A mustache serves multiple purposes. First and foremost, it’s a well-known fact that a mustachioed man is irresistible to the opposite sex. That can’t be argued. It’s science.

During the winter months it’s also a face warmer, and it can help keep a delicious meal alive for several days. Sadly, the mustache seems to be a dying breed, as I can’t think of one person I interact with regularly who’s under the age of 40 and rocks some upper lip facial forest. But that started to change in a hurry yesterday.

Yes, it’s Movember, the international November event in which men set their facial hair free, and unleash their inner 80′s wrestler to raise money for prostate cancer research and other cancers that specifically affect men. So in honor of a good cause, let’s take a brief look back at the experiments in mustachery that have brushed up against helmet grills around the NFL.

Our top five list is a mix of both current players and members of the league’s nose-tickler Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, the mustached football player is a scarce creature nearing its extinction.

5. Jared Allen

This is more than just a mustache. It’s very much a lifestyle for Allen, and his stache helps him hunt wild bears and organize charity golf tournaments that feature a slip-n-slide as punishment for not reaching a green in regulation.

Allen’s facial hair design has undergone several major renovations over the years, and it’s currently a jumbled, scraggly mess.

4. Aaron Rodgers

Every year during training camp Rodgers lets his growth crawl over his face, usually resulting in the classic handlebar look seen above. Then once the season starts he shaves or at least trims the wild brush, which seems like a ritual signifying the end of offseason play time, and the beginning of championship drive time.

That may be part of Rodgers’ reasoning, but when he spoke to the American Mustache Institute he revealed that the motivation behind his personal mustache policy runs much deeper…

“I live by a few credos, and one is that if you’re under 30 and without children and not married, it’s very risky to be a full-time mustache wearer.”

3. Joe Namath

Like Allen and Rodgers, Namath’s facial hair fluctuated while the bearer of our No. 1 NFL mustache went for longevity. So it’s disappointing that Namath’s handlebars didn’t help to sell any Beautymist pantyhose, a disappearance which surely hurt the company’s bottom line.

A mustached Namath would have had women flocking to stores…

2. Ben Davidson

The least known player on our short list also has one of the most creative entries, with the Raiders defensive end slowly inching towards the Yosemite Sam look during his prime in the late 60′s.

1. Mike Ditka

There may be larger staches in NFL history, or other wild facial creations with significantly more fur. But no stache is more iconic than Ditka’s. He hasn’t followed Keith Hernandez’s advice, and the glorious young stache seen in the vintage image above has now stepped aside for an aged gray look.

The colors may change, but the Ditka stache legend will never die.