Sunday, March 30, 2008

Darling don't you go and cut your hair.

Among the the many issues that will be discussed by representatives of the 32 teams of the NFL during their off season meeting will be the topic of players' hair length. Apparently there is a proposal on the board for a ban on long hair that goes out beyond their helmet. Players don't have to actually cut their hair but at least tuck it in under their helmets. Its reasoning is safety, to prevent the painful tackles made via hair pulling (or as I'd like to call it "hair collar" tackles) like the one Larry Johnson gave to the flowing locks of Troy Polamalu in 2006. However, I for one am not a supporter.

Frankly this seems like another example of the NFL reaffirming its reputation as the overly stuffy "No Fun League." Not only does the whole thing tread into the uncomfortable territory of dictating personal choices and discriminating against appearances; it further strips away the uniqueness of many of these NFL players. These long haired players are aware of the risks and have probably had an incident or two; so I believe it's a conscious choice on their part to keep their distinctive manes. Plus, it gives personality to a sport where individuality under matching uniforms, pads, and helmets is quite difficult. There's a reason when I made myself into a running back in Madden, I gave him a set of dreads that puts the Predator to shame. The league has already banned end zone celebrations and enforced strict uniform guidelines, this seems to be one in a line of actions to make NFL teams and players as homogeneous and vanilla as a game of electric football.

I hope that common sense and a call for personal liberties will prevail in striking this measure down. In the meantime here are some of my all time favorite long haired freaky people:

Troy Polamalu

Al Harris

Marion Barber III

R.W. McQuarters

Mike McKenzie

Domata Peko

Robert Gallery

Old School Ricky Williams

Now according to the article, it was the Kansas City Chiefs who originally proposed this new rule, however I would not be surprised if all this was masterminded behind the scenes by certain, jealous, vindictive players...

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