The walk home after the Mississippi State game was kind of surreal. People were pointing at him, smiling at him, shouting his name—his new name.
Lucas Tribble is… the Mustache Guy. Well, sometimes Jumbotron Guy. But mostly the Mustache Guy, which the Mustache Guy prefers. And the Mustache Guy is kind of a big deal. People know him. Which is actually kind of funny considering the whole mustache thing was a Ron Burgundy inspired, month-to-grow joke for Fiji picture day a week or so back.
“I kept it (the mustache) throughout the week just to heckle my family when I saw them.”
He actually almost took it off the morning of the game, but stopped at the last second “just to spite my sister-in-law who was telling me to shave it. But I don’t think this thing would have blown up if I had.”
No, it would not have. Because it wasn’t just the deadpan, emotionless stare. He’s not the Stare Guy. He’s the Mustache Guy. America is close to allowing its young men to sport ‘staches unironically, but we’re still not there. It’s still a wink at something. Still something you do for a goofy fraternity shot. Or for charity. Add a ‘stache to the stare, and add all that to the No. 1 finger and to the sustained roar of the crowd, and there’s no way the camera is going to move away, especially when the alternative—the game, with eight minutes left—was so very… un-Mustache Guy.
“So I kind of look over,” Tribble says, “and there’s my giant face on the screen and I just went to my go-to gesture.”
The No. 1–it’s something he and his friends have done for a while. Someone pulls out a camera? They pull out the index finger.
He held it there, staring, stone faced–the face is part of it–and he held it. And held it.
“I glanced over to see if I was still there, and it just went on and on,” he says. “I guess I came through.”
He did, and Lord knows we needed him to. The Mustache Guy’s resolute, steadfast, Bradley Cooper-esque, never-say-die soul searching was downright inspiring. And Auburn needed inspiring. Auburn was falling out of the Top 25 right in front of us, but Mustache Man was No. 1, and he was ours.
(The big tweet of the night was a picture of the Mustache Guy captioned “He’s the hero we need, not the one we deserve.” That was his favorite.)
The camera went back to the game. Then it went back to the Mustache Guy.
He knew it would be funny. Everyone in the student section around him was going nuts. He expected that, sure. Then his friend showed him a tweet. That was cool. Then came the walk home. Then came Newk’s.
“We walk over to Newk’s after the game with my brother and sister-in-law, and I said ‘I wonder if anyone’s going to recognize me from the Jumbotron.’ My brother said, ‘if anyone recognizes you, I’ll buy you dinner.”
They got to the door. A guy was coming out as they were coming in.
“He said ‘hey, you’re the guy from the Jumbotron!’ I turned to my brother and said ‘thanks for dinner.'”
And what a dinner. The Guy From The Jumbotron was a total celebrity.
“I’d say 75 percent of the people in there said something to me about it. That’s when I knew it was growing a little bit.”
Had his phone been working, he would have known a lot sooner.
“The twist to my little 15 minutes of fame is that on Saturday (before the game) all of a sudden my screen display stopped turning on.”
So he didn’t see the tweets, the photos, the making of the Mustache Guy.
“I haven’t been able to recover my messages,” Tribble says. “That was the depressing side of this.”
Everything else, though, has been fun. Weird, but fun.
Tribble’s a senior at Auburn. He was already kind of a BMOC. Tall, involved in a lot of things. He’s even a youth minister at a church in Smith’s Station. But that’s Lucas Tribble, not the Mustache Guy.
The Mustache Guy’s popularity is off the chart. Lucas Tribble is 6″6. The Mustache Guy might as well be 7″6. People are asking him to pose for pictures (a Miss Auburn candidate wants to use her ‘Stache selfie as an endorsement). They’re printing T-shirts.
Little kids are Instagramming their best the Mustache Guy impressions, with hair draped over the lip for the ‘stache, and of course with the stare.
If you were doing a Luke Tribble impression, however, you’d have to nail the smile.
“I’m actually a very, very cheerful person. The face I make in that picture doesn’t really reflect my personality. I don’t know — I just got to where I can do that face for a pretty long time.”
He’s already getting his game face on for homecoming.
“I told people it’s staying on until the end of football season or until I stop getting on the Jumbotron, whichever comes first,” the Mustache Guy says.
“I was riding the national championship and Jeremy Johnson Heisman bus really hard, so my life has come crashing and burning. This has helped out a little.”
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