This past weekend saw the celebrations for two of the manliest of days, Father’s Day and World Beard Day. In an effort to recognise World Beard Day, and its charter to promote and elevate the global status of the beard, today we take a look at some of the greatest intersections of Sport and Beards. As for my Father’s Day responsibilities, Dad you will receive your present next week. I promise.
It probably isn’t that big a surprise that in history, sport and beards have gone together like pizza and beer. Outside of circuses, where some very impressive beards are seen on women, the cultivation of facial hair is a mainly masculine pursuit. When combined with the general overtly macho culture in male sport you have, with the exception of lumberjacks, the perfect breeding ground for hairy lips and chins.
So we present to you, in no particular order, the World Beard Day – Greatest Hirsute Sportsmen of all time. Or as some might consider it, with beard growing being undoubtedly the manliest of pursuits, The Manliest Sportsmen of All-Time. A few qualifiers:
- The sportsman must be most remembered as being bearded, so Wayne Carey doesn’t qualify even if you bumped into him once in Bali and he was sporting a summer beard;
- Sporting ability is the first consideration, which explains John Gastev’s omission, despite his undoubted claims to the title of AFL Beard of the 1990’s. If you are too young to remember Gastev, it is worth admiring his beard here.
- Like the All-Australian Team, the judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. This remains the case regardless of how big you consider the howler or oversight.
HOUNOURABLE MENTIONS – WORLD CLASS BEARDS/AVERAGE SPORTSMEN
WORLD BEARD DAY – GREATEST HIRSUTE SPORTSMEN OF ALL TIME
As we sign off on our celebration of World Beard day, here are a few ‘Facts’ as supplied by www.worldbeardday.com to keep in mind when it comes around again next year.
- It is held on the first Saturday of September and is characterised by the happiness of all people being with their beards and with each other
- It is customary for the bearded members of a family to relax and partake in no jobs or chores. The beardless members of the family traditionally show their support by waiting on the bearded hand and foot.
- In southern Spain, many townships gather to witness a boxing match between a bearded man and a beardless boy. The bearded man, normally armed with a sharp pike, is typically the victor.
- In the Swedish village of Dönskborg, anyone without a beard is banished from the town and forced to spend twenty-four hours in a nearby forest. Back in the town, the hirsute burn effigies of their clean-chinned loved ones.
- Shaving on World Beard Day is universally considered to be highly disrespectful.
If you are looking for me on the first Saturday of September next year, I think I’ll be in Donksborg, Happy Beards Day everyone!!!
Extra Reading and Watching
- Graham, B. A. (2013, February 12). Abraham Lincoln Was A Skilled Wrestler and World-Class Trash Talker. Retrieved from Sports Illustrated.
- Link for Eric Grothe’s try of the decade:
- Beard Hierarchy