By: Caitlin Selle
Staying true to NHL tradition and superstition, former Predators player Stu Grimson has previously grown his “playoff beard,” but he’s never purposely grown a moustache.
He just never had a good reason to do so… until Movember arrived.
Grimson, now the radio color commentator for the Preds, is one of two million people around the world to take a stance – and grow a ’stache – to support the Movember fight against prostate cancer.
Little did a group of guys in Australia in 2003 know that their gentle pokes at an 80’s fashion would lead to bringing the moustache back and along with it the growing and global movement raising support for prostate cancer research, known as Movember.
Movember has a unique spin on fundraising by involving its key participants, dubbed the “Mo Bros,” to act as walking billboards, promoting their “Mos” (moustaches) as a way to generate conversation about this deadly cancer.
There are distinct descriptions for how these Mos are to be groomed. On the first of November, the Mo Bro is to shave off all of his facial hair and continue throughout the month maintaining this Mo with the intent of having these meaningful conversations with curious onlookers.
Ladies, fear not, because you too can participate in Movember. Becoming a Mo Sista does not involve growing any type of facial hair whatsoever. Behind every good Mo Bro is a Mo Sista to help them out by supporting their bro and spreading the word.
After registering on us.movember.com the Mo Bro or Mo Sis can ask others to donate to them as an individual or a team. So far, this global movement has sparked more $126.3 million in donations. And that’s just from the money raised last year.
The Nashville Predators Movember team consists of 43 members and at this point has raised nearly $2,200 making up 8.3 percent of greater than $27,000 raised by the NHL.
The Predators are fourth in the league for the team bringing in the most money in the NHL and much of this is from the dedicated Mo Bros and Sistas of the Nashville Predators staff.
Many people are shocked at the lengths executives like Sean Henry go in preserving their moustache in the professional workplace.
The first day of Movember was the night of the CMA Awards which is one of Bridgestone Arena’s biggest shows of the year, if not the biggest. While co-workers thought Sean would surely shave for this event, he surprised those when he showed up with his starting Movember stubble.
He told those who asked, “Movember starts that day: I’m not shaving.”
As an important public figure as the President/Chief Operating Officer of the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena, Henry has been able to use his whiskery upper lip to bring prostate cancer into the conversation at such events as the NHL owners’ meeting the week after the CMAs and even to the U.S. Senate, where his Mo was on display during a hearing.
“I got a really nasty note from my mother saying that next time I was before a senate hearing, I really should shave,” he said with a laugh.
But he thinks not shaving is the right thing and that by taking his Mo into a very public forum, he maximized his Mo Bro potential.
“When you have an opportunity to work for a professional sports team you can throw your shadow much further,” he says.
“There is a great passion by our fans and to our logos, both to the building and to our team, and if you don’t leverage that to do something good, you are missing why you are working in this industry,” Henry said.
Henry has never missed a Movember since he has been aware of it.
“It’s a fun event, it really is. You reconnect with some of the people that you have worked with in the past and started doing this with. It’s a great introduction and icebreaker around town. I find myself over explaining myself and why I have this goofy thing on my face. “
Henry relates grooming his ‘stache to the true tradition of hockey playoff beards and says, “You don’t touch it, I let it get off a little here and there and this year, I am just letting it go, all natural.”
His inspiration for this year’s Mo is the Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher, Goose Gossage, known for his thick intimidating handlebar mustache.
“I think the legend though, the absolute greatest ‘Mo’ I ever saw was from our lead salesman, Dan Schaefer. For the past two years, his creativity and ability to generate facial hair has dwarfed all of us. “
Mo Bro Schaefer, senior account executive in ticket sales and three-year reigning Mo Bro champion in the Predators office enjoys the creativity of what you can do with your moustache. His last three award-winning Mo’s have consisted of an impressive Fu Manchu down to his neck, a thick and burly mustache curling upwards at the ends and a wide Mo stretching from ear to ear paired with a goatee. This year he is taking a different approach from his typical outlandish mustache grooming and describes his Mo as “Basic, stylish and classic.”
When asked if he normally grew facial hair or if this was a special event he chuckled and replied that, “It is good excuse.”
Grimson, known as the Grim Reaper as a player, describes his Mo as quite the opposite of his hockey game and claims it is, “weak and inferior.”
A first-year Mo Bro, Grimson, says it is a good way for the people in his professional social circle to hear more about these issues and have an opportunity to give financial support for Movember’s cause.
“For me, I am generally a fairly clean shaven guy so it gets their attention and is a natural conversation starter,” Grimson said.
“It starts with a weird look,” Schaefer explains, “Then I have to explain what is going on.”
All three agree that it is worth it, because the ‘staches open up for some very personal dialogue. For Schaefer, Grimson and Henry this leads to them each reaching over a dozen people every Movember to talking about men’s prostate cancer, a topic not typically discussed among men.
Henry adds that “without a doubt” Movember has made him more aware of his own health and falls into the statistic of 91 percent of Mo Bros thinking of improving their health with of one in five Mo Bros either going to the doctor or recommending someone to go to the doctor.
To participate with the Preds in the fight against prostate cancer, register as a Mo Bro or Mo Sista on the Movember website and from there you can join the Predators team and choose to donate. You can also join the force of social media by following @PredsNHL and tweeting us pictures of your Mo and posting them to the Nashville Predators Facebook page.
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