Five games is too short of a career for a nose-tickler as infamous as junior quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s.
LSU fans either mourned or rejoiced Monday as news spread that Mettenberger had shaved his mustache.
He sported the often criticized facial hair for the Tigers’ first five games, but said Monday it was time for a change.
“I thought I was going to keep the mustache all year, but obviously our offense wasn’t clicking, and being a little superstitious, hopefully this changes it all,” Mettenberger said.
The mustache had taken on a persona of its own in recent weeks, garnering both positive and negative attention.
Junior linebacker Kevin Minter said he was shocked when he first heard the news of the shave, calling the notorious mustached look the best facial hair on the team.
But a sign at the Highland Road Smoothie King read, “Mett - the 80’s want their dirty stache look back.”
Mettenberger claims the sign had nothing to do with the sudden disappearance.
But even with the loss of Mettenberger’s mustache, LSU still displays a wide array of facial hair options for Tiger fans’ viewing pleasure.
Clean-cut or disheveled, thick or scraggly, the Tigers showcase the whole spectrum of facial hair each Saturday.
Sophomore defensive tackle Anthony Johnson said the Tigers display the best facial hair in the country.
If the LSU football team gave an award for best beard, Johnson would have to be considered a front-runner.
“I’ve got the best facial hair on the team,” Johnson said. “They call me baby Rick Ross. I’ve been after [my beard] since I was 12 years old.”
Johnson said he has never mustered enough courage to cut his whiskers because he is superstitious about the possible connection between them and his play on the field.
In addition to himself, Johnson said junior defensive tackle Bennie Logan and junior fullback J.C. Copeland most consistently brandish top-notch bristles.
After losing his No. 1 choice for best facial hair, Minter, who sports a goatee of his own, cast his vote for Logan’s beard.
“He’s had his forever,” Minter said. “Mine grows in spots. I wish mine would grow like that.”
Logan said definitively that his whiskers are by far the thickest, fullest and all-around best on the team.
Logan added that he appreciates Johnson’s effort, but he said neither Johnson’s nor any other LSU player’s facial hair will ever compare to his own.
Senior center P.J. Lonergan, whom Johnson said deserves honorable mention for his facial hair, admitted he’s not as committed to the upkeep of his beard.
Lonergan noted that he probably needed to trim and tighten his, but refuted Logan’s claim to the fullest bristles, boasting his own beard as the clear-cut favorite.
Though the ultimate winner of best facial hair is probably subject to personal taste, one thing is for sure — it makes them stand out.
“I couldn’t get rid of my beard now,” Logan said. “I’ve built this image with the beard, so to shave it off would make it a lot different for me.”
But image isn’t the only thing the players are striving for by doing their best lumberjack impression.
Johnson said his bristles serve an important dual purpose.
“It’s getting close to the winter time, and women like scruffy guys, so you have to have the big beard to keep them warm,” Johnson said.