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vailpass
03-28-2008, 09:08 PM
Some reaction regarding the Long Hair Initiative.
(Sorry if repizzlle)

Let’s not split hairs: This is silly
Allen Wilson
Updated: 03/28/08 2:03 PM

When the NFL owners get together for their annual spring meetings at a swanky resort in Palm Beach, Fla., next week, they’ll examine ways to make the league better.

But of all the important items on the agenda, why is hair among them?

That’s right, the NFL’s deep thinkers will actually talk about how to deal with the length of players’ hair.

Surely the NFL has better things to do. What’s next, eliminating tattoos? How about legislating against facial hair, too, while you’re at it? The bearded menace is a blight on the game, doggone it.

We have the Kansas City Chiefs to thank for this. It seems the Chiefs were ticked off that running back Larry Johnson got flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for lifting Troy Polamalu’s long, flowing mane after Johnson tackled the Pittsburgh Steelers safety out of bounds in 2006.
The Chiefs ought to focus on more pressing concerns, like, winning more football games.

But the Chiefs’ proposal has the endorsement of the NFL’s powerful Competition Committee. Even scarier is the Chiefs might have support from some owners.

The fact that owners might actually vote on this is as absurd as the issue itself. It’s just another indication of the No Fun League putting a damper on individuality.

It’s bad enough that players catch grief for harmless acts like end zone celebrations, wearing the wrong socks or something as ridiculous as doing a television interview wearing a cap that’s not an NFL brand name.

This league wants everybody to be robots, dressing the same and marching to the same beat. I’d buy the Chiefs’ argument if safety were their prime concern. In 2003, the NFL instituted the Ricky Rule, named after former Miami Dolphins Rastafarian wannabe Ricky Williams, that made hair fair game for tackling just like any other part of the body. So Johnson didn’t break any rules with his tackle on Polamalu. L.J. just took it to the extreme.

Apparently, players won’t be asked to cut their hair. Just put it inside their jersey so it doesn’t hide the name on back of the jerseys.

Honestly, does anyone out there really care that football players let their hair grow long? Buffalo Bills fans don’t need Marshawn Lynch to trim his dreadlocks to reveal his name on the uniform. They know who he is. I doubt Steelers supporters are bothered that Polamalu lets his hair hang out. Green Bay Packers faithful can certainly identify cornerback Al Harris with or without the braids.

Stuffing hair into their jerseys isn’t the answer either. Can you imagine Polamalu trying to jam all that hair inside his uniform? I don’t see that happening.

Seems to me that the Chiefs and their backers are hoping this proposed rule will force guys to cut their hair. Even my barber, Derek Grey, doesn’t think that makes sense.

Employers have the right to set grooming guidelines, which is why Johnny Damon had to dump the cave man look when he left the Red Sox to play for the Yankees. But the Supreme Court has also said one’s choice of hairstyles is constitutionally protected under certain circumstances.

Some players wear their hair long for religious reasons. Polamalu has said numerous times that his hair is a celebration of his warrior Samoan heritage.

So here’s hoping the owners do the right thing, which is do nothing at all. After all, they’re in sunny Florida. It’s the perfect place to relax and, ahem, let your hair down.

awilson@buffnews.com

Mecca
03-28-2008, 09:11 PM
We shouldn't be surprised the Chiefs are the organization that is always whining about something....never fails.

Silock
03-28-2008, 09:12 PM
Well, at least they're not making it a race thing because Herm brought it up. So, it could be worse.

Mecca
03-28-2008, 09:13 PM
As a person with long hair I find this pretty ridiculous aswell, thought I'd add that in.