June 10, 2008
Shutdown Corner is giddy to present its list of the 11 greatest mustaches in NFL history. There are no standards for judging, such as length, thickness, or ability to soak up chicken noodle soup. Each mustache is judged individually on its own merits and the courage displayed by the man who decided to grow it. Again, this list was made at my own fanciful whim.
When people talk about the great mustaches in sports, baseball is the sport most often referenced. And rightfully so, as Goose Gossage, Al Hrabosky, and Rollie Fingers are the kings. But the NFL has their own arsenal of formidable lip moss, too. Consider that Jake Plummer and Bill Cowher, two of the most well-known 'staches in recent NFL history, can't even crack the Shutdown Eleven.
Today, the honorable mentions.
When you think of the great mustaches in sports history, the name "Scott Player" probably doesn't come to mind for a lot of you. But the name "Hulk Hogan" might. And I'm sorry, but I have no choice but to respect any punter who will not only copy the Hulkster's mustache, but then insist on a single-bar facemask to show it off.
Style. Harry's got one of those faces that looks so natural with a mustache that you've got to assume he came out of the womb with it fully grown-in. It blends seemlessly with the square jaw and the perfectly-aligned teeth. Harry Carson wore his mustache with elegance, grace, and intimidation, all at the same time. A rare feat.
A lot of people might have thought that Cowher would've warranted better than an "Honorable Mention" on an NFL mustache list, but I'm calling it overrated. It was notable, for sure, but I think it was elevated to that position more because of Cowher's bizarre facial expressions and the demands made of the mustache to catch so much scattered projective saliva.
One of the most overlooked mustaches in NFL history. It's thick, it's full, it's lustrous ... it's all business. Remember when Kobe Bryant had his offseason troubles, and he came back to the floor with some new tattoos, trying to cultivate a little bit harder of an image? Marvin should do the same, and let that thing grow into a full fu-manchu.
Adam Morrison's mustache role model didn't wear this popsicle-duster on his upper lip for very long, but when he did, it commanded attention. Not necessarily positive attention, but attention nonetheless. A certain amount of aggression and outlaw attitude is required of anyone who grows a mustache, but in the case of Plummer, even if the 'stache itself wasn't a work of art, his willingness to go from moderately handsome to uglier than a diseased rhinoceros nipple commands a ton of respect.
You might remember this picture from yesterday's requiem for the single-bar facemask, and since then, no, I have not changed my mind that Lowery's mustache should have counted, by league standards, as a second bar to the facemask. That thing is perfectly sculpted. The shape and the symmetry are second to none. It would almost look fake, if it also didn't make him look like such a cold-blooded, merciless killer.
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