When Keith Hernandez pulled off an upset of Rollie Fingers in voting for the “Top Sports Mustache of All-Time” in 2007, his controversial use of color-enhancing products marred his victory.
Now that the Mets broadcaster and former Just For Men endorser has stopped juicing – pardon us, dyeing – his mustache, Hernandez is planning to do the unthinkable.
He told the New York Times this week that he might shave off his signature lip sweater by the end of the season.
“I’m not totally happy with the gray,” he said. “It’s something I have to get used to. I have more people, on the female side, who tell me they prefer it gray.”
If women prefer Hernandez’s 58-year-old shades of gray, it wouldn’t make sense for the ladies man to shave it off. But his win over Fingers didn’t make much sense, either.
In fact, the American Mustache Institute hadn’t even listed Hernandez on the ballot because of “his involvement with mustache performance-enhancing drugs” and the fact the modest nature of his lip lettuce paled in comparison to the classic handlebar stache made famous by Fingers and the horseshoe styles worn by the likes of Al Hrabosky and Ben Davidson.
Still, Hernandez, a first baseman for the Mets’ 1986 World Series title team, drew 31 percent of the nearly 20,000 votes, to 24 percent for Fingers.
“While our certified mustacheologists share concerns that the voting may have been more about the man rather than the mustache in Keith’s case – fans of sport and mustaches have spoken,” AMI executive director Aaron Perlut said.
When news of the possible demise of Hernandez’s mustache reached Perlut, he was devastated but somehow put the hairy act in perspective.
“Keith Hernandez removing his lower nose foliage is a crime against nature akin to the Washington Monument ceasing to be phallic or Todd Akin being sane,” he said.
Despite courting controversy not seen since his role in the “Magic Loogy Theory” on “Seinfield,” Hernandez said he wants to keep the possible shaving lowbrow, er, low key.
“I don’t want to draw attention to it,” he said. “I’ll do it, and whoever’s watching the game will see it.”
■ STACHE BASH – If a barren-lipped Hernandez can’t get any play as Mr. Gray, we suggest he tries to get back on track with the “Jeff Fisher Stache Advantage.”
Each person who purchases a discounted ticket to the St. Louis Rams’ Sept. 16 home opener – dubbed “Stache Bash” – against the Washington Redskins will receive a “Coach Fisher Stache” upon entering the Edward Jones Dome.
Benefits of the product, which should be applied to the upper lip for immediate results, include “firing up the Rams team and fans with a single application,” “magnetic attraction to toasted ravioli and frozen custard,” “savoring the flavor of Rams’ victory twice as long as ordinary facial hair” and a “heightened coolness factor when paired with sunglasses.”
Considering St. Louis is 15-65 over the past five seasons, Rams fans probably also will use the Staches as disguises or to shield their eyes.
COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL