Tag Archives: movember

The Life and Times of Ryan Carter’s Moustache

About 11 months ago, giddy after the Devils OT win over the Rangers to move on to the Stanley Cup Finals, I decided that Ryan Carter’s moustache needed its own web site. The turning point for me was in Game 5, which I was forced to watch at the Sports Page in Mountain View, California (a dive bar that used to be a true dump before it was given the implicit upgrade of being near the Googleplex). Carter scored a monster goal and I tipped the bartender an integer multiple of the price of the Mountain Dew I used to wash down the remainder of my garlic fries as a thank-you for putting the game on just for my cheering pleasure. Carter’s playoff ‘stache was a statement, a symbol, a beacon of hope, and quite possibly an entire 11th grade English essay waiting to be written. In my case, it led me to stay up until 2am creating a web site in its honor.

Fast forward one foreshortened hockey season, and there is no playoff joy in New Jersey, no Devilish moustaches to rival that of our own mascot, nothing to do but jeer the Rangers and wish for hope to spring eternal in Boston. I’m retiring Carter’s stache-site, and present my attempts to write under a more amusing “nom de stache.” At this point, I’ll do anything for a hockey laugh.

Better Than A Beard (May 26, 2012)

Hi, I’m Ryan Carter’s moustache, and I’m going to the Stanely Cup Finals. Who needs a beard when you can rock the upper lip like me? I’m the most famous 16 hairs in hockey.

I’m the Frosty the Snowman of the hockey springtime: here now, down the drain only when the time is right.

My Favorite Moustaches (May 26, 2012)

Best moustache on the team: NJ Devil, by a longshot. I mean, our mascot has a porn moustache that’s nearly 3 feet wide. Clarkson might be second.

Best moustache in hockey: George Parros, Anaheim Ducks. Long before it was fashionable, and he does good charity work. Makes me proud. Certainly the most erudite stache on ice.

Best LA Kings moustache: Wil Wheaton, Kings fan, actor and writer. Love that guy (I’m a huge fan of Eureka and the Guild, okay? Need to watch something on those cross-country flights).

Fear, Stick, and Poke (May 26, 2012)

What I’m afraid of: high sticks (need to shave to get stitches in there, ask Zubbie), Gillette, Shick and Norelco products.

What fears me: Are you kidding? Henrik Lundqvist is going to have bad dreams about my hirsuite heft in front of him all summer long. 4th line on the ice, first on the upper lip.

Christmas in May (May 26, 2012)

Two of them, actually.

May is the best – for me, it’s that time of year when you’ve survived the first round of the playoffs, you know you’re not going to be some short-term, hair today-gone tomorrow affair, but the real deal. A playoff beard for those making a statement, or incapable of making more facial hair. Either way, when the rest of the world is cleaning up for the beach or graduation or whatever other warmer weather pursuits entertain, I’m looking to go public. Not like Facebook, of course.

Close runner-up: November. Exactly six months away. Start of hockey season, when normally I’d be in hibernation, forgotten on the other end of vacation, camps, and early season predictions by The Hockey News that are completely useless. November is the more formal name for Movember, the annual campaign to raise awareness for prostate and other men’s cancers.

For me, it’s like Christmas in June, because May is more like Christmas. Henrique said that last night on-ice? Rook steals all my lines.

Kovy the Krank (June 1, 2012)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Kovy is just hilarious, sticking a tab of smelling salts right there in front of me. I’ve never been shoved into a urinal cake, but you get the idea. Pungent stuff. Harsh. Tangy. Kind of like Josefson’s gear. You spend your whole existence under Carter’s nose, you pick these things up.

The practical joker on this team was Gomez. Never played with him, but he thought he was pretty funny when he tried giving Patty a haircut. Look where that got him — Gomez has no hair now and scored one goal in what, a hundred games? Not that I’m wishing anything bad on Kovy, he’s a good guy, and he’s here for the duration, but these little stunts go both ways.

