A ‘Hairy’ Situation in the NFL
~ Amy Lignor
An old debate reappeared over the past few days in regards to the power of facial hair when it comes to sports professionals performing better when a coat of fur is grown on their face. Now when it comes to chicks out there, there is definitely a pro/con attitude when speaking about
facial hair. Some say ‘yay’ to the fur believing it is an extra shot of masculinity; these are women who still claim that a clean-shaven face freaks them out. The con side of the debate comes from the women who find fur icky, as if the person wearing it is more a vagrant or a hobo than an actual million-dollar+ sports pro. There is an “in between” however, and that is: forget the full beard – the scruff is enough.
It is the National Hockey League that really brought about the “playoff beard”. For them, players actually see shaving as a hex on their teams when it comes to the Stanley Cup playoffs. In this particular sport, the players on the team will not shave until the team is either eliminated from the race, or wins the Cup and calls it a season. When it comes to hockey, this is one tradition begun in the 1980s by the New York Islanders and is not only a practice of all NHL teams, but also high school and amateur hockey teams. Fans have joined in over the years and decided not to trim their beards after a loss in order to help change the luck of their favorite team. Baseball is also the same, but when it comes to football…there are a great many who grow the hair not out of a tradition to win, but out of a need to keep warm. The interesting part of this, however, is the fact that football players are proving that they actually play the game better when the face is framed by the fur.
What will always be associated with Green Bay, Minnesota, is the ‘Ice Bowl’. This is the location that is absolutely freezing, where there are games showing people on the sidelines that literally look as if they’ve been frozen. When it comes to facial hair, it is absolutely a necessity to grow simply because of the cold ‘in them thar hills.’ When it comes to, say, Buffalo – look on television and see the horrendous tons (yes, tons) of snowfall that make it impossible to play the game. And when you come to the Patriots – Brady is one of those who look amazing whether he be clean-shaven or not; instead of looking as if he needs the facial hair in order to warm up, the guy basically looks like he should be on the cover of some romantic novel.
Now whether it be for looks or necessity, a recent study (West Coast Shaving) DID prove that the QBs out there perform way better with facial hair than without.
Aaron Rodgers, Mr. Relax, seems to be the most amazing when it comes to improving his performance rating when growing hair to deal with the
horrendous Green Bay winters. Depending on who you ask, the consensus seems to be that when facial hair is grown a man becomes far more aggressive than when he’s clean-shaven. It is almost intimidating to rival teams when the ‘fuzzy’ QBs feel stronger and more powerful, as if no one can stand in their way from winning it all.
Rodgers was always fantastic ratings-wise, but when the hair is grown he went from approximately 93% to almost 110%. Brady went from 83% to almost 90%, and Cutler (the man who never seems to be able to break a smile) even went from 81% to 88%. Ben Roethlisberger has seen major ups and downs with the Steelers this year. Back to back games with six TDs and then receiving a smack in the face with interceptions galore. Yet his 80% rating went to 94%. And when it comes to perhaps the best facial hair, Andrew Luck is one man who jumped from the lower 70’s to 88% in performance and has stunned everyone…except for Brady who keeps right on showing that not only can he be a Vogue model when he hangs up his cleats, but he’s also the best in the AFC. (No matter what Peyton Manning fans seem to think).
Bring on the winter…it is definitely time to witness the battle of the scruff!
Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle