Which Sport is Best for a Mustache?
Facial hair has a habit of sticking out in sports. Some teams allow their players to have any kind of facial hair they want, while other teams like the New York Yankees have strict policies on grooming. Beards are seen in all sports, but the most noticeable facial accessory is definitely the mustache. It takes a certain kind of personality to pull off a mustache, and by that, I mean you better be talented or interesting enough to not look like an idiot with that goofy-ass caterpillar above your lip.
We all know famous mustaches in football, hockey, baseball and basketball, but which sport is the best for a guy with a mustache? The factors taken into consideration will include visibility (some sports require masks), a history of great mustaches (that means pictures!), and the sport’s current state of the mustache (we need consistency). Also, so we’re clear, the mustache cannot be connected to a goatee or any kind of chin hair. That’s too common. It must stand alone. Take a mustache ride with me as we make a decision on the most mustache-friendly sport!
You can't start a conversation about mustaches in football without mentioning Mike Ditka, seen in the top picture pointing at Chicago Bliss player Danielle Moinet's boobs. The Hall of Fame coach's mustache can be described as powerful and efficient. It's clearly short and well-maintained so it doesn't get in the way of his yelling. You can't yell a lot with an unkempt mustache; it's unbecoming and you'll look goofy.
If there's one thing I'm confident about, it's that Joe Namath bedded at least three times as many women as the 220 interceptions he threw in his career, and that sketchtastic mustache is the reason (to blame?). The little soul patch adds an element of danger and possible sex without consent. Fun fact: Namath's famous guarantee before Super Bowl III was not stated by him. It was actually his mustache that said that to reporters.
Not only do NFL coaches and players have great mustaches, but the owners do too! Zygi Wilf, owner of the Minnesota Vikings, and Shahid Khan, new owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, are representing the rich guys well. Wilf seems to be going for a Wario look, while Khan has a subtle homage to the Cigar Guy. If only their teams' competitive level could match their great facial hair...
To me, one of the most prominent mustaches has to be Scott Player's. He had a very uneventful (and oddly long) punting career, but he's more known for that gross blonde mustache, which was distinctly visible due to the one-bar helmet he was able to wear due to being grandfathered in after the NFL banned them. Blech. Nothing against blonde people, but your mustaches will always look twice as creepy as any other mustache. Excluding the hair color, Player has a great horseshoe going on, just like Namath. There are times, however, when players try to pull off the horseshoe style and are unsuccessful. It looks just like...
...this. Double blech. This is a good example of all sketch with no charm. If Joe Flacco was able to sell the mustache better with his personality, he'd get better marks. Alas, he doesn't try hard enough.
As you may have noticed, with the exception of Player, none of the NFL examples shown were wearing a helmet. This critical piece of equipment for the sport severely detracts from mustache presentation, as the facemask normally covers up the mouth area. Points must be deducted due to the safety requirements that greatly infringe on the visibility of mustaches.
For example, Chris Long of the St. Louis Rams had a glorious mustache this season, seen below. It was always covered up by that pesky helmet, though, except for the times he was waiting on the sideline for Sam Bradford to finish his inevitable three-and-out so that Long could get back into the game.
The coaches (and clearly, some of the owners) are very capable of growing great mustaches in the NFL, but there are only 32 of each. The NFL has a solid history of good mustaches, but it seems to have deteriorated in present day. The fact that the majority of players cannot properly display their mustaches makes football NOT the best sport for mustaches.
There have been some fantastic mustaches in hockey history. One of the most famous belongs to Lanny McDonald, a Hall of Famer who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Rockies and Calgary Flames. While I might not be as knowledgeable about hockey as opposed to the other three sports, I know a great mustache when I see one. McDonald's has to be in the top five ever due to his success with that beautiful push broom.
The late coach Pat Burns had a solid mustache. Like Ditka's, it was compact for efficient yelling, an essential part of coaching any sports team. The reason Burns' mustache is so great is thanks to the great haircut that complements it. With that mullet-mustache combination, no one will second-guess your decisions. That's the sign of a true leader.
If I'm going to talk about past hockey players with great mustaches, I'd be remiss to not mention Dave Schultz of the Philadelphia Flyers, also known as the Broad Street Bullies during the '70s. Schultz holds the record for most penalty minutes in a season with 472 during the 1974-75 season. The mustache with the wild, long hair shows that Schultz isn't afraid to kick the shit out of anyone if need be. His antagonistic nature fits the mustache perfectly.
