Friday morning, the Ducks held their first practice at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA in preparation for the Rose Bowl game. The Oregon practice facilities are just a stone’s throw away from Pasadena. Yes, Duck fans, the first playoff game is drawing nigh, now less than a week away on New Year’s Day. Indeed, Oregon is on a “business trip,” according to first year defensive coordinator Don Pellum, but there will be plenty of time for pleasure. And mustaches.
ICYMI: Our fearless leader supporting a new look during practice yesterday. pic.twitter.com/GSO824XjIQ
— Autzen Students (@AutzenStudents) December 27, 2014
Yes, it appears as though Oregon’s Heisman-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota has decided to grow a lip sweater. Now before the rumor mills get chugging at full velocity, let’s remember that this photo was taken from the Ducks’ first practice in six days and the Pac-12 champions have been on vacation. Mariota’s new upper lip upholstery could be due to travel and vacation, often limiting a man’s opportunities to shave.
But this cookie duster could be the beginning of a glorious relationship between Mariota and his facial hair. Just like Tom Selleck represented the ‘stache on television’s Magnum P.I., a mustachioed Mariota could be the new face of college football. Before his lip doily, Mariota won the Heisman Trophy. Imagine what Oregon’s Polynesian prince could accomplish aided by the natural superpowers of a bro-stache? It’s scary to think about.
“I guess, to tell you the truth, I’ve never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I’ve managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache,” NFL’s future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning once said. Truth is that it doesn’t matter if Mariota looks like John Waters or Hulk Hogan (both have distinctive mustaches). Oregon’s highly coveted NFL draft prospect has performed at a high level due to his work ethic, fearlessness, and humility — not facial hair.
Whether it’s donning a soul patch, neckbeard, or mutton chops, Duck fans know their star quarterback will continue his diligent preparation alongside his teammates for Oregon’s historical appearance in the inaugural College Football Playoff.
But perhaps the next Nike campaign will be: “Just Shave It.”
Top Photo by Kevin Cline