Bateman: The Moustache Column’s peeps of the year

By Oliver Bateman

Ah, the end of the year. In addition to bombing the finals in those “cake” or “blow-off”… Ah, the end of the year. In addition to bombing the finals in those “cake” or “blow-off” classes you’ve been avoiding all semester, hunkering down to watch season two of “Veronica Mars” while sipping hot cocoa and wearing loose sweatpants and thermal socks and trying not to have even a minute’s worth of serious conversation with your parents, now is the time to take stock of those tastemakers and newsmakers who made 2011 such a memorable year — or at least more memorable than other years, such as 2004 and 1998, that you can’t remember as well.

Here, then, is the Moustache Column of America’s contribution to this wonderful period of short-term memory creation: our totally subjective list of the dawgs, bros, homeboys, freaks of nature, tween idols, ballers and drama queens who made the past 365 days so gr8 that they actually wound up being gr9.

Tim Tebow (baller): This man’s name appears almost everywhere — including as part of the lower-back tattoo we’re going to spend the next decade of our life living down — and it’s likely that you’re going to hear even more about him as he begins to master the basic skills, such as throwing overhand, that other top NFL quarterbacks like T.J. Yates, Curtis Painter and legendary former Pitt star Tyler Palko already possess. Our prediction: Super Bowl or bust!

Ashton Kutcher (bro): Sure, “Two and a Half Men” was already terrible when Chuck Sheen was on it. But did you watch the first episode of Kutcher’s run on this series, during which the emasculated Jon Cryer was forced to read a bunch of lines about how big his new BFF’s package was? On top of that, he’s allegedly been cheating on his ancient spouse with nearly every person on the planet. The critics agree: three stars.

The Kardashians (drama queens): There are a whole bunch of these people — have you heard about them? According to the glossy magazines that are sold at the CVS checkout counter, they’ve been getting married to NBA players, divorcing NBA players, going on fad diets, going off fad diets, falling in love with their big bottoms, resigning themselves to having big bottoms but being pleased with how their fad diets are reducing the size of their big bottoms, and the like. Their mother, who is now married to a legendary Olympian who has himself undergone some legendary plastic surgery, is as inexplicably popular as Republican front-runner Newt Gingrich. Highly recommended.

Justin Bieber (tween idol): According to last week’s In Touch magazine, Bieber wears “women’s jeans because they fit me.” He’s also been battling accusations that he fathered a child, which seems unlikely for a variety of reasons (refer to the first sentence in this paragraph for one of them). In spite of his troubles, Biebs still sports a beautiful bowl cut that calls to mind those cutie pies from the Tim Allen-fronted sitcom “Home Improvement.” Simply delightful.

John Cena (homeboy): Why does wrestling impresario Vince McMahon continue to think that jean shorts paired with Ed Hardy-style shirts and a wallet chain equals awesome? Notwithstanding Vince’s bizarre aesthetic — which is best described as one clueless 60-year-old man’s futurist vision of what redneck mouth-breathers would find cool in the year 2000, as determined from the vantage point of 1984 — Cena has distinguished himself by becoming one of the least likable “faces,” or good guys, in the history of sports entertainment. Also: Isn’t it amazing that anyone, ourselves included, still watches pro wrestling? Our stock tip: Sell.

Newt Gingrich (you’re the man now, dawg): Gingrich, who earned a Ph.D. in history from Tulane University in the 1970s and then proceeded to forget everything he learned, is leading one of the most lackluster packs of Republican candidates since former Kansas governor Alf Landon lapped the field at the 1936 GOP Convention. Boasting a blobby physique, big white hair and a willingness to use inaccurate historical examples to make his points, Gingrich, who once seemed as eradicable as smallpox, has proven to be every bit as ineradicable as smallpox (which is making a comeback). Now, thanks to the endorsement of noted “loose cannon” Herman Cain — the cheap-pizza magnate who allegedly loves his mistresses and the number 45 in equal measure — the sky’s the limit for ol’ Newt. Keep an eye on him.

Wesley Warren Jr. (natural wonder): Warren, a 47-year-old man with testicles that weigh well over 100 pounds, went on Howard Stern’s radio show seeking money to pay for an experimental surgery that would reduce the size of his gonads while allowing him to remain sexually active. Castration wasn’t an option, he told an interviewer — this 300-pounder is still in the prime of his life. The Jay Leno punchline: With balls like these, Warren should be running for president.

On any “best of” list like this, plenty of deserving people will wind up missing the cut. We wish we had the space to honor big stars like Madden 2012 cover model Peyton Hillis, San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner, extreme cleaning specialists and the other phlegmatic types who shovel up all the cat feces on “Hoarders,” whoever the current “Bachelor” is (former Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer, maybe?), but we just don’t. Better luck next year, gentlemen.

Oliver Lee Bateman was the 1998 Mr. Moustache Bodybuilding Club of America Overall Champion. If you’d like to learn how to score big during your muscularity round and wow the crowd with your free-posing routine, check out the top secret tips and tricks at And if you’ve got a killer suggestion for a column that (hopefully) has something to do with hardgaining, $5 pies or Maddens 2006-2012, send it to [email protected].