Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Episode 159: Muchachos & Mustachios (2017 Edition)

Miss me?

Of course you did. Well friends(?) – it’s back! After a lengthy hiatus, largely spent in some precipitous corner of the Pacific Northwest, your not-so-humble forum poet laureate slash journalist has returned to the fray. Whether it was the #socialmediainfluence or the aching desire to fulfill my ultimate destiny as the token quasi-tragic CIS alumnus, by some fate I was dredged to stand upon the shore for the 2017 edition of Muchachos & Mustachios. And though I stand rusted, my purple wig caked in 10 eternities of salt (organic, sea-derived), I have resolved to bring the people what they want: ambiguously-motivated objectification of men's hair with a side of spurious CanCon references.
But, for the slim minority who click on this tome for the prose (luvs ya), I think we should do a brief history, for all the kids out there. Assuming you don’t care enough to go back and read the old editions, or your web browsing skills prevent you from figuring out the sidebar, I have created a visual summary of all previous editions, beginning with 2011. Some might say I’ve covered a lot of ground over the years (one must #earntheparty, after all).

all a blur, really

But enough of this sad nostalgia. Let the preamble taper off and the floodgates open.

Spectator of the Year

The thing with having a national championship on an island is that you find out who the #truefans are. Travel expense aside, there’s always the chance that Poseidon invites you to become the human embodiment of trash and/or living poetic justice for a few hours on the ferry terminal floor.
Anyways, I could choose to reward the efforts of the various Vikes homecrowd fans with their swords and fake red hairs, but like… nah, because I am fickle. I’m giving this one to the guy who was smashing dollar store metal mixing bowls. Efficient and cost-effective in a land of excess.

Meh emoji, #mood. (photo: Cross-Country et athlétisme/ P. Morin)

Bowling for Soup Award

I had to bust out the old FB creep method to make sure that these fellows had anything going on, which is a sure sign that this award is well-deserved. But all is not lost – there is at least some solace in bravery.  Congrats-(ish) to Graeme Wach of Dalhousie and Santiago Bessai of McGill for er… trying (I suppose).

Hmm. (photo: Cross-Country et athlétisme/ P. Morin)
Maybe? (photo: Cross-Country et athlétisme/ P. Morin)

Rookie of the Year

Once again, I had to do some digging for this award. Captains, what doing? Anyways, after a laborious research stint, I finally found a rook with something to work with. Congrats to Arthur Deloignon of the Universite de Montreal (what is a carabin?).

Photo-shy in Vic (photo: Carabins Cross-Country)

Most Improved

Can someone who suddenly opts to sport a Chad Kroeger goatee and a backwards cap be considered an improved man? Perhaps not to most (outside of Alberta), but in the forsaken realm of my mind it is so. I have no idea what Russell Pennock of Calgary was doing with his life before this (heard it was the shampoo/blow-dry/run), but in the realm of the mustache blog, he was worthless until this year. Congrats on the most improved award. Lose the hat next year and you’ll be sniffing at the more important podium.  

Feeling way too damn good(?) (photo: Cross-Country et athlétisme/ P. Morin)

The runner-up award in this category goes to a previous winner of the Bowling for Soup Award, proving that is possible to go from “Someday,somehow” to “just like a paperback novel, let’s rewrite an ending that fits.” Congrats to actual runner-up Connor Black of Guelph for upping his game without having to resort to grey zone performance enhancing methods (JFM).

Silver side up  (photo: Cross-Country et athletisme/ P. Morin)

Beardo Award

This year’s winner would surely have won this award last year had I not been busy being dark speedgoggles or whatever. Offensive and alarming, Jeff Tweedle of McMaster wins the Beardo Award.
I am afraid of birds tbh. (photo: Guelph Gryphons Track & Field)
While the runner up’s team had a number of quality beard showings, something about the great look of anguish-despair in all of his race photos caught my eye. Congrats to Nic Morin of Laval and his bandana in the runner-up position.

can taste finish line? (photo: Cross-Country et athletisme/ P. Morin)

Flowtastic Award

There were many good variations of long-ish locks in this year’s race, but the name says “flowtastic,” and so the winner will always be someone brave enough to go #longhairdontcare in the race. This year’s winner is Jonathan Favero of McMaster for going full untamed merman in the rain.

