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5 things you may not know about Barkevious Mingo


Barkevious Mingo has become a key contributor for the Bears' defense and special teams. Here are five things you may not know about the veteran linebacker:

(1) He's named after his mother.

Mingo's unique name has been a topic of discussion since he entered the league in 2013. Jordan Peele, whose Comedy Central show Key & Peele features a recurring sketch about elaborately named football players, openly celebrated the Browns taking Mingo with the sixth overall pick.

Barkevious is a portmanteau of his mother's name, Barbara, and a suffix she liked. Similarly, Mingo's father is named Hugh, and Mingo has brothers named Hugh and Hughtavious. For Mingo, it has been meaningful to carry part of his mother's name.

"My mom has been one of the most influential people in my life," said Mingo. "I wouldn't be where I am without her. To have that small token in my name means everything."

(2) His last name is of mysterious origin.

The origin of the name Mingo likely goes back to the Algonquian language. The name was used for both a grouping of indigenous tribes in the Ohio River Valley and a county in southern West Virginia (the locale of the legendary Hatfield-McCoy feud). Mingo isn't sure how his family adopted the name, though they do have ancestral roots in Ohio.

"My dad is on that case," said Mingo. "He wants to figure that out as well."

(3) He planned on going into coaching until he saw exactly what the job entailed.

Mingo's backup plan to professional football was to put his knowledge to use as a coach. He majored in Sports Administration at Louisiana State. However, after seeing how demanding the professional game is on assistant coaches, he's reevaluated his post-football plans.

"I see the work these coaches put in," said Mingo, "I just told myself I don't think I could do it. I'm not cut out to be a coach."

(4) He's fascinated by ancient civilizations.

Mingo is a bit of a history buff and has traveled abroad to see the remains of Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. Unsurprisingly, the Pyramids of Giza and the Acropolis stand out as highlights.

"That's the reason why I travel," said Mingo. "I like to see the stuff that I used to read about in elementary school textbooks: the Roman, the Egyptian, the Greek [civilizations]. That was what kept my interest."

(5) He stands by the final season on Game of Thrones.

Mingo cites the HBO series as his favorite TV show. Unlike a vocal swath of the show's fanbase, he was satisfied with the series' critically maligned eighth and final season.

"I see why some people didn't like it because they left a lot of things unanswered," said Mingo. "But as a fan, we got a lot of good quality stuff in that last season. I was happy with it."

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