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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Wildcat Playbook: BRING THE BEARD

Novembeard is coming, please prepare your faces.

Yes, it’s almost that time of year again. The month where every able-faced fella feels compelled to carry on the sacred tradition and abandon their razor and shaving cream.

For an entire month.

Things may get hairy, things may get furry, things may start getting stuck to people’s faces. But the troopers, the select few dedicated to the month, will persevere. No matter how thick things get, they will wear the mountain-man look with pride.

This trend almost undoubtedly started with sports. Hockey players have long since sported what’s called “playoff beards,” or facial apparatus to try and promote postseason success. Some baseball players, most recently this year’s Boston Red Sox, have been known to let their facial hair go when they get on a hot streak. And as soon as the streak ends, shave it off.

Recently, a pair of athletes have brought new popularity to the beard in sports. Houston Rockets guard James Harden resembles a flying beard with his wild mane when elevating to the rim during games.

But the athlete who really sparked this rejuvenation was The Beard himself. Brian Wilson, former San Francisco Giants closer, grew the mother of all beards a few years back.

The beard became an overpowering presence, almost more than the pitcher himself. Fans latched onto the hair and found their own forms of beards, adopting the chant “Fear the Beard.”

As a Chico State student and a beard-enthusiast myself, I would love to see this kind of hysteria in our sports. The sports beard, when done right, gives athletes the element of craziness.

When a bearded athlete walks onto the field of play, no one knows what’s going to happen. The athlete could shake hands nicely with the opposition, or they could go off the chain and snap equipment with the might of their hair. With a beard, you just can’t tell.

This is the kind of bearded intensity that could take Wildcat athletics by storm. I could see it now: Fear the Beard revived in Chico; Willy the bearded Wildcat.

Bearded athletes could literally change the face of Chico State athletics. So, come Novembeard, don’t fear the beard. Embrace it.

Nick Woodard can be reached at [email protected]

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