The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Beards Anyone?


No Shave November is here and the fuzz is starting to grow! The autumn month has become a tradition in high schools and college towns across the country for guys to ditch the razors and grow out their beards.  Gillettes go out of style while the facial hair grows in. The beards have become a staple not only for guys walking around campus during November, but have also become iconic for a select few professional athletes.  In honor of No Shave November, let us take a moment to recognize some of the most epic beards in sports.

The Oklahoma City Thunder played host to one of the most prominent beards in the NBA.  James Harden’s facial hair became extremely popular during the Thunder’s trip to the NBA Finals in 2012.  Harden recently took his talents and his beard to Houston, where both are sure to make a sensation.

MLB pitcher Brian Wilson’s beard is so epic it has created it’s own movement.  “Fear the Beard” has become a regular chant at San Francisco Giants games and has caused shirts and other merchandise to don the saying. Wilson has backed up the mantra by statistically becoming one of the best closers in the MLB and winning two World Series titles, despite missing the 2012 run due to injury.

There is no better way to describe Brett Keisel’s beard than a job description: a lumberjack.  The NFL defensive end openly supports No Shave November on his website where fans write that November should be renamed “National Brett Keisel Month.” While it looks like he may wear plaid and chop down trees in his spare time “Da Beard” is sure to make an appearance for the rest of the Steelers’ season.

Hockey is a sport known for their bodacious beards, and Paul Mara’s is no exception.  Others may rival his facial hair in length, but in volume no one’s compares. The Ontario Reign (ECHL) defenseman’s fluff-tastic beard is sure to help keep his face warm while playing in the hockey rink.

In recent years, men’s beards have become a popular topic of discussion, with many beard articles and tips circulating online. Some argue that a well-groomed beard can be a sign of masculinity and confidence, while others simply enjoy the aesthetic appeal of a full, lush beard. Whatever the reason for growing one, it’s clear that facial hair is here to stay as a staple of men’s style. And for athletes like Paul Mara, a beard can even serve a practical purpose, providing warmth and protection during long, cold games.

Here at the University of Iowa, growing a beard this month may mean more than just having fantastic facial hair.  A non-profit organization that was started here on campus, Beards for Boobies, took the idea of No Shave November and turned it into an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer.

So guys, just because you’re not a professional athlete doesn’t mean your beard can’t help raise awareness this month. Every lady has them, so every man should support them. So embrace the inner caveman and let the beards grow.