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Hairy Subject: More Facial Hair on Titans Players This Month


NASHVILLE, Tenn. —It's been a heck of a month for Marcus Mariota.

Since the calendar flipped to November, the Titans quarterback has thrown for seven touchdowns, while completing 67 percent of his passes. He was named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Week after his four-TD performance in a win over the Packers.

And have you seen his mustache?

Well, that's a hairy subject, especially with his girlfriend.

"I don't know if she's a fan,'' Mariota said with a smile. "But that's alright. It's for a good cause."

By now, you've surely noticed the usually clean-shaven Mariota with hair above his upper lip. Well, he has company in the Titans locker room.

Roughly a half-dozen players are taking part in "Movember' during the month of November. The Movember Foundation says it's the "only charity tackling men's health on a global scale, year round." Those who take part grow a mustache throughout the month to raise funds for men's health.

Along with Mariota, quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Alex Tanney are also sporting mustaches. So is Titans quarterbacks coach Jason Michael. Receiver Marc Mariani has a mustache as well.

"Matt went with the full Fu Manchu,'' said Mariani, who has taken part in the hair-raising experience for several years now. Mariani recalled growing a mustache in a locker room he once shared with buddies Rob Bironas and Craig Stevens.

"All the guys look dashing. I am proud of them all,'' Mariani said. "I think it's great. There is a message, and a lot of men in my family have had male illnesses. Testicular cancer and prostate cancer are the two big ones, but there's mental health and other things this Movember organization aims at, not only to bring awareness but they also donate money to men's health. It is cool. I like supporting it."

Cassel said his wife has been counting the days until the end of November, so he'll use his razor again. She's apparently not a fan of the facial hair either.

Who does he think he is, Hulk Hogan?

"It takes some time to grow in a quality 'stache," Cassel said with a smile. "I say it's so far, so good. But we are doing it for the charity Movember, to raise awareness for prostate cancer, because it is the No.1 killer in men. Plus, it is also kind of fun to see who can grow one and who can't."

In the locker room, there have been mixed reviews. Michael has taken some flak, whether he knows it or not.

"J-Mike's is pretty bad,'' Mariota said with a laugh.

Offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie, who wears a mustache year-round, is all for it, for a few reasons.

"Those guys have purpose and they have a thought and an idea and it's a good cause,'' Robiskie said. "And they are starting to look a little older. Anybody that looks older, I am OK with that."

Cornerback Jason McCourty wanted clarification when asked if the mustached men are pulling the look off.

"When you say pulling it off, are you saying they are representing a good cause, or it looks good?,'' McCourty asked.  "Because as far as looks go, they look terrible, but as far as the cause, I think it is awesome."

The players vowed to keep it going until the end of November.

Cassel hinted he might keep his a little longer if the Titans keep winning, however. It's a superstition thing, he said.

Mariota wouldn't quite go that far. He shaving his off at the end of the month.

"I don't really like it,'' Mariota said of his mustache, "but it's a fun way to bring awareness to a good cause."

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