They have gone at it on social media. Now Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Bryan Rust and Jason Zucker are elevating their rivalry with trash talk in public.
“Arguably the most disliked guy in all of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh sports in general. Just a terrible person, and a horrible mustache,” Zucker proclaimed about Rust Friday while doing a conference-style interview in front of a room full of reporters.
It turns out it was all in fun. And for a good cause, of course.
The two have squared off for The Mustache Faceoff to benefit two charities, Movember and the Mario Lemieux Foundation. They are growing what are already substantial upper-lip mops and each is selling a T-shirt to see who raises the most.
I mustache you a question… Can you help make a difference this Movember?
Purchase my shirt or donate to my team in The Mustache Faceoff, and help me win in my competition vs. Bryan Rust! Proceeds will benefit @Movember and @MarioLemieuxFdn: https://t.co/zwzEu3A74W pic.twitter.com/HR30Ojy4fc
— Jason Zucker (@Jason_Zucker16) November 3, 2021
The Rustache is growing, and so is the money raised benefitting two very important causes.
— Bryan Rust (@rustyyy_92) November 3, 2021
Rust, who spoke to reporters separately from Zucker, explained his campaign strategy:
“Do you like me better, or do you like Zuck better? Pretty much that simple. I’d like to think every (reporter) in this room would vote for the Ruststache. It’s been around a while.”
Zucker slipped out of character for just a moment to talk about the project.
“In all seriousness, it’s a fun thing to do. Obviously anytime you can raise money for charity, that’s something that’s always been near and dear to my heart and my family. Bryan’s an awesome guy. We’ve known each other for a really long time now.”
It was Zucker’s initiative.
“Zuck had come to me, asked me if I wanted to do something for this month,” Rust said. “He knew the ‘Ruststache’ was a thing and it’s alive during November, so he was trying to have some fun with it. So we came up with this idea.
“It’s something we’re having fun with.”
Asked how he came up with the idea and picked Rust as his competition, Zucker slipped right back in character.
“I decided to pick the weakest link on the team,” he said, “so Rusty was the one. Seemed simple enough.”
Still lots of days left in November, folks.