Ah November, a time of year that promotes fantasies of stuffed
turkeys and gravy-smothered mashed potatoes. And as the cool autumn
air makes class tougher to attend, I propose a solution-beards.
Yes, this month I am participating in “No Shave November,” a
fast from razors. My beard, also known as eight soft hairs above my
lip and under my chin, is in full force and it got me thinking,
“Why is the beard so underrated?” Slowly beards have fallen from
the graces of public attention. Once, everyone from Jesus to Jim
Morrison had one.
Today, this age-old display of facial testosterone is far too
underrepresented in our society.
Businessmen now think twice before allowing their five o’clock
shadow to develop into a 72-hour grizzly bear. This dilemma is no
more evident than in our world of athletic competition. The
athletes are few but brave who have displayed the Honest Abe,
which, again, got me thinking, “Who has the best beard in
For starters, oft-injured St. Louis Ram Kurt Warner, with his
gridiron sandpaper face has won two MVP awards. There must be magic
in the hair. Fellow pigskin immortal Brett Favre has also adorned
the scruff and faired well, winning three consecutive MVPs from
1995 to 1997.
Another example of football facial hair is the great Franco
Harris. Franco had hair curling around his chinstrap for years.
Obviously, this worked. Harris ran for over 12,000 yards for the
Pittsburgh Stealers and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of
Basketball is nearly devoid of the wondrous chin slinky.
Zen-master Phil Jackson displayed his gray wizard through seven NBA
titles, coaching the Lakers and Bulls.
“Phil Jackson has the best beard in sports,” said Matt Brunk, a
sophomore philosophy major. “It’s stylish yet masculine. Who
wouldn’t love him?”
Vlade Divac tries, but the best hardwood Chia Pet goes to Walt
Frazier and his afro-like chops. He won two NBA championships with
the New York Knicks and was a seven-time All-Star — not bad for
being weighed down by his hair.
The award for best Amish impersonator in other sports is Craig
Stadler in golf. The walrus always has some fluff on his face.
Baseball, tough, but my vote goes to Mike Piazza. He goes the
creative route and has had some interesting designs shaved into
And finally, the ZZ Top champion is hockey’s “playoff beard.”
Nowhere else can you find so much testosterone in so little space.
Forsberg, deVries, Giguere. You name it and most any man on skates
during crunch time is bearing the chin mullet.
All in all, the beard remains an underappreciated piece of world
history. Used to be that anyone who was anyone grew it long and
More people need the attitude of Danny Doerkson, a junior speech
“If I were in sports, I would have a beard,” he said. “It would
set me apart.”
I agree, Danny. Rock on, bearded wonders. Rock on.