As home of the world’s largest mustache -- the Gateway Arch -- as well as a hearty blue-collar community teeming with people of mustached American heritage, one would assume St. Louis to be a mustache town. But the city is not -- despite, on top of those qualities, also being home to the American Mustache Institute. St. Louis finished 40th in the institute's 2011 “America’s Most Mustache-Friendly City” analysis.
So as 2012 dawned, one of just three mustached American NFL owners -- the Rams’ Stan Kroenke -- decided he was going to do something about the shoddy representation of mustached Americans not only in his home city, but on NFL sidelines.
He hired former Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher to lead his team -- a bold, yet rather simple decision. Unlike President Bill Clinton’s assessment of Republican “arithmetic” not adding up, Kroenke could see the math across Major League Baseball. Indeed, it is a fact that there is no greater performance-enhancing vehicle in sport than a well-coiffed mustache.
• Jason Giambi’s career was fading until he grew a mouth umbrella in 2007, which enabled him to increase his batting average 60 points and nearly make the All-Star team.
• In 2009, Rick Ankiel was hitting 70 points higher with nasal foliage. The moment he shaved it, his batting average dropped voluminously, and he then was hurt crashing into the outfield wall, whereas a mouth brow would have cushioned the blow.
• Prior to the 2010 season, Minnesota Twins pitcher Carl Pavano’s career was virtually dead. With a furrowed upper lip, he won 17 games, which he shaved in 2011, and then he floundered once again.
• In Game 4 of the 2011 World Series, Derrick Holland of the Texas Rangers threw two-hit ball for 8 1/3 innings to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0. Holland and his luxurious lip sweater struck out seven and walked two, and he never was in trouble -- coming within two outs of the first complete-game shutout in the World Series since 2003. Fox Sports analyst Tim McCarver noted during the network’s coverage, “The mustache is very important,” while the Cardinals’ David Freese said of the Hollandstache, “I love it. It adds some character. It might even add a little bit to that sinker.”
Truth bombs, my friends.
And after the Rams' promising start to the season, despite the defeat to the Detroit Lions, this week St. Louis is preparing not only for the home opener against the bare-lipped Daniel Snyder and his Washington Redskins, but to honor Fisher’s legendary mouth broom with a Fisher 'Stache day.
“Clearly we have great, long-term expectations for Coach Fisher in leading the Rams back to a championship caliber of football on the field,” Rams executive vice president and chief operating officer Kevin Demoff told me via email. “But his mustache has made an immediate impact on this franchise and set the tone for what we expect to be a strong season.”
The team will hand out faux Fisher-style upper-mouth warmers in an attempt to set the world record for the most fake mustaches worn in one place at one time. According to the Rams’ TurfShowTimes blog, the current world record for fake nasal jugularity units is just 227. And while details are sparse about the event, the sexual dynamism in metro-St. Louis will increase at least fivefold on that Sunday as a result, according to scientific measurements from AMI’s nuclear mustacheology department.
Clearly, these developments are good for the Rams. But from a broader perspective, it bodes well not only for St. Louis but also for America as a whole.
Dr. Aaron Perlut is the chairman of the American Mustache Institute.