Guest Article BY: TheBeardGuy

“Lord, I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face! I had rather lie in the woolen.”

Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing

People often consider William Shakespeare the most influential writer in the last 1,000 years, and this passage from perhaps his greatest comedy notes the sentiment of his day: that a man with a beard is someone to be shunned; looked down upon; avoided.[1]

Centuries later the proverbial Bearded Man has made progress around the world and in the United States in many facets. There was even a great run of presidential beards in the late 19th century. But, alas, the inherently biased American media has still shown a heinous proclivity to constantly degrade, disparage, and undervalue the Bearded Man (or woman). And nowhere is this problem more prevalent than in American sports. Over the next few months, this column will do all that it can to expose this travesty in American sport. Today, the focus will be on the Steelers and Packers in Dallas as Super Bowl Sunday approaches.

Goodell’s Nonsense

Just yesterday, administrative hard-ass and notable beardless hater NFL commissioner Roger Goodell picked this week of all times to notify the media that none of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s teammates had vouched for him during Goodell’s investigation into Roethlisberger’s shady behavior from this summer.[2] Notwithstanding the fact that Roethlisberger definitely tried to rape that girl in the bathroom, it seems pretty clear that this type of character assassination could have been made at any point between the first week of the regular season and after the Super Bowl. So why would Goodell decide to go public with this dubious piece of information now?  Clearly because Big Ben used to be BEARD-less, and now looks like this ————>

Goodell is no fool, and clearly he’s decided that public backlash over his explanation of the suspension would be most acceptable at a time when Big Ben is at his most bearded. Not surprising, but it’s still a shame that the Commissioner has decided to push his anti-Beard agenda when the media’s focus should be on Roethlisberger’s play, how many players from both teams played at the University of Michigan, or Ines Sainz’s outfit. It should be noted and commended that teammate and bearded wunderkind, Brett Keisel, has already come to Roethlisberger’s defense on this issue.

Interesting to note that ESPN has already dubbed Sunday’s match-up the “Battle of the Beards” in reference to the two bearded quarterbacks: Roethlisberger and notorious Cal stoner Aaron Rodgers. Interesting to note that in an era of great quarterbacks, with guys like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Phillip Rivers leading their squads down the field to score points in bunches, the two signal-callers left standing are the two that had the cajones to grow their beards out for the playoffs. Next year, look for a Patriots team lead by a regally-bearded Tom Brady resembling Rip Van Winkle to square off in the Super Bowl against whatever NFC team picks up Kyle Orton.

Who is the best coach in the NFL?

The popular opinion seems to be some debate between Bill Belichick, Sean Payton, and Rex Ryan. Psh. The answer should be clear: the NFL’s greatest football mind lies above the perfectly-manicured beard of Mike Tomlin.  Since Tomlin took over the Steelers from notorious cheese-lipped blowhard Bill Cowher, no one has been in more Super Bowls; he has the third-best winning percentage,[3] the best playoff winning percentage, is the only coach to take his team twice to the Super Bowl, and he has shot at 2 titles in 5 years. Sure, there are those who say that Tomlin was given a great job on a team Cowher had built into a power, but in the parity of the NFL good teams don’t just stay afloat for long. Case in point: only 5 starters remain from the 2006 Steelers squad that won it all under Cowher, yet Tomlin has yet to go through a losing season. Besides, Tomlin actually has a better career winning percentage than Cowher.

Yet all season and going into the playoffs, both insiders and the media were saying others were the best coach in football,[4] and that man that took his team to a 12-4 record without their star quarterback only got a 76% approval rating,[5] good for 7th in the league.  Is there really an explanation other than an institutional subversive distaste and distrust of facial insulation? I declare that there is not. Perhaps the Steelers trouncing the Packers in this Battle of the Beards will help both the media and the general public recognize their apparent bias against the bearded, but this author remains doubtful.

[1] Shakespeare, it should be noted, while often identified visually be his impeccably large and stiff collars, himself rocked an awesome beard.

[2] With the exception of late-70’s baseball head Fay Vincent, the commissioners of the four major sports have been conspicuously beardless throughout history.

[3] Jim Caldwell’s .750 mark has been set in a mere 2 seasons.

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  1. SemihErden says:

    From Keisel @ media day:

    “People are saying that I’m taking beard-enhancing drugs, but I’m not.”

  2. SwagFlu says:

    Beardie, hilarious post!

    I don’t know if you’re planning on continuing with the beard motif in the future, but if you do, here are some important beard-growing episodes in recent sports history.

    1. The infamous DeShawn Stevenson-Drew Gooden beard growing bet:

    2. Brian Wilson of the World Champion SF Giants gained a ton of attention due to his facial hair:

    3. UK-based MMA fighter Subaig Singh sports a beard that makes Santa Claus’ look pre-pubescent:

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