**DO NOT BE FOOLED. IT IS NOT A TREND.**
The beard has been a cornerstone of masculinity for most of mankind. Dating back to the stone age, the beard has had an important place of residence on the facial structure and currently is fighting to take back its home.
Not only was it a characteristic of a male’s anatomy, but women found men with beards to be much more attractive than a man sans facial hair. It become an essential step in becoming an established man.
The beard was much more than just aesthetically pleasing, it was once revered as an intimidating apparatus. It was used as a defense mechanism to shield off animals and discourage adversaries. This is why greek gods and roman deities sported facial hair.
Some of the greatest men in history grew beards, including: Zeus. Socrates. Paul Bunyan. Frederick Douglass. Abraham Lincoln. Jerry Garcia. Greek philosopher Epictetus once said he’d embrace death before shaving.
Beards even made their way into the sporting world.
In hockey, there stands a tradition of growing a “playoff beard.” Each year, once the playoffs begins, players will self-implement a no-shaving policy and will allow the facial hair to grow until his team has been eliminated. There is no absolute pin point to the origins of this superstitious practice but I speculate it may have started with a man by the name of Bill Flett.
The “playoff beard” has branched out to several other sports, including football and baseball. During their run in the 2000’s, the New England Patriots’ offensive line would sport a beard on their runs to the Super Bowl. Even their quarterback, Tom Brady, took an interest and participated in the practice.
“The Beard is Back in Town”
As of recently, many players in several sports can be seen with a beard, some with an insurmountable amount of facial hair. You can say the beard has made a comeback.
This allows me to beckon the question: Who are the Greatest Sports Athletes to Sport a Beard?
As a beard connoisseur, I find myself favoring players with great facial hair. The first time I say Jayson Werth on the baseball field, I was taken back a bit. It was a little intimidating.
I respect the playoff beard and such men as Tom Brady for being a participate in such rituals. But awards such as these are reserved for those dedicated to the growth of the beard. Thus, I have concocted my very own BEARD HALL OF FAME.
So without further ado…
THE BEARDED HALL OF FAME:
(in no particular order)
Brett Keisel Pittsburgh Steelers. Greatest Beard of All-Time.
David Beckham Futbol. Greatest “Lady Killer” Beard.
Phil Jackson Player/Coach. Greatest Guru Beard.
Brian Wilson San Francisco Giants/ Los Angeles Dodgers. Best Beard to Stand Ten Inches Above the Ground.
Lyle Alzado Oakland Raiders. Meanest Athlete to Sport a Beard.
Bill Walton Portland Trail Blazers. Greatest Amish Beard.
Lanny McDonald Calgary Flames. Greatest Ginger Beard.
Sebastian Chabal Rugby. Best “Football without Pads” Beard.
Kimbo Slice MMA. Most Intimidating Man with a Beard.
Ed “Too Tall” Jones Dallas Cowboys. Tallest Man with a Beard.
Bill Flett Philadelphia Flyers. Greatest Hockey Beard.
Franco Harris Pittsburgh Steelers. Greatest Beard in a Super Bowl.
Dan Fouts San Diego Chargers. Greatest Beard to Throw a Football.
Current HOF Potential Athletes:
Josh Strauss Scotland. Rugby.
James Harden Houston Rockets. Basketball.
Jake Arrieta Chicago Cubs. Baseball
Scott Fardy Australia. Rugby.
Eric Weddle San Diego Chargers. Football.
Ryan Fitzpatrick New York Jets. Football.
Brent Burns San Jose Sharks. Hockey.
Anquan Boldin San Francisco 49ers. Football.
Nat Borchers Portland Timbers. Futbol.
Long Live the Beard!