These men knew how to rock some serious facial hair
This week, I set out to brainstorm the greasiest, classiest, coolest moustaches in sports history. By no means is this a conclusive list, but these were the athletes who came up as the best facial hair in sports. In writing this piece, I do not claim to have encyclopaedic knowledge of sports or facial hair; I approach it simply as a person who enjoys watching sports and growing his own moustache.
- Lanny McDonald
Lanny represented a renaissance for facial hair in sport. By the end of his career, McDonald was sporting one of the thickest caterpillars in sport history. This living homage to the cowboy found a home in Calgary, where McDonald found his stride. I don’t want to correlate Lanny McDonald’s moustache with Calgary’s economic success in the 1980s and ‘90s, but the two things did happen. Good lord, he looks like Friedrich Nietzsche lost in the Old West on a pair of skates. Whether you need to get the shit beat out of you or a vial of laudanum, Lanny McDonald is the old west apothecary you need.
- Roland “Rollie” Fingers
“Rollie” Fingers’ handlebar moustache carried the Oakland Athletics to three World Series championships from 1972-1974. The seven-time All-Star saved 341 games over the course of his 17-year career. Fingers was only the second reliever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, the first with a moustache – currently, four of five relievers in the hall sport facial hair, illustrating a possible correlation between moustaches and ability to throw balls of leather and rubber.
- Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan’s moustache is one of the world’s most famous and Hulkster’s only crime against humanity was Suburban Commando. Outside of the weird NWO nineties, Hogan’s facial hair game has been on-point for decades. His turn as the character Thunderlips in Rocky III is one of the strangest moments in a series built on really stupid or unlikely things happening.
- Wilt Chamberlain
The moustache is a rarity in basketball. No, I’m not talking about MJ’s toothbrush/HITLER from a couple of years ago. I’m talking about a pioneer of basketball and understated moustaches, Wilt Chamberlain. From his collegiate days through nearly the entirety of his career, Wilt sported a two-piece moustache. In addition to rocking a killer moustache, Chamberlain is one of the undisputed best players in basketball history. Chamberlain’s moustache may not have been as ostentatious as those above, but it was clean-cut and unmistakably his own.
- Brian Wilson
Outside of the Hulkamaniac, one cannot see any of the above athletes practice their craft today. In light of this, I am going to discuss a man with more than a moustache. In times of economic hardship, people must make sacrifices. For some, this results in buying less expensive razors or paying for less shaves, I suppose. As a result, beards may be tied to times of economic hardship. Notice the spikes in public beardedness in the 1970s, 1930s, and 1890s? Do you still think I’m joking? Brian Wilson is thus a product of his times. Wilson himself is an anomaly in baseball, long a sport of moustachioed gentlemen. Wilson’s presence on this list also adds weight to my earlier claim about hurling balls of leather very fast and with great accuracy.
There you have it, the not-objectively best facial hair in professional sports *entertainment. Obviously this is not a conclusive list, but I have tried to produce a more comprehensive top five than one may have expected from a sports (sporms?) idiot such as myself. Are there some obvious choices I may have missed? Perhaps a more conclusive list could have included local legend Bob “Polecat” Poley and his wild man moustache.