I’m getting Master Carter to replace Kovy’s pre-game playlist with the very best of Verka Serduchka:

Jump, jump indeed – what goes around the bench, Kovy…..

One At A Time (June 6, 2012)

One game at a time.

One shift at a time.

One shot at a time.

One facial hair at a time.

The difference in Game 4? Henrique decided that I’m the epitome of power, and trimmed up to match up. And he scored another game winner.

Even The Fans Voice thinks I’m funny.

Brothers In Arms (And Lips And Hair) (June 7, 2012)

As a player, or at least part of a player for part of the season, I’m not supposed to “make friends” with the media. Unbiased communications and independent thought and transparency and other SAT words (hey, I know the SAT, I went to Minnesota State Mankato, or at least Ryan did and I made the rare appearance at a frat party…).

But I just love Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. He’s frank and funny and frankly funny most of the time. I wouldn’t mind having a locker stall next to his. If he could skate, that is. He’s like a rare combination of John Scalzi and, well, Bob Woodward. And he most definitely appreciates the finer strands of facial hair.

Must-read post-game commentary on Henrique following me to moustache-ville. Then again, if someone said highlighting your hair would bring luck, Henrique would do that too and then go score another big goal. Oh wait, that was Elias like five years ago. Both good guys, both came up big last night.

What I need to know is: Why isn’t anyone interviewing NJ Devil about his ‘stache? Right — he can’t talk, he’s the mascot. Like those body puppets in Disneyland but with a totally bad-ass attitude and cheerleaders who follow him around (so totally not LA it’s laughable). He started this whole thing in 1999, the year the Devils decided he needed to look more like Tom Selleck and less like a normal mascot.

Not Buying It (June 7, 2012)

Not hockey related. Mostly not.

A very hip Euro-bud (not Patty, Sykie, Zubie or anyone else wearing horns, k?) pointed me at a goatee shaving template. People are that spastic?

Then I thought about all of those Rangers fans leaving the Garden during the playoffs, and it kind of made sense — if you’re drunk enough, I guess a little plastic screen to keep you from looking like you were the subject of a frat prank is useful. And it probably prevents some folks from accidentally shaving off their noses, although the way the Garden smells, being nasally challenged might be a suitable win.

I Am Not Afraid (June 9, 2012)

I have no fear (mostly because I have no glands to generate whatever hormones are associated with fear, being made of hair, that is). But I have no fear of ending up in the wastebasket in my bathroom, or washed down the drain with some Barbasol. I am a bigger stache than that. Lo, though I skate through the San Fernando valley of overpaid acting talent and bad officiating, I fear not, because Gionta is with me (and he’s way bushier).

But seriously, the way people are carrying on about the 3-1 games advantage you’d think we were Napoleon planning to invade the KHL. The “1% chance of winning after 3-0” and “9% chance after 3-1” deficits are historical averages, not representative of a game played in the here and now. You can’t even look at it like a series of coin flips, hoping it comes up heads four times in a row. Coin flips are independent, the next doesn’t care about the results of the last (except in some weird sci-fi stuff that Zubie reads on trips to Canada, but that’s another story).

Successive hockey games are dependent trials. You win one, get the other guys off their stride, playing your way, making adjustments, and you improve your chances of winning the next. So if it’s 3-1, then it’s 3-2, guess what? 3-3 looks a lot more reasonable. One game, one period, one shift, one shot at a time.

Want to be afraid? If this series goes the distance, Game 7 will be made into the newest Hollywood horror flick called “Wednesday the 14th”. If Goon got to production, so can this one. I, of course, will have a cameo playing myself. Don’t tell Ryan that means I’m sticking around for the off-season. He’ll be afraid (and itchy).

Down The Drain (June 15, 2012)

“Ignominy” is such a great SAT word. Really is. And I even had a new definition for it: ending up in an interceptor pipe in Southern California, getting washed out with the sewage, loose hair and bad movie ideas that spring from the Hollywood Hills. Sigh. It was a great run, and I’m proud of my teammates for what we accomplished, as well as for truly appreciating the beauty of the singular stache when the playoff beard seems overdone.

