The American Mustache Institute has given Major League Baseball a taste of its own legal medicine, sending Boston Red Sox general counsel Ed Weiss a marketing cease-and-desist letter.
You know the Red Sox—that World Series team whose hirsute players look like they belong on Duck Dynasty.
The Oct. 25 AMI letter states:
“While each member of the Mustached American community appreciates your team’s harnessing of facial hair towards athletic excellence, your marketing of beardism violates the expressed federal trademark of AMI’s ownership of the Sexually Dynamic Mustached American Lifestyle, and in particular, our legal right to approve via ‘expressed written consent’ of any use of said beardism or mustacheularity [sic] in marketing the Red Sox’s winning ways or merchandise.”
The AMI said it has filed for an injunction before Judge McKay Chauvin, of Louisville District Court, Division 8.
And yes, there really is such a court with a judge of that name. On the judge’s website, the witty jurist’s picture lacks facial hair but sports a fetching bow tie, apparently a matter of pride since the site includes a guide on how to tie one.
But Judge Chauvin’s docket does not, as yet, list AMI vs. Boston Red Sox.
Yet at least one news agency seems to be taking the letter semi-seriously. NBC Sports’ online site, HardballTalk, called the AMI’s move only a little less scary than the U.S. Labor Department’s ongoing wage-and-hour investigation into allegations that some teams fail to pay minimum wage to clubhouse workers, withhold overtime pay and hire unpaid interns.
However, the AMI website holds a few hints that the group is talking firmly tongue-in-hairy-cheek.
For one thing, it claims its law firm is “Dewey, Ahmadinejad & Houssein”—a trio of somewhat familiar names that can’t be found together in Martindale’s or the Louisville phone book.
For another, there’s the suspicious signature on the letter: “Jean Velue Doppelganger III, ESQ., chief legal affairs & dance coordination coordinator.”
Then there is AMI itself. Among other things, it supports a $250 annual tax deduction for people of Mustached American descent, and requires members to pledge to “never own a cat or watch ‘Sex and the City.’”
And finally, there is this footnote to end its blog: “This was NOT sent from a Blackberry, as mustached Americans neither own, nor have the ability to operate, Blackberrys [sic].”