By Doug Halberstadt
Before I get to the main purpose of this column, I’d like to make a couple of points. First, I fully realize there are far more important issues in the world of professional sports currently. Second, I’ve always been a huge fan of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Troy Polamalu. So much so that when he was in his prime a few years ago, I said if there were one player I would select to start an NFL team with, I’d take him.
The problem is, if he were on my team, I’d make him cut his hair — or at least put it inside his helmet. I have a huge pet peeve with players whose locks extend so far out of their helmets that it is impossible to read the embroidered names on the backs of their jerseys.
I think the NFL should adopt a rule stating that a player must have all of his hair contained within his helmet. I really dislike the players who have so much hair hanging out of the back of their helmets that unless you have a roster, you have no idea who number XX because all you can see is his Samsonian locks.
Also, before anyone accuses me of having a racist slant concerning this issue, I’d like to eliminate that notion immediately. Plenty of players in the league would have to make some changes to their dos before taking the field if the league were ever to adopt my suggestion. In my book, it has absolutely nothing to do with the color of their skin, it’s strictly about the length of their hair.
In an effort to emphasize my point, what if a player had hair so long it covered his number? Would the league take action then? I’m suggesting they should avoid that trouble by being proactive and doing something before it does become a real problem.
With all of the other off-the-field issues the league is dealing with, I’m guessing they couldn’t care less about this, and perhaps I shouldn’t, either, but it annoys me when I can’t tell who a player is because all I can see is long, flowing locks of hair hanging over their shoulders and halfway down their backs.
The other option would be to have a player’s name sewn below his number instead of above it. Maybe that would be the better way to go about resolving my pet peeve. Either way, I really wish they’d do something.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
Posted Sept. 30, 2014