When Oklahoma State faces Colorado in the Alamo Bowl on Thursday night, the game’s real star won’t play for the Cowboys or the Buffaloes. No, the game’s real star will be that, well, that thing that sits atop OSU coach Mike Gundy’s head and spills down the back of his neck, untamed like a wild bronco galloping across the vast open prairie.
Gundy’s mullet is the realest thing in college football. As such, this is an internet post dedicated to celebrating the magnificent bastard as it prepares to take the field one final time this season.
Check out the photo below this paragraph. That’s Gundy on Wednesday at a pre-Alamo Bowl press conference. He’s answering questions from reporters, but it’s his mullet that’s really holding court. All business up front, pure party in the back it fits the classic mullet profile, alright.
Now here’s another look from Wednesday’s press conference.
That’s a major power move Gundy is pulling on Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre, who’s also on the podium but absolutely eclipsed by the power and majesty of Gundy’s mullet. That thing doesn’t belong in the stifling world of college football. It belongs in the driver’s seat of a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, ripping up the highway and chucking empties out the window as the speakers blare Deep Purple.
Above we have Gundy and MacIntyre pictured together for another Alamo Bowl promo on Dec. 8. Square-ass Mike MacIntyre haircut. It’s just not fair.
How’s MacIntyre supposed to compete with that mullet? Hell, how’s Gundy supposed to compete with that mullet? At what point does a man stop wearing a haircut? At what does his haircut start wearing him instead?
But every mullet has an origin story, and Gundy’s is no exception.
Here below is Gundy greeting Texas coach Charlie Strong before their teams played on Oct. 1. It’s just a lil’ baby mullet at this point but still enough to establish dominance.
Oklahoma State beat Texas 49-31 after this photo was taken. Coincidence? Or was Strong rattled by Gundy’s hyper-masculine coiffure? It’s hard to say.
By the time Gundy took this next photo, with Texas Christian coach Gary Patterson on Nov. 19, his mullet had entered its adolescence. You can see it has a little more body, a few more rebellious strands.
Patterson appears to be in awe. Boom. Another power move on Gundy’s part Oklahoma State won that game, too, 31-6.
Now, finally, here are a few more shots from this Wednesday, by which time Gundy’s mullet had reached its final form.
Gundy’s mullet, which he began cultivating just before the season started, has won many fans and admirers.
“I just love looking at it every day,” Cowboys defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer told ESPN.com a few weeks back. “It’s one of the highlights of my day to see where it’s coming down his neck and touching his collar and now it’s below the collar. You come in the office every day and you check it out, see what’s happening with it. The wind will catch ahold of it and it’ll look like a kite with a tail every now and then.”
But Gundy is Spencer’s boss. So he kind of has to say that, right? For balance, here’s Baker Mayfield, quarterback of OSU’s rival Oklahoma Sooners.
“It’s ferocious,” Mayfield told ESPN.com of Gundy’s mullet. “It’s very dirty. You’ve got to respect that he’s rocking it.”
Ferocious. Very dirty. A highlight of Glenn Spencer’s day. There are small businesses that would kill for Yelp reviews along those lines.
But his magnificent mullet is not Gundy’s first brush with internet fame oh no, not by a long-shot.
Let’s briefly travel back to a little place called 2007.
After a newspaper column in September of that year criticized Oklahoma State quarterback Bobby Reid, Gundy delivered what remains one of the most memorable press conference rants in sports history. Working himself into a lather, Gundy disparaged the column as unfairly criticizing a college kid. Critics, he said, should target him instead.
Then he delivered his money line, one that lives on in meme immortality to this very day: “I’m a man! I’m 40!”
Here’s a semi-extended cut of that rant, which has even been annotated on Genius.com.
And here’s the money line, on loop forever and ever.
Nine years later, Mike Gundy is indeed still a man. He’s 49 now, but that new mullet is most definitely .