They have also both been nominated for what would be the highest honor of either of their careers.
The nominations for the 2011 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award are out, and Ditka and Irvin made the list. There are 22 nominees in all -- some are athletes, some are celebrities, and some are everyday people. They're nominated not because they have the best mustaches, necessarily, but because they're among the people "who best-represents or contributes to the Mustached American community over the past year."
Aaron Rodgers, who spoke to the American Mustache Institute this preseason, did not make the list. His commitment to the mustache community proved to be temporary.
Here's the nomination blurb for Irvin:
Most people know Michael Irvin as the brash former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver who had his share of legal problems off the field. But when he appeared shirtless on the cover of gay lifestyle magazine Out to demonstrate his passion for equality issues, people learned about a different side of Irvin. In the magazine, he publicly acknowledged his impetus came from Irvin's relationship with his gay brother, who died of stomach cancer at age 49 in 2006, and Irvin had not spoken publicly about his brother previously.
And for Ditka:
Mike Ditka is the legendary former NFL player and coach whose mustache and rugged good looks have epitomized the tough-minded spirit of the Windy City, playing a critical role in Chicago being named "America's Most Mustache Friendly City" by the American Mustache Institute. Currently an NFL commentator for ESPN, a popular "Saturday Night Live" skit featuring George Wendt and the late Chris Farley ensured his likeness has created one of the most common Halloween costumes in the U.S. according to costume retailers and NFL apparel manufacturers.
On the strength of Irvin's interview with Out, Shutdown Corner is proud to officially endorse him as our choice for the 2011 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award.
- Michael Irvin
- Mike Ditka