It’s nice to have a little piece of home when working in a foreign country, which is exactly what Canadian running back Chuba Hubbard brought into the Carolina Panthers’ locker room.
The native of Sherwood Park, Alta. spoke to the media on Monday when two bags of Old Dutch ketchup chips were spotted in his locker. He showed them off proudly, knowing that they aren’t sold south of the border.
“This is my favourite: ketchup chips. That’s definitely a favourite. Y’all probably never had ketchup chips before,” said Hubbard in a video that was posted to Twitter by Queen City News reporter Gabe McDonald.
When a reporter asked what ketchup chips are, Hubbard replied with a cheeky answer.
“Chips with ketchup on them,” he said before breaking into laughter.
When asked what makes ketchup chips so good, Hubbard leaned on a teammate to validate the quality of their flavour. He yelled across the locker room to Phil Hoskins, the team’s second-year defensive tackle who bears the nickname ‘Big Snacc.’
“Hey, Phil!” Hubbard called. “You like them ketchup chips?” Hoskins responded positively off-camera, leading Hubbard to shrug and laugh.
A reporter asked Hubbard if he planned to send the chips to Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is known for his love of ketchup. After a brief moment of consideration, Hubbard seemed to like the idea of having the former league MVP try the Canadian delicacy.
“I’ll have to hook him up then for sure,” said Hubbard.
The 23-year-old was a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State where he was named first-team All-Big 12 as a redshirt sophomore in 2019 and a second-team All-Big 12 as a redshirt junior in 2020.
The six-foot, 210-pound ball carrier dressed for all 17 games as a rookie with the Panthers in 2021 and rushed for 612 yards and five touchdowns along with 25 catches for 174 yards and one touchdown. He started 10 games while star running back Christian McCaffrey was out due to injury and recently regained the starting role after McCaffrey was traded to the San Francisco 49ers.
Hubbard has carried the ball 15 times for 97 yards and a touchdown this season, though he missed this past weekend’s game due to an ankle injury. He is in the second year of a four-year contract with Carolina worth $4.2 million.
The Panthers are currently ranked last in the NFC South with a 2-6 record. Steve Wilks took over as the interim head coach after Matt Rhule was fired on Oct. 10 following a 1-4 start to the season.