Monday, January 10, 2011

The Sidney Crostache

This is a piece I wrote for our friends over at the American Mustache Institute on their asking about the power and prestige over Sidney Crosby and his one time fabulous mustache. The article can also be found here.

It started innocently enough — like some clean shaven mortals who then developed an affinity for the hair on the upper lip and began entered a mustached lifestyle — through the Movember charitable mustache growing campaign.

On November 1, National Hockey League star Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins grew his mustache.

What came next is forever etched in the history books of the NHL and hopefully, after my case being plead here, for consideration in the American Mustache Institute Hall of Fame despite Crosby’s Canadian heritage.

It was November 3, 2010, and the Penguins were in Dallas playing the Stars.  Early on it had all the makings of a blowout for the Stars and Crosby had had enough, perhaps emboldened by the new found rush of testosterone brought about by his burgeoning mustache.

So he did something he rarely does. He fought.

Before Matt Niskanen of the Stars knew it, he was defeated.  Not by “Sid the Kid” — but with all respect to George Parros and Lanny McDonald — by one of the most historic mustaches in NHL history.

Following his brawl with Niskansen, over the next two months, Crosby and his mounted mouth brow would go on a scoring tear that would not end until 25 games later on December 29 against the lowly New York Islanders.

There are rumors that perhaps the streak was intimidated by the full and thick lip sweater of the Islanders’ Trevor Gillies, but finally, on that late December night, Crosby was finally held without a point.

The Crostache lasted 25 glorious games, which included 26 goals and 24 assists in that time.
Sadly, however, there were casualties: Sidney Crosby’s mustache was removed in a fit of pain and anguish. It perished down a sink, alone. It was gone. He disposed of it, killing an angel in heaven (as is written in the Dead Sea Scrolls).

Certainly Crostache’s 25 game streak is only half of the NHL record for scoring streak (held by Wayne Gretzky with 51 games). But in the new age of NHL, with faster players from all nationalities, it is now a much tougher league in which to score points.

Sid’s streak, which was more than a quarter of the 82 game season, was the longest streak since the early 90s.  And it was mustache-fueled.

I had been dispatched by the American Mustache Institute to cover the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh on Jan. 1, hoping to speak to the Crostache about the power it had provided a previously mortal Crosby. But alas, I was too late. All I found was the mortal, weaker Crosby — sans lip garment — and the effects were quickly felt on the ice.

Not only did the Penguins lose the Winter Classic, Crosby is now out with a mild concussion, expected to miss more than a week with his injury. A head injury that would have been cushioned had his glorious tuft of hair been allowed to stay perched upon his upper lip, as mustached peoples are incapable of suffering head injuries.

The world lost something great the day Crosby put his modesty ahead of his greatness.  A mustached Crosby collected 50 points in 25 games.

Sidney Crosby without his lip lash? A very mortal 16 points in 15 games.

For a very superstitious player, do not be surprised to see the thin black line adorning the space below his nose for it was not a concussion that has sidelined him, but the common sense being knocked back into him.

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