Skip to main content
Original Issue

Milking It

Two Super Bowl--bound stars earn their stripes

YOU KNOW you're the cream of the NFL crop when the milk guys come calling. Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (top, right) and Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi (above) were invited to endorse the beverage last week, joining a list of lactose-tolerant athletes that includes players from the last seven Super Bowls, as well as more than 200 celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Hilary Duff. "I've done more than 150 of these, and I swear I don't know who half the people are," says Norman Stewart, a 37-year-old L.A. food stylist who has been painting the mustache for five years. Stewart concocted the 'stache recipe--a strange brew that includes cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla ice cream and secret ingredients Stewart refuses to divulge. "The trick was to make it the right density and have it taste good," says Stewart. "I pour it in a glass, and they tip it until it goes about three quarters of the way from their upper lip to the nose. After a dab with a tissue [and a little brushwork] it lasts for two rolls of film." The Super Bowl print ads were shot separately in Massachusetts and New Jersey by longtime SI photographer Walter Iooss (top left, inset), who directed Bruschi to get more animated. ("I would pick a nice, cold glass of milk over a brewski any day," said the linebacker and father of two.) McNabb, who grimaced at the taste of Stewart's concoction, was delighted to be joining the ranks of milk men that include QBs Tom Brady and Brett Favre and spoke of his childhood craving for calcium: "I look back in time where I sat back and drank milk to give me that extra edge.... [Drinking milk] has put me in a position to fulfill a dream." The shoots took 1 1/2 hours each. "Bruschi was just a dear," said Stewart. But the 'stache man's favorite endorser was Muhammad Ali, who suffers from the effects of Parkinson's disease. "It was tough to get [the mustache] on because he was bouncing up and down a bit," said Stewart. "But he had great strength, and you could see the toughness in his eyes. It was an honor to apply that mustache." --Lisa Altobelli