I'm already fond of Cal Clutterbuck due to the alliteration in his name, but his mustache and combover hairstyle takes him to the point where I don't believe he's a real hockey player anymore. He has to be some movie character for a hockey movie that is getting deeply researched. Clutterbuck is one of the great examples of a present day mustache.
The present day state of mustaches in hockey isn't all good, however. Listen, Sidney Crosby, I won't argue that you're an excellent player, but that mustache.... ugh. All the talent in the world won't compensate for having a mustache that sketchy. Just shave it off. Please.
There is some mustache obstruction in the sport, since the goalie masks don't show much of the face. Thankfully, though, there are many more players on a team than just goaltenders, so the potential for mustaches is respectable. Also, there was an era where players simply didn't wear helmets, letting their hair flow free as they collided and fought with each other. Brutal.
The main problem with hockey, though, is that the quality of mustaches seems to have decreased in the present day. With the abysmal attempt that is that... thing on Crosby's face, there simply is no consistency with great mustaches. It seems the glory days of great mustaches are in the past, so hockey is NOT the best sport for mustaches.
Some of the greatest players of all time donned mustaches well for basketball, and if the sport was judged on one person alone, Wilt Chamberlain would be the best contender. He scored 100 points in a game, but in reality, his mustache definitely had assists on 48 of them.
Chamberlain's alright, but Walt Frazier certainly has the boldest mustache. Along with the sideburns, it's a masterpiece. He's been 'staching and smashing. Booming and grooming. Not shaving and... something that rhymes with "not shaving." (Misbehaving?)
Not all of basketball's mustache past has been good though. Alas, we have another sad blonde mustache on Larry Bird, one of the best players ever (along with the two above). That mustache, though... not a good look for Bird. Its not effective or prominent enough. If he had dyed it a darker color, he would have looked goofy, but then again, he's Larry Bird. The guy could trash-talk anyone and back it up. I bet if he had a funny auburn mustache, he could still sink threes in everyone's eye.
Oh, jeez! I'm sorry if I scared you with that picture. You're looking at the present state of mustaches in basketball now. Most of them are clean shaven or have goatees/beards. Then, you have this wispy, depressing excuse for a mustache. Even Sidney Crosby is making fun of you. Get out of here, Adam Morrison!
Yeah, I guess that's a little better. Stan Van Gundy looks like Mario/Ron Jeremy/The Dunkin' Donuts guy/whatever. He's got the tight mustache look going on for maximum screaming, and the Magic's refusal to do anything but rely on Dwight Howard certainly gives him stuff to scream about.
Even though he's not currently playing, Michael Jordan and his enigma of a mustache is certainly worth mentioning. That's the worst decision he's made since, well, any of his gambling losses. Someone really should have advised him on that.
With basketball players having the least amount of clothes to wear out of the four major sports, there is no lack of hair, but it's mostly in the past. As the shorts grew in length, the hair seemed to decrease. Many more players went with buzzed heads and shaved faces. Today, basketball is in a worse state than hockey in terms of mustache reputation. The consistency isn't there, so basketball is NOT the best sport for a mustache.
If we're talking about baseball, we must start with quite possibly the most famous mustache ever: Rollie Fingers and his well-groomed number. Originally done for a bet, the pitcher became infamous for his handlebar mustache, which he still has today. Fingers is also in the Hall of Fame, so this isn't just some average relief pitcher goofing off. That mustache brings success.
Dennis Eckersley is another great Hall of Fame pitcher with a great mustache. His bold personality probably stems from that bold lip cover. You know what happens if you shave off Eckersley's mustache and let him commentate a game? You get Tim McCarver.
Clay Zavada and John Axford are two current relief pitchers who are keeping the great mustache legacy alive. These torchbearers are the reason baseball hasn't faltered in the mustache game today like basketball. Zavada and Axford don't go for run-of-the-mill facial hair either; they're making a statement with their intricate mustaches. There is one player who isn't as outstanding as these guys, however...
Dammit, Giambi. There seemed to be no way you could be creepier, but there you go. You surpassed all known levels of creepy by growing that mustache. You're also ruining it for the rest of the players, Jason. Ew.
Consistency of great mustaches is prevalent in baseball. There are some timeless, Hall of Fame handlebars, along with some solid soup strainers today. The sport, on television or live, gives a great view of any possible facial hair the players would have. Minus the catcher's mask, nothing obstructs a great mustache. With all these factors taken into account, it can be ruled that baseball IS the best sport for a mustache.