Fearsome Follicles: the 5 Most Awesome Beards in Sports History

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What exactly is in a great beard? Depth, volume, coverage, probably some stray bits of lunchmeat. Whatever you believe makes a great beard though, you have to admit that you have infinitely more respect for a public figure when he’s sporting a serious face-warmer. Especially if he’s a pro athlete! An elite athlete with a respectable beard is like a stripper with a sharp sense of humor; you were already going to like them, now you just like them even more. Here are the top five beards in sports today.

5 Ronny Turiaf – Los Angeles Clippers

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A lack of playing time and visibility has kept Ronny Turiaf from being known as a household beard, but make no mistake, his is a special one. A workman-like bench player for the LA Clippers, Turiaf has no problem doing the dirty work, but his beard is a clean-cut masterpiece. Sporting a well-manicured cornrow and beard combo, Turiaf looks like he’s either a French mercenary that would face off with Matt Damon in a Bourne movie, or a sage-like urban samurai superhero. Either way, it’s pretty damn cool.

4 Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals

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On the baseball diamond, Jayson Werth can do a bit of everything. On his face, so can his beard. He’ll sport a soul patch, a goatee, or a full beard and it always looks good. He’s just an expert beard-wielder. And while some say the Washington Nationals overpaid when they snatched Werth up off the free agent market, we contend that they took his flawless follicles into account and tacked on a few million extra for good measure. And you know what? They were right to do so, because Werth’s is a beard that any team should count themselves lucky to have in their dugout.

3 Brett Keisel – Pittsburgh Steelers

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Pittsburgh is a blue-collar town at its heart. They like their football players tough and working class, and in the case of Brett Keisel, to legitimately look like a yeti. This man’s beard is so exquisite that if you ran into him at the super market, you’d comfortably assume that some time last year he wandered down from the Allegheny Mountains and was helped along by a suburban family to learn the ways of society and put his size to use in the NFL. Simply put, Brett Keisel’s beard is the rare kind that you could easily lose your car keys in. Also, probably your car if we’re talking about a coupe.

2 Brian Wilson – San Francisco Giants (Free Agent)

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While his recent on-field inconsistencies have made MLB general managers unsure of what they’ll get from him on the mound, no one can doubt that the signing of Brian Wilson would immediately increase their team’s sales of faux-beards and general beard-related memorabilia. Wilson is the proud owner of a monster beard reminiscent of the scenes in Anchorman when Ron Burgundy let himself go and dyes it jet black on the off chance that you don’t think it’s quite awesome enough. We may not know which team he’ll be suiting up for come next season, but you can bet whichever roster he lands on will have hit their beard quota for the next decade.

1 James Harden – Houston Rockets

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Leaving an ultra-talented young team like the Oklahoma City Thunder may not have been the best decision in the long run, but at least James Harden was wise enough to take his beard with him to Texas. While, trying to forge a new identity on a new team, Harden wasn’t fooled for a second into considering shaving his trademark beard. Which could be because like Sampson’s locks, many believe that Harden’s power is actually derived from his impeccably groomed facial hair. It’s a young beard that has unlimited potential and already leads the league in thickness, coverage, and three-point percentage.

And those, my friends, are the finest beards in all of sports today. And rest assured, Baron Davis would have been all over this list if he were currently on an NBA roster. And say what you will about his history of injury, we still firmly believe that Baron deserves a job based purely on his longstanding beardly prowess (you heard it here, NBA execs).

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