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Monday, 29 December 2014

Fear the Beard: Top Ten Facial Hair in the NFL

Antonio Garay

Following the impact Pittsburgh's DE Brett Keisel's beard had in the 2010 season, NFL Total Access presented its top ten all-time NFL beards in 2011, and "NFL Films Presents": Fear the Beard premiered in 2012; not to mention that Keisel's beard has its own Facebook page, Twitter account, and launched a line of "Fear the Beard" apparel. Subsequently, there appears to have been a resurgence in, shall we say, interesting facial hair: from basic moustaches and goatees to more Grizzly Adams-type beards to carefully-coiffed decorative face-do's (think former Chargers' DE Antonio Garay whose geometric hair and beard was reminiscent of an M.C. Escher drawing).

According to Dixson & Vasey's (2012) "Beards augment perceptions of men's age, social status, and aggressiveness, but not attractiveness" in Behavioral Ecology, bearded men appear to be more aggressive and dominant while sporting facial hair. Being that football is definitely a manly sport with helmets, pads, brutal tackling, and other acts of machismo, it would make sense that every player would want to don some type of facial hair to increase his perceived virility. Hey, if I could grow a beard, I would.

In addition to the following top-ten countdown, I have a few honorable mentions: recently-retired Chiefs' TE Sean McGrath; Seattle C Max Unger (who shaved his whiskers following Super Bowl XLVIII); and Buffalo K Dan Carpenter because he's just so darn cute (so much for the virility thing).

So without further ado, ...



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