October 30, 2011
Leading the National League in saves and vying for the World Series with the Milwaukee Brewers was only the beginning for closer John Axford(notes) this season. Facing even stiffer upper-lip competition Friday night, Axford closed the deal and won the most prestigious mustache award in America. No, North America.
After Axford received a majority of the nearly 1 million votes cast on the Internet, the American Mustache Institute presented him with the Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year Award for 2011. The prize was named for Goulet, the late singer and actor who — like Axford — was born in Canada and often sported a great, big hairy mustache.
To give you an idea of Axford's popularity, the previous Goulet winner, a firefighter from Florida named Brian Sheets, won 22 percent of roughly 500,000 votes cast in 2010. Axford's Fu Manchu 'stache, which he said he's been growing since May, obviously warmed the masses to his face. Axford was so enthusiastic about the competition that he personally accepted the award, which was presented during a ceremony at AMI's annual fundraiser called 'Stache Bash, convened at Joe's Bar in Chicago. He breathlessly announced the results on Twitter:
That's genuine appreciation from Axford, who has said that winning the Goulet would be better than any individual award he could win on a baseball field. Aside from the hair on his lip and the goodwill in his heart, Axford sealed victory based on this performance in a comedy sketch with 12 Angry Mascots:
Never fully trust a man with a 'Stache. Hey, what about the technicality of Axford being a Canadian and winning an American award named for a Canadian? Eh, just ignore it, says AMI chairman Aaron Perlut:
"Even though he is Canadian, we believe John represents everything else the Mustached American community values: humor, intelligence and good looks. He is also very tall."
(Perlut also asks that, in the spirit of Halloween, you ignore the makeup on Mr. T in the photo that dangerously tiptoes the racial sensitivity line. You got it, T! Consider it ignored!)
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