The Yankees "Mustache Night" promotion was initially designed to garner support for Jason Giambi's All-Star bid, but it had a much larger effect. Seeing 20,000 fully formed, bushy and bristled mustaches in the stands hearkened the FlyMaster back to the glory days of athletes and sports. The mustache was a symbol of the powerful, independent, virile, aggressive, free-wheeling nature of sports in the 1960s and 1970s. From Rollie Fingers and Al Hrabosky, to Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, the mustache was the athlete's calling card. The mustache said "I'm a grown man and I play a game still and love every minute of it....oh yeah and I get paid a nice amount." We listened, adored, and revered. The mustache said, "you can't do this in your office, so let me grow this man shrub on my lip for the both of us." We knew this in our souls. The mustache added that "wild man" aspect to athletes. It added to the mythical nature of sports and reinforced the characters in the game.
The Yankees "Mustache Night" dipped our collective toe in the forgotten dank water of the 1960s and 1970s, but it's impact could have been much more penetrating effect if only a couple of the mustache's compatriots were invited to the festivities. Who are the mustache's compatriots, you ask? None other than the $1 beer and the obligatory post-game (or in the dugout) cigarette would be the answer. Sure, the mustache said "I'm a pro athlete and I do as I please," but the in-game cigarette said "health is for chumps...I do what I have to do to get ready to do what you can't ever do!" The $1 beer in the stadium was the bridge between the mustachioed, cigarette toking athelete and the everyday fan. After a spending $5 on beer every fan thought he was Thurman Munson, Dr. J, and Reggie Jackson all rolled into one. After spending $10 on beer half the fans had gotten their fill of being a pro and could return to their life with head held high, while the other half were fully engulfed in the lifestyle and would return to their life with a hangover and the runs.
The cigarette and beer were also crucial accutrements in the post-game interview. Oh the joy of listening to Billy Martin muse about Reggie Jackson's performance while he gripped a lung dart in one hand and a beer in the other. It said, "the game is done and you want to talk to me...ok I'm gonna just chill with my 'rette and my brew." I can't see lollipop licking D-Wade or ulta-sleek Kobe or even Mr. America, Tom Brady, sipping on a brew in a press conference without thinking that the look like utter fools. They'd be villified, but they should be applauded and put on an exemplary pedestal instead. In the culture of rehab, public apologies, wimpification, and microscopic scrutiny there is no longer room for the mustache, cigarette, and beer combination. From this point on my sole goal is to resurrect the glory and power of the Holy Trinity of athletic expression. Who's with me?
FlyMaster Needs A Cigarette...For Now!