To the fans: thank you for cheering until the last horn. For those of you (especially the ladies) who sported moustaches, I’ll only repeat what my mom said: Don’t do that to your face or you’ll look like that for the rest of your life. But stache-bearing fans are always welcome at our games. To Kevin Clark, the best arena announcer of any sport, I know my name doesn’t give you much to work with unlike a Zubrus or that eye-chart Kovulchuk, but thanks for belting me out with the pride and energy you bring to every day of your job.

July 1st I’m a free agent, but that’s a business for agents and laywers and GMs and other non-mustacioed people. I think this team has another deep run in it, and there’s nothing I would love more than to re-appear, Tony Blundetto like, on a moist April day in Newark. For now, kids, get those beach bodies in shape, forget about (hockey) life for just a little while, and don’t forget to wave those towels.

There But Not There

I’m now one-third of the way through my Movember campaign, growing out a moustache to raise (visible) awareness and funds for men’s cancers. I’ve gone from the “sloppy shaving” starting point to actually having to work carefully around the wire brush that’s growing above my lips. The last time I sported any kind of facial hair was in March 1981 when I went through the de rigeur bearding up that comes with your freshman year in college. This effort is more intentional, more focused, and more thought-provoking.

My ‘stache is both there and not there. It’s not there in that I don’t think about it, or plan how I’ll groom or style it from day to day. It’s not part of my attire (yet). But I accidentally nicked the left side while shaving the other day, and had to even out the “big stubble” at least give the impression that I intend to look like this, and the ‘stache was suddenly there, front and center.

This is what it’s like when you’re dealing with any sort of illness in your circle of friends or family. It’s there and not there; there are times when you know it’s there, in the back of your mind, and you play out how you’ll deal with certain scenarios, situations and social interactions, what you will say and not say, and how you choose to discuss your current family reality. Then it’s not there, and you sleep a bit better, you get a reprieve from worry, you re-align to some semblance of whatever passed for “normal” before illness stuck its nose in the tent. I’d never suggest that growing a moustache is at all, in any way, shape or form, equivalent to fighting cancer. It’s not. But the feeling of there-and-not-there, of the constant wondering which side of the mental fence you are on from moment to moment, is something that comes with the territory for friends and family members. It’s about raising awareness, and understanding, and shining a light on early detection and health planning.

If I can help others detour around the foreboding sense that there’s something new and very unwelcome that makes itself known with precise randomness, then I have become a moustache merchant, a purveyor of facial hair with a bit of hope and empathy as well.

Please support your Mo Bros and Mo Sistas through the month of November.

It’s Movember: Let’s Get Hairy

Here’s the very short form if you’re already bored:

Click here to support me

Click here to join my Movember team

Click here to read and share my Mo-ramblings

And now for the long form:

Sandy was so….October. Now it’s Movember, the moustache-ruled, hirsuite adventure to raise awareness and funds for men’s cancers.

As favorite sci-fi writer John Scalzi says, being young, white and male is the lowest difficult setting in the game of life — it’s also the ideal set of ingredients for testicular cancer. Awareness, testing, treatment — that’s why i’ll be hairing it up for 30 days
starting just about now.

This year’s theme is “Movember and Sons” and it seemed a fitting time to join the effort, with an adult son of my own and a father who has always looked out for me and my health. If you ever saw my dad with his 1970s moustache, you know the fear, loathing and sometimes abject hysteria stimulated by a Stern family facial hair outbreak. You really don’t want to miss this.

Here’s the ask. You can do one, none, or all of these things (your mileage will vary if you have XX chromosomes):

  • Join me! Either signup at movember.com, or better yet, join the Ryan Carter Fan Club (named in honor of the NJ Devil with the best playoff ‘stache this May)

  • Support me! Donate right on my Movember page. My goal is to raise $3,018 this year, my first year – that’s $100 a day, plus $18 representing “chai”, the hebrew word for “life”.

