Movember is a time to celebrate the majesty of the mustache. 'Staches are making a comeback in sports, and though the existence of any mustache is a positive, we thought we'd get an expert to break down the best of the best. "Dr." Aaron Perlut is a "Professor of Nuclear Mustacheology", a longtime contributor to ESPN and the Chairman Emeritus of the American Mustache Institute, which in 2018 closed its doors after claiming victory in the war against the clean-shaven. Here's his satirical look at the sports mustaches we saw this year:
Much like the Florida panther, the Devil's Hole pupfish or an honest politician, at the turn of the century people of Mustached American heritage were an endangered species.
But between 2004 and 2007, led by the American Mustache Institute and other organizations that would later ride on AMI's coattails, the Mustached American species and people of facial hair in general began a remarkable comeback.
Indeed, just as lower nose foliage culture was driven by sports in the 1970s -- with teams like the Oakland A's, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Cincinnati Reds leading the way -- sports has played a pivotal role in the resurgence of facial hair post-2000.
To celebrate Movember, here's a scientific examination of five mustaches of sport from this year, which have shaped our broader perspective on mouth-shading devices and human greatness, ranked from least to most influential.
Thunder center Steven Adams
Starting off our group is a transplant from New Zealand, which is both west and east of Delaware. When Steven Adams auditioned and subsequently secured roles as a stunt double to Jason Momoa in both "Game of Thrones" and "Aquaman," he was told the primary factor was his facial hair. The casting agents were so overwhelmed by the liquid solubility scale (LSS) of his face forest, that there was no other choice but to cast him over David Spade, who was a close second. And as he ponders whether to remain in the NBA with the hapless Oklahoma City Blunders and carry Chris Paul around on a hospital gurney for the rest of his career, or whether to transition into a full-time Hollywood stunt double, he has peace of mind in knowing that casting agents love his beardism, and at the very least, he'll never have to play with Russell Westbrook again. Adams' former mustache might have deserved a higher rating, but as he's currently a fully bearded man, give him 1 out of 5 for the LSS but that's it -- until we see him again doing flying karate stunts in backing up Momoa.
Oregon football strength and conditioning coach Aaron Feld
At this juncture we bring you a newcomer to most slack-jawed gawkers outside the state of Oregon. Introducing University of Oregon strength and conditioning coach and Gingered American Aaron Feld, along with his handlebar mustache. This tandem -- man and lip garmentry unit -- have become an institution on the university's Eugene campus due to the repetitive nature of his greatness and power. You see, the American Mustache Institute's Department of Nuclear Mustacheology has repeatedly proven that even-lesser-formed mustaches serve as a powerful athletic and intellectual performance enhancer. We need to see more from Feld, so for now he stays at 2 of 5 mustaches. But we see immense promise due to the coupling of Feld's wax-enriched labia sebucula (Latin for "lip sweater") with his 17-inch biceps. Indeed, it presents an indestructible force that is capable of shaping young men and women into finely tuned athletic machines of glory.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
In 2011, I interviewed Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in what was then cited as "the most dynamic sports interview in the history of mustache think-tank interviews with quarterbacks who grow mustaches every preseason only to shave those mustaches in great shame but still remain NFL Hall of Fame worthy," according to Bacon Mustache Thinking Journal. I asked Rodgers a range of important questions, but needless to say, in securing a high-quality mustache interview with (at the time) the reigning MVP signifies why mustaches matter so much to the American public. Though he's currently clean-shaven, the power of his previous mustache gives him 3 out of 5, but come talk to me after another Super Bowl victory or two.
Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew II
Much attention has been paid to Gardner Minshew II -- an up-and-comer if there ever was one in the Mustached American pantheon representing all that is good, clean and powerful about our nation. However, not enough has been made of the lineage of his name and its relationship to Mustached Americana. Minshew's father is named Flint and his grandfather Billy (note: adults should not end their first names with vowel sounds). In short, there is no Gardner Minshew I. So the question is raised: Why is he noted as the "second" of his line? According to chatrooms on Reddit referencing alleged text messages acquired by a person that I may not know but fully agree exists, Minshew's "second" notation on his name relates to his oral forestry device. His father suffers from what we call Bare Upper Lip Disorder (BULD) and could not grow proper facial hair. It's a painful affliction that impacts one in every 17.3 adults worldwide. Hence, Flint wanted to signify his son's facial hair, which might stem from altered in utero DNA. The result being there is Gardner Minshew, and then Gardner Minshew's mustache -- making two -- and thus he and his lavishly luxurious lip liaison get a 4 of 5 mustaches.
Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville
Why do NHL players grow beards during the playoffs? It's a question that current Florida Panthers coach and three-time Stanley Cup champion Joel Quenneville answered when he was a child. "From the moment of my birth on Sept. 15, 1958," he told me as we hurled empty bottles at a book club gathering in Central Park. "I set two very simple goals: Grow a mustache by age 8 and use it as a tool to win at least three Stanley Cups." In short, NHL players grow beards during the playoffs because they are not simply athletes, but rather, intellectually superior upright mammals who understand the clearest path to immortality is through the growth on one's face. And this man of men walks the walk, talks the talk, and leads like a lion. Give him 5 of 5 mustaches.