The moustache is one of the glories of Australian sport
时间：2019-08-15 责任编辑：陆鹑 来源：兴发娱乐平台 点击：3 次
It’s a well-known fact that Mitchell Johnson’s form has been devastating since he grew a moustache. Now the doubters (mainly English people, one must assume) would say that correlation does not equal causation. But when one factors in the history of moustaches in Australian sport, one can only come to the objective, scientific conclusion that the soup strainer is a lightning rod for sinister, unspeakable energies and the ghosts of sportsmen past.
One need only look at the callow, hairless faces of the English side to realise what their problem is. And no, the few sweat-laden hairs that adorn Kevin Pietersen’s top lip do not count, nor does Matt Prior’s perpetual three-day growth. Young Joe Root is, in fact, negatively hairy and his presence retards the potential ‘tache growth of other team members. Monty Panesar’s beard is the sole bright spot for England, but history has shown time and time again that mutton chops have got nothing on a lip caterpillar when it comes to cricket.
In fact, the Ashes would not exist if beards had the same power as ‘taches. In 1882 legendary English batsman WG Grace, a man with Karl Marx’s beard and Lance Armstrong’s sense of sportsmanship, ran out Australia’s Sammy Jones while he was patting down a divot in the pitch at the Oval. The umpire, the crowd and Jones himself were shocked. Frederick “The Demon” Spofforth was not.
In a move you can be sure that Johnson would approve of, the moustachioed quick stormed into the England dressing room after the Australians were bowled out to sledge Grace: “This will lose you the match,” he shouted. Spofforth, who one assumes was twirling his moustache, took 7-44 in the next innings, a feat of mo-power echoed by Johnson in Adelaide 131 years later. The defeat, in just the ninth Test between the two nations, prompted The Sporting Times’ famous satirical obituary for English cricket, and the Ashes was born.
The very next year England learned their lesson, and sent a heavily moustachioed team out to the colonies and won the series 2-1. Sadly, today’s English cricket administrators have not learned the lessons of the past when it comes to selecting teams based on their facial hair.
Is it any surprise that Australia’s longest period of Ashes domination, from 1989 to 2005, started in the era of Allan Border, David Boon and Merv Hughes? Those titanic ‘taches are celebrated to this day (though mainly in ads for beer and high-fibre cereals, it must be said).
And it’s not just Australian cricketers who have benefitted from the might of the mo. Soup strainers have accompanied Australian success in almost every field of sporting endeavour. During the 1970s tennis world No1 modestly denied rumours that his mouser was insured for $13m. But with seven grand slam singles and 17 doubles titles to his name, it would have been money well spent. Come to think of it, has anyone taken out a policy to protect Mitch’s mo?
Australia’s greatest marathon runner, Robert De Castella, was also the owner of a champion crumb catcher. De Castella’s unusually bulky legs earned him the nickname “tree” from his competitors. The other runners underestimated the aero-dynamic ability of the tache to part the oncoming air, though, and De Castella became a two time Commonwealth Games gold medallist and world champion.
The overwhelmingly hairy stiff upper lips of footballing legends are also worthy of mention. Notable rugby league nose bugs include those of Wally “The King” Lewis (so nicknamed because of his King George V style moustache*), Cliff Lyons and Darryl Brohman. And New South Wales would be without the formidable combination of Brett and Josh Morris if their mother hadn’t recognised the sex appeal dripping off former Kangaroo Steve Morris’s mo.
The AFL, too, has seen its fair share of lip foliage. Robert “Dippa” DiPierdomenico, Max Walker (who was also handy with a cricket ball), Ron Barassi, Robbie “Bones” McGhie and Mick Malthouse not only played with moustaches, but fought the good fight by keeping them throughout the naughties, when their popularity was at a low ebb.
In fact, that decline of the moustache can be directly linked to the decline of Australian sport in recent years. It’s probably time that we gave hipsters their due for bringing back the ‘tache. England, too, will cotton on and we will inevitably see a return to the glory days of Graham Gooch and “Beefy” Botham.
The World Anti-Doping Authority, meanwhile, is rumoured to be in the process of declaring Main ‘N Tail a performance enhancing drug after rumours of abuse by a certain fresh-faced 22-year-old English batsman**.
The bare top lip will be all but gone from the game of cricket by the time the 2015 World Cup rolls around, and it won’t be missed.
*May not be true
** Again, may not be true