Favero leads the way. (photo: Cross-Country et athletisme/ P. Morin)

As much as I enjoy the liberation of setting one’s hair to the wind, I always have an eye for a well-constructed bun. Runner-up in this category goes to Ryan Greico of Calgary for keeping that ish on the up for 10km. 

On point after all them rains. (photo: University of Calgary Athletics)

Community Service Award

Much to my disappointment, there was little in the truly outlandish category this year. While winning the more solidified, mainstream categories is most coveted, I would argue that the Community Service Award is the cornerstone of this blog. Like its real-life counterpart, it ensures the preservation of that which is rare and unquantifiable.  Perhaps the closest I saw to that ideal this year was the presentation offered by Cal Dewolfe of Dalhousie. I’ve always been a fan of the team’s tiger shorts, but there was an additional je ne sais quoi about Dewolfe’s very bad faux-hawk/frosted tips combo that was a little better than the rest.

def a fridge photo candidate (photo: Cross-Country et athletisme/ P. Morin)

Team Title

If anyone knows anything about the real world value of messageboard hype, it’s me. And though this can sometimes be a double-edged sword, it seems that Calgary went the “it’s gonna be forever” route as opposed to the “down in flames” path (sry for not incorporating something about loving the game). They might not have won the real race, but sometimes success is based on intangibles. And so, the team title goes to the Dinos – had some ‘stache lowsticks in the individual cats, and good variety. Only 5/7, but it only takes 5 to score on the course, and with me.

Dino-myte (photo: University of Calgary Athletics)

When it comes to CIS (not Usports, ain’t about that #branding), Laval brings it wherever they go – race, dance floor, and personal grooming is a place of no exception. A solid effort here – and that earns them 2nd.

Bien fait.  (photo: Cross-Country et athletisme)

On the flipside of things, if anyone knows anything about how it feels to be a human trapped in the body of a meme, it’s me. Unfortunately for McMaster, this meme has less to do with purple wigs and debauchery, and more to do with finishing 4th in the actual race for about the hundredth time. I originally had Mac penned in for the medal position, but after a recount had to concede that... it was not to be. Bronze to Guelph. BOOM!

Back in it. (photo: Guelph Gryphons)

Individual Champion

Typically, this here blog maintains some decorum with regard to calling out randoms, because I don’t have time for that hatorade/lawsuit $wag. However in 2015, I decided to give the shout to some dude from Manitoba. As it turns out, they do have the internet out at the 100th meridian, and their boy getting the shout may have been the most eventful thing to happen in a few decades out in the Peg. But more importantly, this was enough to land this publication on the wall of the men’s locker room (my greatest dream, obviously).  This piece of information was so intoxicating that it solidified the Individual Champion category in favour of Patrice Bulloch of Manitoba.

We could go on about the mullet and 'stache (an improvement on an already good 2015 offering), but it is said that a picture is worth 1000 words (and I'm speechless).

10/10 (photo: Cross-Country et athletisme/ P. Morin)

While a more detailed search ousted this runner-up from an early lead, if something’s good enough to force a cat-call out of me during pre-race strides, some recompense is in order. And there’s no denying I like me a mullet, I like me some neon and I like me some classic ‘stache. Congrats to my fellow bubble boy Kieran McDonald from Alberta for this fine effort and razor-sharp attention to detail.

#YOLO (photo: Cross-Country et athletisme/ P. Morin)
And in the third spot? Tarc Murmel.. or is it Marc Turmel? Idk, some dude from Regina.

Nike shill? (photo: Marc Turmel)

Actual events were much rainier than prophecied.

Well folks, as sad as it may be, that's it for at least another year. As always, hatemail, general interest and journalistic awards may be forwarded to me as you see fit (pls @ me, so lonely). But until next time, keep your 14s on the grass.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Episode 158: Muchachos & Mustachios (Edition V, 2015)

This year’s Mustache Report is dedicated to every soul (all six of you!) that held the delusional belief that I would somehow materialize atop the precarious steps leading to the fabled Brass Taps (where I once iced a professor). Blessed be your innocence, for it has revived me.

