Freddie Turner celebrated being elected Online Sport Editor in the best way possible- by compiling an inane list of the best beards in sport. Let the controversy ensue:
For me, the star of this year’s Six Nations was an Irish centre, whose world class performance week in week out, led his country to success. That man is Gordon D’arcy.
Yes, I mean D’arcy and not his limelight grabbing partner Brian O’Driscoll, for D’arcy produced one of the best attempts at facial hair, sport has ever seen. It was bushy and rugged and left other men who are follically challenged in the facial regions by comparison, in awe of his manliness.
But this got me thinking, where does D’Arcy’s attempt rank when compared with others in the sporting arena. I have scoured the globe, to compile my list of the top five beards the world has to offer.
5. Simon Whitlock
The ‘Wizard of Oz’ of the darts starts off our list with his lengthy and well-kept beard. This tungsten titan looks more akin to a lecturer in the philosophy department, with his fuzz giving him an intellectual air.
His beard matched with a braided ponytail make his image unique and quirky. The current world number four’s fantastic beard was on show at the Westpoint Arena on the 6th March and will return to Exeter in 2015, giving students a rare chance to get a glimpse of world famous facial hair.
4. Sebastian Chabal
The rugged Frenchman oozes masculinity with his flowing locks and expansive beard. His ‘caveman’ image has made him an iconic figure in the world of rugby. Indeed, in 2010 he was the highest paid player in the game earning over 1million euros a year.
He clearly lacked the skillset to warrant this income. Thus, the message here is clear: exquisite facial hair earns you large amounts of money.
Chabal has become a poster boy of the game and his image is instantly recognisable, with his name being synonymous with vast amounts of glorious dark hair. His beard growth which only began halfway through his career, catapulted him into the limelight and earnt him the adulation of fans the world over.
3. Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla is a world class batsman, with a world beating beard. The devout Muslim is follically challenged above the eyebrows but more than makes up for this below.
His bushy beard is full of life and length. Amla averages over 50 with the bat in both test and one day formats and manages all of this with a vast beard poking out the bottom of his helmet.
His consistent quality and plethora of sensational innings have earned him the nickname of the ‘beard to be feared’ and he has showed there is still room for fantastic facial hair (a la Merv Hughes) in the world of cricket.
2. Andrea Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo is an extremely good looking man, which is primarily the result of a superbly well maintained beard, which supplements his flowing locks. His image is one of class, wisdom and effortless sophistication.
He is the one of the coolest men in sport as well as being a superb footballer. In Euro 2012, his cheeky penalty once again submitted England to Penalty shootout heartache, yet English fans were left to feelings of envy and respect for Pirlo, rather than anger.
The main reason for this was of course his beard, which is abundant yet perfectly maintained. It is impossible to form any negative opinions about a man with facial hair of this calibre, simply sensational!
1. Brett Keisel
Undoubtedly the best beard in sport and maybe even the best on the planet. The NFL player, is a two time superbowl winner with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, as a quick Google search highlights, he is far more famous for his monumental beard than his sporting exploits. ‘Da beard’ as Keisel and his army of fans refer to it, has its own twitter account and Facebook page. It has also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for a prominent Pittsburgh children’s charity, with the now annual ‘shear Da Beard’ charity event.
Keisel clearly has a natural and unique talent for relentless and unrivalled beard growth and is using this superpower to do ‘good’. Long may this good work continue!bookmark me