Beards in Sports

Many people call themselves a sports fan.  Some call themselves a fan or follower of a specific team(s) and/or athlete(s).  But in this blog, I want to share a few of my personal favorite beards in the modern era of sports.

#5 Paul Mara Hockey Player

Paul Mara has played his fair share of hockey.  He is currently playing in the AHL for the Houston Aeros.  Before that, he was last seen with the Montreal Canadiens, and before that was with the Anaheim Ducks.

But nothings say beard like a largely noticeable one.  In looking at hockey players, many have some sort of facial hair – it isn’t completely absent of the sport.  However, to find one that makes you want to say, “Now that’s a beard!” is rare.  But ladies and gentlemen, have no fear.  That’s a beard!  Sizely, but well kept.  Well done Mr. Mara.  Well done.

#4 James Harden Houston Rockets

I swear this isn’t just a Houston thing, nor do I have an infatuation with Houston (though I would like to visit the city one day).  Originally famous with the Oklahoma City Thunder, James Harden’s beard helped make this man an icon. It’s so great, it can be marketed (the pinnacle of beard excellence)!

The one constant about Harden has been his beard.  I fear the day he may get rid of it.  But to this day, it is still there attached in all its glory   Bask in its glory.  Enjoy it.  Learn from it. Behind every great beard, is another beard (as proven by the Foot Locker commercial).

 #3 Kimbo Slice MMA/Boxing/Wrestling

I am personally not that big of a fan of MMA, UFC, boxing, wrestling, and other sports of that nature.  But what I am a fan of is a good beard.  Kimbo’s beard is massive.  It is like two of James Harden’s beard in one!  And that’s nice.  Kimbo has kept the beard well maintained and it looks gloriously healthy and vibrant.

Over the years, Kimbo has been stepping away from the various rings to acting.  The most notable to date has been in the third installment of The Scorpion King.  I have yet to see the movie but being put into any sort of epic action movie like this is always a testament.  Acting skills or not, the beard does wonders for everyone.  If you are looking at getting your acting career started, have a picture of you clean shaven, but show up with a massive beard and that will help immensely.  I’m no expert but that’s just my two cents.  Just saying.

#2 Brett Keisel Pittsburgh Steelers

Football, with all its testosterone, provides many beard sightings.  While many grow a respectable beard, Brett Keisel’s mane is glorious.  I know that one of my qualifications has been the overall maintenance of a beard, but some beards you just can’t deny.  This is one of those.  Iconically great.  You would think he wouldn’t make it on the list, or at least not this high, as he has been known to shave the beard every so often.  But I know of at least one time he shaved for a good cause, and that’s what’s up.   Greatly bearded men know that with great beards come great responsibility.

With one of the greatest beard commercials I’ve seen, Head and Shoulders continued their Troy Polamalu bit, but bringing in even more Steelers into the fray.  This commercial included Brett Keisel, Brett Keisel’s beard, and Hines Ward.  It is hard for me to appreciate a commercial over and over and over again, but the beard gets me every time.  It should get you too.

 #1 Brian Wilson San Francisco Giants/Free Agent

So this is biased as I am a Giants fan, but meh.  Brian Wilson’s beard has seen various lengths and different levels of maintenance – from a small, well kept mound on his chin to unruly greatness.  It doesn’t matter the size, Brian Wilson wears it well.  Hands down, one of the best beards to grace the sports scene.  So great that it would inspire the slogan to match his skill – “Fear the Beard” (feel free to get in a t-shirt if you like).

Of all the beards, his has been the most marketed that I can recall of in sports history so far.  He has been in a little spoof for ESPN, a commercial for MLB 2k11 and NBA 2k12, Taco Bell,  plus numerous for Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area, and probably way more that I can’t remember right now.  Needless to say, the beard is its own entity.  It probably has its own social security number.

There you have it, the best beards in sports (per me and my hugely biased, unscientific, unmeasured opinion).  Your opinion may differ than mine, and I respect that.  But you aren’t changing this list in my head.  Hopefully you enjoyed.  If you are looking to grow a beard, take notes from these men.

Tune in to Sports Madness with Josue “Josh” Alvarez Mapp (a.k.a. DJ Mappquest) every Tuesday 6-7 PM PST, and every Friday from 8-10 PM PST for relationship advice on the Almost Late Show, all on!



  1. Get rid of the beards and shaggy greasy hair. Ugly!! Love SF Giants but can’t stand to watch them with their creepy beards. Shave ’em off PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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