Tuesday, 6 May 2008

In Memoriam

Dustin McGowan's mutton chops, whose bristly texture inspired thousands of Canadian university students to shave only the middle of their face, died Friday at McGowan's home in Toronto. They were two-years-old.

Rance Mulliniks' mustache confirmed their passing Monday night during the Blue Jays' game against the Chicago White Sox.

McGowan's lengthy sideburns delighted fans with their disdain for social ideals of beauty and self-image, while adding to the pitcher's skill at throwing a hard slider. With deep roots in the young man's cheeks, the chops secured their place in the Jays' starting rotation alongside Roy Halladay's scruff, A. J. Burnett's goatee, and Shaun Marcum's soul patch.

McGowan's mutton chops were born May 4, 2006 after a stellar start from the Jays' young prospect. His inability to grow hair on his chin led McGowan to grow what Greg Zaun's bushy Van Dyke called "a masterpiece of superstitional facial accessorizing." After several successful starts, the chops became a mainstay on McGowan's otherwise baby face.

Matt Stairs' thinner and less prominent Van Dyke had fond memories of days spent in the clubhouse with the chops. "I hope Matt decides to grow some to keep me company," it said. "Maybe he'll get into a slump and try them out for good luck."

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