comes and sits down in between the meeting. They must have still been going at it. J.G. looks over at Hoyer, pauses the game, takes Hoyer out and puts in Johnny [Manziel]. That's how I knew stuff was getting real."
Hearing his co-host's story, Thomas proceeded to break out in laughter, adding "Was that the beginning of the end? That's when he got benched?" and joked, "Do you think Hoyer went to [former Browns head coach Mike Pettine] and then had the Bill Belichick-[Tom] Brady confrontation, like, 'It's either me or him!'"
You can hear the entirety of Hawkins' story in the video below.
Gordon's in-game adjustment would eventually play out, with Pettine benching Hoyer for Manziel as the Browns lost the final five games of what had been a 7-4 start to the 2014 season. After a two-year absence from the NFL, Gordon returned to Cleveland for the final five games of this past season, while Hoyer is currently preparing for the Super Bowl as the backup quarterback of the New England Patriots.
But while their careers have since gone in opposite directions, they'll always enjoy a shared history -- which we now know a little bit more about thanks to Hawkins.