  • Read my updates and share with your family, co-workers, twitter readers, facebook friends, or if you’re still into myspace, whoever else is there with you.

    See if i end up looking like Dr. Fluff, or just Ryan Carter after game six of the Stanley Cup Finals. And if none of that makes sense, go read my updates and all will be, well, less fuzzy.

    I’m just shy of $600 raised, and we’re still 2 hours away from the follicular insertion point. Thanks to all who have supported me so far. And before you ask, yes, I am going to wax my moustache. Just ordered some hand-made, scent-free, tube-encased ‘stache wax. If UPS manages to navigate around hurricane sandy damage, I may get it before I have to shave it all off.

  • Bad Boys and Good Shirts

    It’s 32 days until November. Fall is in the air (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere). Football season is underway, with real officials, and we’re waiting to see if we can have hockey back before the list of November turkeys includes 30 more owners. It’s a good time to think about hairing up for the winter.

    But today’s moustache vibe comes from 1986 “Bad Boy” Met Keith Hernandez, who shaved his moustache in support of a donation to an adult day care center for Alzheimer’s patients named for his late mother. The linked New York Times article has a wealth of warm and fuzzies about upper lip adornments, sported by everyone from movie stars to Abner Doubleday.

    And if you’re in the mood for Mo Fuzzy wear, check out the Movember themed t-shirts from Fuzzy Ink, with $5 per shirt going to support the 2012 Movember campaign. It’s a win on the softer side.

    Follow my Movember campaign or make a donation. Help me raise awareness of, and support for, men’s cancers.

    Early Election: Movember In September

    I decided that as part of celebrating half a century (of life, not staff meetings) that I’d do something a little different and perhaps even socially responsible each month. My action plan for November has been, for the last year, to join the Movember effort to raise money and awareness of prostate and testicular cancer. Quite simply, Movember participations — known colloquially as Mos, Mo Bros, and Mo Sistas — agree to shave clean after Halloween, starting November with a shiny upper light and shinier attitude. Then it’s a free-for-all for facial hair; far from something out of a Ted Nugent story, growing a moustache shows you’re thinking about taking care of the parts that aren’t as visible to the, uh, naked eye.

    Sitting in our dorm room, freshman year, one of the university health counselors made the offhand comment that the incidence of testicular cancer was unusually high among Ivy League men. He was correct mostly because history and demographics overlap: testicular cancer affects white, young men with statistical prejudice. I’ve filed that vignette away for more than 30 years, re-visiting it now that I have a son in college. Along the way, one of my early co-workers fought and beat testicular cancer, and I’ve been following the personal and painful travails of former Coheed and Cambria bassist Mic Todd as he goes through the same journey. In the past few years, I’ve been inspired and humbled by Dana Jennings, New York Times blogger, country music evangelist, and philosopher on the ordeals of prostate cancer.

    In their honor, and because I believe (as all hockey players do) that facial hair has powers that extend across the usual time and space boundaries, I have become a Mo Bro.

    Follow my musings.

    Donate in support of me and/or my team.

    Register and join my team, the Ryan Carter Fan Club (in honor of the NJ Devil with the second-best playoff ‘stache, after our beloved mascot), and pile on for a good cause.

    We’re still a month and a half outside of November, but it’s not too early to elect to do something good.

    Movember and The Parros Stache

    Movember is an organization that raises awareness for men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer. As part of their efforts, they sponsor a mustache growing contest as a way to garner funds, “change the face” of men’s health issues, all under the mashed-up banner of Mo (stache) and the month of November.

    Snowman and Tiger favorite George Parros of the Anaheim Ducks, wielder of a big stick but bigger stache (the Ducks sell fake Parros-staches in the concession areas), shaved his trademark non-playoff facial hair for Movember. Just another reason to like the guy.