Thursday, February 17, 2011
The Weak Ender: The case for beards
The Super Bowl has created many one-hit wonders during the years — Redskins RB Timmy Smith,Raiders LB Jack Squirek and the undercover cop who took down Eugene Robinson the night before Super Bowl XXXIII.
Maybe even the crack pipe that took down Stanley Wilson.
And this year, another star was born — Brett Keisel‘s beard.
In a Super Bowl without a lot of drama -- really, the biggest story was who was going to be in a team photo or some lineman's ankle? -- Keisel's beard really carried the load.
In fact, this much attention has not been given to a beard since Nicole Kidman left Tom Cruise.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Keisel will shave his beard for charity.
Before that beard is shaved however, a word of advice to Keisel. Are you crazy man? Shaving that beard is going to be box office death. The beard is your moneymaker. Did BJ (Greg Evigan) ever work after he ditched the Bear? Did David Hasselhoff thrive when he ditched the sand and silicon in Santa Monica? The Hoff didn’t make headlines again until he started eating cheeseburgers off a tile floor. And if the references to 80s TV shows doesn’t get to you, how about the narrative of Samson?
Do you really want any of that, Brett?
But you can’t blame Keisel for wanting to raise money for UPMC’s Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Not only is this a worthy cause, Keisel can finally use the Christmas present his wife gave him — a new razor.
So what says you, who in the NFL had the best beard of all-time?
Besides Jeff Garcia.
The real answer is not Merlin Olsen or even Dan Fouts. But does anybody remember that kid who used to participate in those Punt, Pass and Kick competitions back in the early 1990s? Dude looked like Franco Harris. That 12-year-old had the best beard going.
Anybody remember that?
THE LAKERS losing to the Cavs once again reminds me why I spend absolutely no time watching regular-season NBA basketball. The NFL is telling everybody that the fans want an 18-game season.
Well, the fans don't.
The only sport that should be considering an 18-game season is the NBA.
And for the record, I was once in the camp of the 18-game NFL season, but now I have no only reversed my field like Marcus Allen in the Super Bowl, how about a 14-game season again?
Eliminate the Pro Bowl, and maybe add an extra round to the playoffs. Move the season ending to early January. And to make up for the extra money, just charge the networks even more money. Trust me, since I got a DVR, the only TV worth watching live is sporting events.
And even that is almost not true anymore.
THE KINGS make me want to watch regular-season hockey, however. I still cannot commit to watching every game, but it's become appointment viewing on the weekend. Although, I did watch the Kings vs. Rangers on Thursday, highlighted by a 3-on-3 situation in overtime. Man, it was wild.
Hockey gets it. Too bad more people don't.
AND FINALLY ...
The biggest story in sports this week has been the return of The Rock to the WWF (sic -- sorry, hippies, it will always be that to me). The news sent waves around the world. Not only was The Rock trending on Twitter, but so was his alter-ego, Dwayne Johnson. That, my friends, takes star power.
And it got me thinking: Is there anybody in the NFL who possesses The Rock’s charisma? I mean, he's a megastar, like the Hugh Jackman of wrestling.
Some might say Chad Ochocinco, but that doesn’t really work, mainly because The Rock was once a champion. Sorry to Terrell Owens and Steve Smith South, because they, too, are out in that case.
A case could be made for Hines Ward. He’s a two-time champion, blurs the line between heel and fan-favorite, plus he has been known to lay down the smack on opposing defensive players. A strong candidate.
Then there is Clay Matthews who, much like The Rock, is a third-generation superstar in his sport. And like The Rock, Matthews does have that Hall of Fame bloodline.
Still, that seems kind of off. You might have to go back to Warren Sapp -- who was a college teammate of The Rock at the University of Miami -- to find a person who fits.
But what about the rest? Here are the top six current NFL player to WWE superstar comparisons going. (And before you start, yes, this is the kind of mindless fun we will be enjoying until football kicks off again.)
6. Ochocinco/The Miz
The Miz goes by a goofy nickname and spends most of his time telling people how awesome he is instead of actually proving it. Yeah, I would say that fits. And really, can't you see 85 wearing this shirt? Though by always taking a backseat to T.O., he might be more Alex Riley.
5. Ray Lewis/Triple H
Triple H is known as "The Game." He is the king of kings, and he calls all of the shots. And while Lewis might not be married to the boss’s daughter, he certainly carries that kind of respect with every NFL player.
4. Aaron Rodgers/Edge
At first it seemed like Philip Rivers might be a good match with Edge. But Rivers prides himself on never working blue when he talks trash to opponents. Not quite a "Rated R Superstar" at all. So give Rodgers the nod here, because not only do he and Edge wear the same belt, Matthews helped deliver the title for both.
3. Drew Brees/Daniel Bryan
Both Brees and Bryan were once derided as being far too small to make it with the big boys. Both were able to overcome the odds to be champions of their profession. Who has the last laugh now?
2. Peyton Manning/John Cena
Manning and Cena are middle America’s dream -- clean-cut, bad hairdos, but they make good commercials (although it seems that only children can take their sugary goodness). And both are the face of their respective industries right now, even though most discerning adults root against them.
1. Brett Favre/Ric Flair
Hall of Famers for sure, but both should have hung it up a long, long time ago.
Also receiving votes: Rivers/CM Punk; Jay Cutler/Zack Ryder.
What do you have?