Fran Dunphy Shaves his Mustache in Honor of Dionte Christmas Now with Video

Fran Dunphy Shaves his Mustache in Honor of Dionte Christmas Now with Video

For the first time in forty years, Fran Dunphy is now without a mustache.

With only the assistance of a white towel, a mug of hot water and a small make-up mirror, the Temple basketball coach took a disposable razor to his legendary lip fur before a crowd of on-lookers in the basement of the Liacouras Center Thursday morning.

Athletic director Bill Bradhaw, associate athletic director Larry Dougherty and former Temple standouts Mark Tyndale and Dionte Christmas were all on hand to witness the event.

But the real story, as the coach reiterated so many times during his press conference, and the reason any of us were present in the first place, centers on the accomplishments of Mr. Christmas.

The story of the mustache and pictures of Dunphy in action after the jump...

In the spring of 2009, Christmas completed his final year of basketball eligibility and was set to move onto his professional playing career just three credits short of graduation.

As a means of motivation for the 6-6 swingman to come back and finish what he started, Dunphy promised Christmas that in the event Dionte earned his degree, Fran would shave his mustache.

Two years later in the Summer of 2011, Christmas completed a course to earn his final three credits and graduate from Temple with a Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies. He is just the second member of his family to receive a college diploma.

His coach could not be more proud.

"I know that everybody's here because I'm shaving my mustache," said Dunphy, with Christmas seated beside him. "But the bigger story is that this young man has graduated from Temple University."

When it came time for the talking to stop and the shaving to begin, Dionte quickly revealed an iPad on which he took video of the event.

Pausing halfway through the process to remark on the absurdity of so many people showing up just to watch him shave, Dunphy quipped, "This is about the wackiest thing...," before trailing off to finish the job.

Fielding questions with his now clean-shaven upper lip, Dunphy revealed that he had been keeping the mustache since 1971, while a member of the Army.

If you think it's weird seeing the coach without his trademark mustache—or "muzzy," as he referred to it—imagine what this evening will be like for his wife. In all the time they have known each other and been married, she has never seen her husband without a mustache.

"My family has never seen me without it. My wife never has. And, uh, I don't know...she wasn't all that fired up," Dunphy laughed.

The coach remained non-committal after the event on whether or not he would re-grow the mustache. Sources inside Temple think "Muzzy's" return is pretty much a lock.

So, get a look these pictures while you can. We'll post Dionte's video in the event we can get our hands on it.

UPDATE: We don't have anything from Dionte, but we do have this video courtesy 20/20 Visual Media on Vimeo. Pictures from the event can be found below the footage.

[vimeohttp://www.vimeo.com/30151426 w=515&h=225]

The Stache Is Stashed - Fran Dunphy Shaves Mustache from 20/20 Visual Media on Vimeo.

Photo at top courtesy Mitchell Leff / Temple University. Pictures at bottom courtesy Nick Menta / The700Level.com

Andre Blake the Union's first MLS Best XI team member since 2010

Andre Blake the Union's first MLS Best XI team member since 2010

Andre Blake continues to rack up the accolades.

A couple of weeks after being named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, the rising Philadelphia Union star was named to the MLS Best XI team as one of the league’s top players in 2016.

The rest of the team included:

• Forwards Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), David Villa (New York City FC) and Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)
• Midfielders Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Sacha Kljestan (Red Bulls), Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas) and Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy)
• Defenders Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids) and Jelle Van Damme (Galaxy)

Blake’s inclusion on the Best XI is not a surprise considering he already took home top goalkeeper honors. Even though he didn’t have the best numbers in the league, he made the spectacular look ordinary in his first full season as an MLS starter.

But it is unique for the Union, who haven’t had a player make the Best XI since Sebastien Le Toux was included for his 14-goal, 11-assist effort in Philly's 2010 expansion season.

Union winger Chris Pontius, who recently won the 2016 MLS Breakout Player of the Year award, made Best XI while with D.C. United in 2012. Former Union players to be honored on the prestigious list were Bakary Soumare with Chicago in 2008 and Justin Mapp with Chicago in 2006.

Another big honor like this will likely only increase the chatter that Blake could be sold to a big team in Europe soon. But a couple of weeks ago, the Union goalkeeper insisted his only focus for 2017 is on Philadelphia.

“From a personal standpoint, I’m hoping to have an even better season than 2016,” he said at the time. “To be able to go in and be consistent and do everything I can for the Union — and maybe be the goalkeeper to get them their first [MLS] Cup.”

Steve Mason named NHL's 1st star after strong week

Steve Mason named NHL's 1st star after strong week

There’s a number of reasons why the Flyers have a five-game winning streak, why they’re playing better hockey, and why they own the No. 1 wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
 
Perhaps the biggest reason of all is goaltender Steve Mason, who has won four of those games, compiling a 1.71 goals against average and .945 save percentage during that span.
 
Mason was named the NHL’s first “Star of the Week” on Monday. St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko and San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones were second and third stars.
 
“The team is on a roll right now and I’m a benefactor of that,” said Mason, who needs a win Tuesday against Florida to tie his career-high streak of five set Dec. 17-30 in 2013, during his first, full season as a Flyer.
 
“There’s strong play in front of me. The team is playing a little tighter in our defensive zone of late and making the goaltender reads that much more simple. 
 
“Right now, there’s a comfort level with the guys in front of me … Winning five in a row is nice and we’d like to keep making ground in the standings.”
 
His four victories last week were tops in the NHL. Among them, he had a season-high 45 saves in a 3-2 shootout win against Boston. 
 
Like many goalies, Mason prefers action. Games such as the 3-2 overtime win at Ottawa last week when the Senators only fired 21 shots, bother him.
 
“Those games, when you are not getting a lot of shots, the ones you do get will be a high-grade scoring chance,” he said. “And when you’re sitting around a few minutes not seeing the puck and all of a sudden see a chance like that …
 
“It’s more difficult to play [those games] than the games where there is a constant workload and you’re not thinking, but just playing. For myself personally, those are the games I enjoy the most. When I see a lot of pucks.”
 
The Flyers have seen dramatic improvement over the past month in their overall defensive play, from both their defensemen in down-low coverage in the slow and with their forwards on the backcheck.
 
Mason said the team has gone through “growing pains” with trying to integrate some younger bodies to the lineup this season – Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, and Nick Cousins  come to mind.
 
“You have to familiar with everybody,” he said. “Have a constant lineup where guys go out  shift after shift and night after night, you know what to expect from one another. When you have that kind of confidence in guys, it makes playing easier.” 
 
Mason’s 4-2 victory at Nashville on Sunday saw him go over .500 for the first time this season with a 9-8-3 record. 
 
His GAA is coming down at 2.76 while his save percentage has risen to .904.
 
“I was aware of it obviously, just because of the way the year started,” he said. “It’s taken a lot of work to get it above the .900 level.
 
“We’re obviously going to continue to work at getting it even better. The way the team’s playing right now and the way everybody’s clicking, we’re going at a good pace right now.”