For football fans, it’s finally time. The nuisances and “formalities” of pre-season football are wearing off, and fantasy drafts are firing up. Across the nation bragging rights are at stake, and the total amount of housework done on Sundays is about to see a sharp decline. It’s NFL time, and men (and women who have been dreading it) know it. I can’t speak much for a fantasy team as I’ve never had a fantasy football team, but if you were doing an all-time fantasy draft based on beards, here’s part of your all-star team.
Mean Joe Green
As a University of North Texas alum, I had to give “Mean” Joe Green the nod. But I’m not just playing a homer here, because Joe Green’s beard was the only thing that rivaled his legendary career. Joe Green was recruited by UNT (then North Texas State University) out of Temple, Texas, highly overlooked by bigger college programs. The future four-time Super Bowl winner and anchor of the Steel Curtain defense was one of the most dominant linemen in NFL history, and a beard like that would probably be enough to force opposing linemen into submission. Besides, who else has a college’s athletic program named vastly in his honor? Not many.
Is that former quarterback Jake Plummer or Foo Fighters frontman/former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl? It can be hard to tell unless each is in their “natural” environment. Nevertheless Jake Plummer’s beard he grew out while playing quarterback for the Denver Broncos was pretty impressive. He may not have been the best quarterback in the league (1/1 TD to INT ratio; 74.6 QB rating) but not too many quarterbacks have had as good of a beard. That’s right Roethlisberger; Plummer’s got a one up on you.
If there was an all-star team of most interesting NFL players, then Ricky Williams would have to be somewhere in the starting lineup. Williams was featured in an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary and revealed many personal secrets in his life, and has also been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. A little known fact about Williams too, is he is a qualified Yoga instructor. But perhaps the most interesting thing about Williams was his early retirement from football to study Ayurveda, the Indian system of holistic medicine. After playing a year in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts in 2006 he returned to the NFL and has since had a fairly successful career. My favorite thing about Ricky though is that beard, one that trumps any running back currently playing and likely any running back in history.
Logan Mankins’ college career at Fresno State was somewhat of a marvel, especially his final season in which he didn’t allow a sack or a pressure on the quarterback, then David Carr. David Carr surely missed Mankins during his time with the Texans in which he was pretty much a tackling dummy for opposing defenses, but Mankins has made a successful career in the NFL ranks too, anchoring the Patriots offensive line. Well, Mankins and his killer beard. Mankins beard rivals Zach Galifianakis’, and to be honest the two do look pretty alike with their beards. If a movie company were to do a remake of the classic movie Jeremiah Johnson (a personal favorite of mine), then I’d surely cast Logan Mankins for the part. Keep doing what you’re doing Logan.
If there’s an offensive lineman in the NFL that can challenge Mankins’ beard then it’s got to be the Colts center Jeff Saturday. In fact, according to this video done by NFL.com, Saturday placed number one on the best NFL beards. That’s probably a bit of a stretch but hey, he was on the show as a guest host so I can see the reasoning behind it. Saturday may not have the full fledged Grizzly Adams beard that looks like a mountain man’s, but Saturday can definitely rock the classic man beard, especially once the season gets in full swing. Here’s to hoping that he fully recovers from his current knee injury, and here’s to hoping he dedicates a beard to a healthy recovery and season.