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March 25, 2011

Talkin' Baseball (and Mustaches) with Evan Fjeld

Last November, in support of Movember, University of Vermont hoopster Evan Fjeld started growing his mustache. 

A few wins was there for good and a national media darling was born.

The senior from Durham, North Carolina helped lead the Catamounts to a 23-9 record and the top spot in the America East Conference.  But now that the season is done for the Cats (they lost to Cleveland State last week in the NIT)...Fjeld can turn his attention to baseball.

HOVG: All in all, the Catamounts had a pretty good season, but, clearly, it didn’t end how you would have liked. The silver lining, if there is one, is that baseball is around the corner…who will you be rooting for?

FJELD: I'm a Phillies fan and sometimes I root for Tampa Bay because they are the Major League affiliate of the Durham Bulls. I can walk to the Durham Bulls ballpark from my house.

HOVG: Much has been written about it and, at first glance, people notice your now iconic mustache. In your estimation, which loomed larger on the court this season, that lip sweater or your 6’8’ frame?

FJELD: I think the mustache did to be honest. Everyone we play is my size or bigger but very few of them have the ability to grow a mustache like I do.. It’s a psychological advantage to know that. You have to look for and exploit every advantage you can find and the ability and follow-through to grow and maintain a mustache was just the advantage I needed.

HOVG: Since this is a baseball site, let’s get back to baseball for a second. You mentioned being a Phillies fan…as far as your future grooming habits go, do you stick with the very Mike Schmidt-like mustache or, perhaps, switch gears and grow out a John Kruk mullet or get a Steve Jeltz-like jheri curl?

FJELD: I like the Chase Utley slick-back look, or maybe I’ll grow a goatee like Brad Lidge. I know it’s a sore subject right now but I could also see myself growing a beard like Jayson Werth had going for a while.

HOVG: It seems like everyone is handing the Phillies the National League pennant given their pitching staff…what are your thoughts on their chances this upcoming season?

FJELD: I think it’s a lock. The Phillies are going to win the World Series this year. Pitching is the most important aspect of baseball and having the best starting rotation in history has to make them the heavy favorites.

HOVG: So what’s next? I’m assuming graduation in May…but then what?

FJELD: I want continue playing basketball, wherever it takes me. I’ve wanted to be a professional athlete pretty much my whole life and I have the opportunity to live that dream. That is not something that I’m going to pass up. Hopefully I can play for a long time and put off making any real life decision for as long as possible.

HOVG: Most importantly…are you keeping the lip sweater?

FJELD: Unfortunately I’ve already shaved the mustache. It was time. I needed a break from it for now. It wasn’t an easy thing to do and I do miss it but the best thing about hair is that it will grow back so I’m not ruling out a return of the mustache but I’m going clean shaven for a while.

Evan Fjeld helped lead the Vermont Catamounts to the America East Regular Season Championship by averaging 14.5 points and 6.3 rebounds a game. Earlier last week, he was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 1 second team.

And while it is the mustache that made him a legend among Mustached Americans worldwide...let's not forget his memorable appearance in the 2010 State Farm NCAA Dunk Contest.

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