Now that we’ve got all that sentimental crap out of the way, I’ll be scraping through this distance ed final like only I know how: through the magic of the internet google machine and all its glorious repositories. As all now hopefully realize, since hitchhiking and hobo-ing my way leftwards to seek my fortunes earlier this year (namely picking through random trash cans in Swift Current, SK/hiding in bushes at Jericho Beach), the rainbow connection that is the internet is all that binds me to the CIS/society in general.

And so let it begin, the The Annual Mustache Report, Edition V (foreshadowing?).

Spectator of the Year

Unfortunately I did not happen upon many spectator photos, and nothing seemed to catch the eyes of my ominipresent little birds on the day, so I’m going to with the default winner here: Jeff Mountjoy. This guy’s won this award four times, and judging by the early AM inebriated Snap I received from him, I shouldn’t be the one to deny him of this one pleasure (cleaning face paint/bodily fluids out of his beard for weeks). 
Tricolour feat "Go X'? Wat? (photo: Maxine Gravina)
A dedicated look. (photo: Maxine Gravina)

Bowling for Soup Award

In years past I’ve had trouble with this award as I tend to focus my obsessions on those with fine facial hair. This year however, I witnessed a few terrible (yet great) attempts. One can only presume that with the growing popularity of the XC ‘stache (note, never ‘stachies at nashies,’ this is Canada), this was the inevitable result. E’rybody wants to be a contender but some, inevitably, are just pretenders.

Luckily, since I am a noted schadenfreude enthusiast, there’s an award for failure. But don’t be too hard on yourselves boys, many of our past award winners have gone on to claim major brass in later years (if you start with the bar low it is easier to improve).

With that, I award Chris Balestrini of the Mustangs the Bowling for Soup Award for a great dirtstache.

Cringey, I love it. (photo: Cross-Country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)

In the runner-up position (up to you to decide whether that means “less bad” or just “worse, but in a less embarrassing manner”), we have Connor Black of the Gryphs. Not sure if there was anything there or not or if the lighting in the photos I looked at was just weird. At any rate, he’s a young lad, lots of time to grow here.
There's something, I'm sure of it. (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)

Rookie of the Year

In the inaugural edition of this here report, I gave this award to a rookie sporting the Chad Kroeger from the Guelph. Four years later, I give this same award to a similar rookie, but this time his name is Ben Workman. I’ve kind of run out of Chad Kroeger jokes at this point, so you’ll have to forgive me.

Nice work... for a rook. (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)

It is perhaps to be noted that my ROY award has a pretty good track record (Hendrickx, Labranche, Wilkie). And, it’s like every time I turn around I fall in love and find my heart face down and where it lands is where it should, y’know? (I was just kidding about the Chad Kroeger joke thing, so much so that I spent 20 minutes watching Nickelback videos to get a line I could work with).

Most Improved

Speaking of low bars and improving, it's time for the Most Improved Award. The winner here had a ‘stache last year, but it didn’t really speak to me, despite our having matched on Tinder. This year’s edition seemed a bit more substantial, so I’mma throw the dub to Scott Donald of St FX. I mean, that and I’m trying to cling to relevancy by  expanding my fading fan club empire into the AUS (is it still 1980 there?).

Super like material? (photo: Cal DeWolfe's mom or something)

The runner-up in this category is some dude I’ve never heard of. It’s quite possible that he had a great ‘stache last year or his entire life or whatever, but he was dead to me until appearing in the race photos, so he might as well not have. Had he been more known to me, Patrique Bulloch of Manitoba might have been a contender for the overall prize. I’ll admit this doesn’t make much sense, but that (your success being dependent on whether or not I’ve had enough time to develop a decidedly unhealthy obsession with you) is just how it is.

