Ever wonder why James Harden left OKC? It wasn’t because Houston offered him mo’ money. It was because Kevin Durant cringed at the sight of the fluffy dog living on Harden’s face! Fine, that’s not true, but beards have become the new favorite accessory in sports. In honor of Harden and the NHL/NBA playoffs, let’s discuss the five fiercest beards in professional sports. And no, Sidney Crosby’s three chin hairs will not be on this list.
1. Jeff Bagwell
Anyone who watched baseball in the 90s loved Bags for his wide stance and “I’m in a biker gang” face. More than anything, Houston fans tuned in to catch a glimpse of those Jafar-esque tendrils dangling from his manly chin.
2. Brian Wilson
The non-Beach Boy Brian Wilson might not be doing much in baseball anymore, but for a while, this dude was one of the most fearsome closers in the game, thanks to his creepy black beard. Who can focus on a fastball when Jared Leto’s psycho brother is staring you down? Ick.
3. James Harden
Obviously James makes this list. He’s basically the beard’s biggest ambassador in the modern era. To this day, I have no clue what his real face looks like. I don’t even want to know.
4. Apolo Ohno
This list didn’t feel right without a soul patch involved. It was between Chase Utley and Apolo. I went with Apolo because of his commitment to the patch. Utley has wavered over the years, but Apolo has stayed true to his roots.
5. Brett Keisel
Brett Keisel’s beard belongs in a Mel Gibson movie. Lucky for us, we’ve been getting it every year since 2010. We yinzers are gonna miss Da Beard, but it was a good run while it lasted.
Those are the five beards that will keep you awake at night. Apolo Ohno aside, at least these dudes have some class and keep a full beard instead of the ‘stache. I’ll take that the small victories as they come. Now go shave off those monstrosities!