Battle Of The Beards

It’s cold out, so it’s time to grow a beard, especially if you play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Current Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is the latest Steelers player to dawn a beard that most men can only fantasize about. “Da Beard” as it has been dubbed, has it’s own facebook page and Twitter account, and presumably, a slew of willing women.

Prior to “Da Beard”, longtime Steelers guard Alan Faneca rocked a beard of similar girth, using it to mushroom stamp defenders and put them on their backs.

So in a head to head battle of recent Steelers history, whose beard is the “Alpha Beard” – Keisel’s or Faneca’s?

  

Do The Future A Favor- Tell A Child You Love About ZZ Top TODAY

If we don’t pass on the oral tradition of just how great their beards were, who will? The answer is, sadly, no one. In today’s “metrosexualized” world of “manscaping” and “ear hair removal”, a band like ZZ Top would’ve never made it onto a stage in your local town. Musical talent you say? Puffttt. In today’s “plucked eyebrow” musical universe, they would’ve been voted off “X Factor” before they made it in from the parking lot.

So please, pull a youth in your care aside tonight for an hour, and make them ingest Deguello before bed.

  

Whose Arm Is Stronger- Ryan Fitzpatrick Or His Beard??

Ryan Fitzpatrick may be the most underrated QB in the entire NFL, but his beard is the undisputed #1 QB beard in the entire NFL. Last season, Fitzpatrick’s beard almost got more notice than his production after he was inserted into the starting lineup prior to week four. Fitzpatrick went on to throw 23 TUDS over the next 13 games, and immediately improved a bad team.

With the start of the 2011 NFL season this weekend, Fitzpatrick has already started growing the 2011 version of the beard, no matter what his wife thinks about it. So while you may not ever be an NFL QB, you can at least grow a beard like one.

  

James Harden’s Beard Keys Thunder Victory

Yesterday, the Oklahoma City Thunder advanced to the Western Conference Finals with a 105-90 victory in game seven over the Memphis Grizzlies. As a key reserve and generally the Thunder’s first player of the bench, James Harden’s beard scored 17 points (most of it via four three pointers he nailed), collected four rebounds, had four steals. And in the process throughout the series, he made it cool to have a beard again. For everything that Brawny paper towels tried to do by replacing the iconic “Brawny Man” and limiting his beard, James Harden’s beard is single handedly reversing the trend.

  

The Bearded Age – A history of presidential beards

Here’s another great article from The New York Times, this one about how Abraham Lincoln was the first American president to sport a beard and how he ushered an age where all but one president had a beard or mustache when elected over a 50-year period.

Here are some highlights from the article:

The story of how Lincoln decided to let his chin whiskers sprout has been retold so many times that it’s almost legendary: Grace Bedell, an 11-year-old in upstate New York, wrote him a letter a few weeks before the election. “I have got 4 brothers,” she told the Republican candidate, “and part of them will vote for you any way and if you let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you. you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President.” Lincoln replied to the “dear little miss”: “As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affect[at]ion if I were to begin it now?” Just days after his election, though, he made up his mind. “Billy,” he supposedly told his barber, “let’s give them a chance to grow.”

*****

Yet there was much more to it than that. For more than a hundred years, American men had, nearly without exception, gone clean-shaven; in the late 18th century, a Philadelphia woman considered it noteworthy when she saw “an elephant and two bearded men” in the street one day. Now, in 1860, beards seemed to be sprouting everywhere, proliferating as rapidly and luxuriantly as some new species of invasive tropical plant.

Most American historians, when they have considered the 19th-century whisker revolution at all, have assumed it had to do with Civil War soldiers avoiding the inconvenience of shaving. In fact, the phenomenon predated the war by a number of years – and was the subject of a great deal of contemporary comment and debate. By the mid-1850s, talk of a “beard movement” was sweeping the nation. In 1857, an intrepid journalist strolled through Boston’s streets, conducting a statistical survey: of the 543 men he tallied, no fewer than 338 had full, bushy beards, while nearly all the rest sported lesser facial hair of various sorts. Only four were “men of the old school, smooth shaven, with the exception of slight tufted promontories jutting down from either ear, as if designed as a compromise measure between the good old doctrine and modern radicalism.”

As that remark suggests, antebellum beards bristled with political connotations. American newspapers reported that in Europe, beards were seen as “dangerous” tokens of revolutionary nationalism, claiming that the Austrian and Neapolitan monarchies even went so far as to ban them. In England they were associated with the sudden burst of martial fervor during the Crimean War. When the trend reached America, connotations of radicalism and militarism traveled with it, spanning the Mason-Dixon Line. It was no accident that the timid Northern Democrats who sympathized with slaveholders – like President James Buchanan – were called “doughfaces.” Meanwhile, the Republicans’ first standard-bearer, John C. Frémont in 1856, had also been the first bearded presidential candidate in American history. (The most famous antebellum beard of all, though, was John Brown’s.)

Will we ever have another beard movement?

  

Related Posts