Shoot, eh? (photo: Peter Grinbergs)

Beardo Award

Janikowski wins this one with his old man beard as he did last year and the year before. Could be a lumberjack, could be a serial killer, could be both. But since he’s from Windsor, I’m going with serial killer. It’s just them mesmerizing blue eyes that'll do ya in.
Terrifying... for Trees (or not as it turns out) (photo: Maxine Gravina)

Flowtastic Award
In the hunt for mid-November, it is always important to consider that there is likely to be a hefty breeze when considering your hair options. For some, that might mean restraining one’s locks with a hair tie or headband, but for those with more important aspirations (aesthetics, attracting off-centre purple wig-wearing individuals), there is no question about what is to be done: nothing.

Congrats to Elliot DeLange of the Golden Hawks for his golden, shiny hairs and #longhairdontcare attitude.
But, what if he does care??? (photo: Peter Grinbergs)

Community Service Award

My personal value system put me in a serious conundrum with regard to the principle of this award. I know, it’s shocking, I do have values and principles. See the thing is, I really wanted to give the winner of this award the overall title, because his effort was simply the best. However, my aesthetic principles dictates that the winner of the overall title adhere to traditional stylistic rules. They say rules are made to be broken, but like, nah, because this is my party and I'll make unreasonable choices if I want to.

And so, with my most sincere condolences, I award JD Labranche the Community Service Award. May his beautiful example of sheer confidence provide inspiration to rock that Jack Sparrow face fur thing.

Why is the rum all gone??? (photo Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)

In the vein of fictional historic figures, the runner-up in this category happens to be Alexandre “Lincoln Vampire Hunter” Ricard. If I had a bit more of a soul, I’d have worried mine had been stolen through the camera lens.
History remembers the battle but forgets the blood. (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)

Team Title

If you’re the type of person to use magical thinking to connect unrelated events, you might say that my relocation was the cause of some significant unrest in the CIS order of things. I mean think about it…the beginning of the Guelph streak (fall 2006) was the time of my birth so to speak, so it would seem that the men's banner has ever since been dictated solely by my approximate physical location. This might have less to do with magical thinking  and more to do with increased easy run pace necessitated by training within my firing range, though.

But race be damned, in this here blog, the order of things is a bit different: I’m seeing the continuation of a streak. That’s right, not only did the UVic Vikes win the actual race, they also won the Team Mustache Title, repeating their result from 2014.

They not only had a 6/7 participation rate, but dang, these mustaches were on fleek. So much so that it made me regret not being there in person (so I could get handsy during the team celly huddle).

Is polyandry legal? (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)

Another team that presented well, as per usual was Laval. They had sort of a Community Service theme going on with their team, which I definitely dig, but lost out to Vic on two fronts. First, there was the actual race performance (mustaches + fast = profit?!!), but more importantly, I was kind of upset that I received no incoherent, broken English communications. Laval, you use to call me on my cell phone, late night when you needed my opinion on your hairs, late night when you needed to update me on whatever club you were devastating.

#hotlinebling (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)

Finally, rounding out the top three team we have another perennial contender: Windsor. Nothing too special here (except maybe Ullman’s nasty chin strap), just a solid group of blue collar ‘staches. Good work boys.
A solid effort as always. (photo: Zack Jones)

Individual Champion

The one you’ve all been waiting for: the individual title. And believe me, some people other than myself have been waiting for this individual for some time as well. After years of increasingly spurious WEBB IS BACK BABY!!!!!!!-esque threads, our individual champ finally got to come into his own as the athlete we remember him to be (French sub-4 dude, very pretty). Madd props to Olivier Collin for busting out a clutch race with a clutch face.

Still with the backwards ball cap tho... (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)

A bit further back in the rankings we see some other notable ‘staches as well. Up in 2nd, we have last year’s Flowtastic Award winner, Guelph’s Andrew Gordon, werking that ratchet (as in pass me one) handlebar.

Pink arm warmers, nice. (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)

In the the third position, we have Adam Marshall of TWU. He was sporting a timeless, classic mustache to absolute perfection. 
This 'stache is meat and potatoes (I am potato). (photo: Peter Grinbergs)

And that’s it folks, there isn’t any more. Please remember to file your comments, complaints and restraining order requests in person to me on the evening of November 28th, appended with an adult pop processing fee.