Mustache fame in reach of Pittsburgh man
Adam Causgrove hopes to vault to the head of the 'stache class.
Many famous Pittsburghers have sported mustaches over the years, among them industrialist Andrew Carnegie, condiment commandant H.J. Heinz and former Steelers coach Bill Cowher. Causgrove has a chance to achieve something none of them accomplished.
Selected from a field of more than 900 nominees, he is one of 15 finalists for the Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year Award. It's given annually by the American Mustache Institute, a Missouri-based organization that raises money for charity while serving as a semi-serious advocacy group for those with upper lip plumage.
"A friend nominated me, and I couldn't believe it when I found out I made the cut," said Causgrove, 28, of Mt. Washington, a University of Pittsburgh research grant administrator. "It's awesome to be a finalist."
Let's be clear: The honor isn't given merely for having the best-looking cookie duster, though if it were, Causgrove probably would be competitive. He sports an increasingly uncommon handlebar style that he acknowledges his girlfriend doesn't particularly like.
"I use Capt. Fawcett's Moustache Wax, which is made in London," Causgrove said. "Since it's been five months since I've trimmed it, I need that to keep it looking sharp."
Winning the Goulet Award — named after the late entertainer with the famous soup strainer — requires giving back to the community.
"Mr. Causgrove's commitment to advancing the sexually dynamic mustached American lifestyle and willingness to work in his local community for the betterment of all people, mustached Americans and barefaced mortals alike, made him a clear choice" to be a finalist, said Aaron Perlut, who chairs the mustache institute when he's not running a public relations firm.
For the past six years, Causgrove has run Tailgreat, an annual Pirates game tailgate party that benefits charities such as United Cerebral Palsy and the Animal Rescue League. He is a founding member of Side Project Inc., an organization the helps nonprofit groups receive government grants and funding.
Those efforts are commendable but don't guarantee he'll get enough online votes to win the award. Nominees include St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher; Terry Grainer, the U.S. Senate sergeant-at-arms; Nick Offerman of the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation"; and John Gregg, Indiana's Democratic gubernatorial nominee.
"I've had a lot of support already," Causgrove said. "I've just got to continue to get the word out and show the world that the common man can beat these celebrities and reach mustache stardom."
He has the right attitude. Hopefully, he wins by a hair.