The Week 17 Mustache Report
This mustache thing is getting serious. The Bay Area media are now reporting that "most" of the 49ers have grown mustaches in advance of Sunday's throwback throwdown, when San Fran's old-school jerseys will be matched with old-school fuzz. Lest the Redskins unwittingly get thrown over the handlebars of destiny without a whisker of preparation, I decided to act as a splash of verbal Rogaine.
"Mustaches?" Mike Sellers replied. "Does it make them play better?"
"That's not intimidating," Antwaan Randle El observed. "We might have an edge; our heads might be a little lighter."
Not sure if that's a good thing.
"That's a nice idea that they came up with," Jason Campbell said. "That's a good thought process. Maybe one day we'll come up with something when we wear our throwback jerseys, where we come in Mohawks or ball fades or something."
The nexus for locker room mustache talk was, not surprisingly, in Fred Smoot's corner. A few lockers away from Smoot sits Khary Campbell, the man nicknamed "Stache," Moostache" or "Mustachious," depending on who you ask. "I kind of like mustaches," Campbell told me. I asked him which of his teammates had the best one.
"Fred Smoot," Campbell told me. "Because it's so thin, you need a microscope to see it. He does it on purpose. It's probably like 1/10 of a millimeter in diameter, but it covers his lip. He's got a big mouth, so it's kind of long."
When Smoot returned, I told him about the 49ers' stunt.
"If they can grow those [bleeps] in a week, they some bad guys," he said of the Niners.
"Hey, you telling me [Campbell] can't grow that in a week?" Sellers interjected.
"Now Khary, if we sic Khary on them, no way they could compete," Smoot said. "He could start growing his today and be ok."
I told Smoot that Campbell had nominated his mustache as best in show.
"He would say that, because I talk about his mustache all the time," Smoot said. "Khary has the type of mustache, if he cut it down, it'll grow out of hand. His mustache, it gets up to here, you know?" Smoot said, gesturing at his upper cheek, "because he's half-Jamaican. You know what I'm saying, he's a hairy person. Why you think they call him Mustachious?"
("He thinks any mustaches are big if they're not edged up as razor-thin as his," Campbell later responded. "See, he shaves and then draws his on with a pencil. He must.")
"Tell him my name," Devin Thomas requested, throwing his own 'stache into the ring.
"This man has no mustache," Smoot said, dismissing the rookie. "Really, the only mustache I mess with is right here, the Khary Campbell. Mike Sellers can grown one, but he's got a Black-slash-Samoan mustache. Now Jerry Gray got a good mustache."
True, but if we're including coaches, the vintage Mike Singetary look more than equals Gray's. I asked Smoot whether he'd be intimidated by a receiver with lip fur.
"It doesn't matter, I'm gonna jam his mustache to the ground," Smoot said. "Man, we just trying to get a win, we don't give a damn what they show up in or what's on their face."
That seemed to be the consensus. Todd Yoder had a fabulous mustache last season, but he claimed it didn't affect his performance on the field.
"I would say no, it didn't make me a better football player, but I looked a lot cooler," he said. "I mean, I kind of felt like Magnum P.I, to be honest with you."
Casey Rabach acknowledged his team would probably be a few hairs lighter than the Niners on Sunday, but his concern was fleeting.
"Hey, grow a mustache, dude," he said to Jon Jansen. "Yeah, I'll get right on that," Jansen replied.
Shocking contempt for a serious issue. Indeed, the Redskins' response could be summed up by Ryan Plackemeier, the impossibly smooth-faced punter.
"I almost left my goatee," he told me. "I was trying to look older, I guess. But then I shaved it off."
And Smoot, as a matter of fact, never even asked me why the Niners had decided to grow facial hair.
"I don't really care," he noted. "I figure they had a reason."
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