'Stache talking with George Parros
Anaheim Ducks right wing George Parros is a lamb-barbecuing, punch-throwing, occasionally Times-blogging, professional-hockey-playing Princeton grad. And for a few months every year, the long-locked, massively mustachioed enforcer endures looking like a Yanni impersonator so he can donate his hair to a group that will use it to make wigs for children battling cancer.
This year’s George Parros Cut for the Kids is slated for Dec. 14, but before that, he's weaving a new strand into his particular brand of follicular fundraising: the launch of ‘Stache Gear, his very own apparel line, which goes on sale on Black Friday, exclusively at the Anaheim Ducks Team Store.
All proceeds from the two styles of mustache-festooned ball caps and four styles of T-shirts (two men's and two women's), all of which retail for $25 each, will benefit the Childhood Leukemia Foundation and Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation.
I caught up with Parros by phone before practice recently to discuss his charitable activities, his foray into fashion and to trace the history of the signature upper lip adornment he believes to be “the physical embodiment of all that is manly.”How long have you had the mustache?
I’ve had one on and off for a long time, but this is probably my fourth straight year. I’ve had it since before I was with the [Anaheim] Ducks.
What first prompted you to grow one in the first place? Did your dad sport a ’stache?
He had one when I was born, I think. And when my sister was born. But he didn’t while we were growing up. But I was always a big hockey fan, and I remember being fascinated with the mustaches. It’s a rich
At what point did it become part of your signature look?
When I got traded to the Ducks. I was with Colorado [Avalanche] for a month and a half of the ’06-’07 season, and it was just starting to grow out when I got here. So it was pretty full, and when I started fighting, the fans just loved it. After that it kind of took on a life of its own.
Are there any benefits on the ice? Or can it be a hindrance?
It’s definitely not a hindrance. There might be a little bit of an intimidation factor; I’d be a lot less scary without the mustache, I think. And it’s turned out to be an incredible marketing tool, honestly.
Which brings us to ’Stache Gear, which is basically mustache-logo T-shirts and ball caps. Wouldn’t a ’stached-out hockey jersey have been more appropriate?
If I did something with a Ducks or an NHL logo on it, it would get complicated, and I just wanted something fun and easy to do. I’m not pretending to be a designer — that’s my wife’s gig — but I’ve seen a lot of Parros stuff people have done on their own, so I figured there’d probably be a market for it.
Your wife Tiffany is a clothing designer, right?
She just started her own company, LTR Brands, and it’s starting to take off, and she just got a showroom in L.A.
Did she have a hand in designing ’Stache Gear?
She helped come up with the logo on one of the tees that’s a mustache with the word “’stache” inside it. She’s artistic that way.
One of the men’s T-shirts has a photograph of you on the back — in mid-fight. What’s the story behind that?
That was from a playoff game last year against [the] San Jose [Sharks], which was the only time I’ve fought Doug Murray. He’s a big boy but we’ve been playing against each other since high school so I know him pretty well.
Why did you choose that particular photo?
It had the best look to it; there’s some action going on, and both of us have our arms cocked and we’re ready to go — and you can see the mustache pretty well.
Do you have any grooming advice for the owners of all those 3-week-old Movember charity mustaches around the country?
I’d say at this point if they haven’t given it a pretty good wash, they might want to do that. They tend to lock in some odors after a few weeks so that’s key. Other than that, make sure to comb it out before you trim it to make sure everything’s even. Other than that, just go with whatever works for you.
Earlier this month, I embarked on an ill-fated mission to call out some Southland celebs to fill out their upper lips for a good cause. Who would you call out?
Interesting ... who would I call out right now? I might lean toward one of the Lakers — would be kind of funny — but I know my own teammate Corey Perry grows one of the nastiest blond mustaches I’ve ever seen, so I think I should call him out.
‘Stache Gear, which will be sold solely on-site at the Anaheim Ducks Team Store at the Honda Center, 2695 Katella Ave., Anaheim, and available starting Friday, Nov. 27 at 11:30 a.m. for ticket holders to the Anaheim Ducks vs. Chicago Blackhawks game, and to the general public the following morning at 10 a.m.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos: Professional hockey player George Parros, top, gets his locks trimmed at the second annual Cuts for the Kids event in January 2009. His next charitable venture is a small apparel collection that launches at the Anaheim Ducks Team Store on Friday, Nov. 27. All proceeds from the men's, center, and women's, bottom, T-shirts and hats (not pictured) will benefit the Childhood Leukemia Foundation and the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation. Credits: Top, Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times, and center and bottom, Anaheim Ducks.Follow the Image section on Twitter