After catching the first touchdown pass of the Kansas City Chiefs‘ victory over the New York Giants on Sunday, tight end Sean McGrath has been receiving a lot of media attention. Not for his first NFL touchdown, however, for his beard.
The ability of a man to grow a beard has meant many things throughout history. It’s been seen as a sign of wisdom, masculinity and even attributed to one’s sexual prowess.
In the history of sports, media and fan attention to players’ beards means just one thing. The team is winning. McGrath and the Chiefs are doing just that. They’re 4-0, after only winning two games all last season.
The 2004 Boston Red Sox were known as the “idiots”. I’m not sure why since they famously grew out their beards as a sign of unity. I thought beards symbolized wisdom?
The media jumped all over the trend and the BoSox won the World Series.
In these parts, “Fear The Beard” was a popular slogan regarding the Kansas State Wildcats 2010 basketball season. Guard Jacob Pullen was known for his Amish style beard. It became a big hit with fans when K-State advanced to the “elite eight” in the NCAA tournament that year.
It was a focal point of the ESPN broadcast of the Wildcats game against in-state rival and college basketball powerhouse, Kansas, on February 4, 2011. Kansas State beat the No. 1 ranked Jayhawks by 16 in a show of masculinity.
I’m not going down the “sexual prowess” road with you when it comes to McGrath if that’s what you were thinking. I did hear Chiefs broadcaster Mitch Holthus describe his beard as “biblical” though, and so I’ll leave you with the words of my high school psychology teacher.
“Stigmas are prophetic,” he once taught, explaining how if someone is repeatedly told they are something, they become it. Chiefs fans are seeing that the unexpected circumstances that brought a third-string tight end to the spotlight of an undefeated team are a blessing not a curse.
Didn’t Jesus have a beard?
Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia or “Like” him on Facebook