Recently, the goal-oriented blog The Wright Stache (www.thewrightstache.com) came to my attention and I quickly realized that it had generated quite the buzz. Its aim is to cajole New York Mets' All-Star third baseman David Wright to, simply, grow a mustache. Ridiculous? Perhaps. Hilarious? Quite...
I spoke with creator and die-hard Mets' fan "Teufel Stubble" (a.k.a. Mike Barish) this week about the odyssey he and others have embarked on and where they feel it will lead them, the Mets, and all their fans.
(Since Mike and I have the same initials - his answers will be preceded by the initials TWS for The Wright Stache)
MB: A David Wright mustache blog...why?
TWS: The clever answer is “why not.” But, honestly, we’re doing it because clearly there was something magical about the 1986 Mets and we think that it was the mustaches.
They had 11 in total and each was unique, like a snowflake. David is the unofficial captain of the Mets, so we figured that if he grows a stache, that the mojo will spread to the whole team.
MB: When and how did this get started?
TWS: I was at a Super Bowl party with co-founder Ben Umanov. We got to talking about how we heard David Wright was going to be watching the game at (Mets' hitting coach) Howard Johnson’s house.
I joked that HoJo would be spending the entire evening convincing David to grow a mustache. That’s the kind of joke that’s funny after a few beers. But, it snowballed from there.
Ben looped in his pal "Hairy Backman" (aka Mike Mignano) and the site was born. We’re all life-long Mets fans and rooted for them even when people like Joe Orsulak donned the blue and orange.
You’d be surprised how quickly three 30-year old men can get started writing posts about David Wright and mustaches. The blog practically writes itself.
MB: Is there a wrightstache slogan or rally cry?
TWS: “Because naked lips don’t win championships!” I wish I could say that the rhyme was intentional, but like many aspects of The Wright Stache, that was a happy accident.
MB: Have you set a benchmark for success in this quest?
TWS: Success is David growing a stache, sticking with it through the playoffs and the Mets winning the World Series. Growing a mustache is like learning Hindi. You don’t dabble in it. You immerse yourself.
MB: What if the goal is accomplished of him growing a 1986-era ‘stache for much of the season and the Mets miss the playoffs yet again?
TWS: What if you try to divide a number by zero?
MB: Any evidence of No. 5 actually hearing about this? Is he mulling this over?
TWS: We’ve gotten teases of it getting close to him. Some talk of people being Omar Minaya’s neighbor or the brother of David’s agent but no confirmation yet.
We filmed a segment for SNY’s Mets Weekly program which airs later this month and we’re optimistic that he’ll find out through someone at the network.
SNY, the Mets-owned network, has been very supportive overall.
MB: Has there been any backlash from fans of #5 that vehemently object to the covering up his boyish good looks?
TWS: No heavy backlash, other than a couple of Mets blogs written by women who are concerned about the stache’s effect on David’s sex appeal.
One blog ran a poll and their female readership voted 58 percent in favor of the stache, so even they are making personal sacrifices. Otherwise, it’s been full stache ahead from everyone we’ve encountered.
MB: If David comes through for TheWrightStache.com, is there a preference for the type of ‘stache that he chooses to don?
TWS: My personal preference is the Fu Man Chu. I, sadly, cannot grow connectors, so I rock a bit of a modified Keith Hernandez with a slight downward curvature. We’ve posed that question to our readers and trust their judgment.
MB: In 2007, most of the team shaved their heads as a sign of solidarity. Do you think convincing the entire team could be a better approach as opposed to having DW out there alone on Metstache Island?
TWS: Ah, Metstache Island. That sounds like a beautiful place. The head shaving thing was cool, but it wasn’t successful. Look, I shave my head and where has that gotten me?
The power is in the stache. And David plays the hot corner, so he can handle the stache pressure. I think he has the stachesteem for it.
MB: Web site? Check. Inspirational video? Check. Theme song? Check. T-shirts, Facebook, Twitter? Triple Check. This seems to be a full-on movement. What else is in the works?
TWS: Well, the inspirational video was a massive hit and the theme song is so catchy that you’ll love following the bouncing mustache over and over again. So we’re just going to keep focusing on being a positive representative of the space on the Venn diagram where the Mets and mustaches overlap.
We have some more video ideas, and we’ll be organizing outings to Citi Field with The Wright Stache t-shirts (only $12.50!) and some fake mustaches. Just keep checking back at www.thewrightstache.com to stay informed.
MB: Lastly, what's your prediction for the Mets in 2009 both with stache and without?
TWS: With the stache, I’ll go with 100 wins and the World Series. In another interview I said 120-123 wins, but after consulting with my mustache, we’ve decided to be more cautious. Without the stache? I can’t even speak to such a preposterous scenario.