The 2011 NFL All-Facial Hair Team
Football is a man's game, and nothing defines manliness quite like proud facial hair.
A football player with facial hair? That's almost too much manliness for one computer screen to handle.
In fact, it may be best to save all important documents right now before continuing any further. In the next few slides, you'll see the brave men at each position who stand out for their quality facial hair.
Here is the NFL's All-Facial Hair team for the 2011 season.
Coach: Mike Tomlin
A great facial-hair-based team deserves a coach with terrific facial hair of his own. With the Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin, we're off to a great start.
QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick
If points were given for great facial hair, Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick would have had his team in the Super Bowl. It's a beauty.
Instead, the league insists on keeping the archaic points-based scoring system in place.
RB: Michael Turner
There's no doubt that Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner's excellent beard is a major reason behind his success.
If only his linemen teammates were also able to contribute such great facial hair of their own. Maybe then Turner would not get completely stuffed on a critical short-yardage play.
FB: Brit Miller
There's no denying that you've made it when the folks at the (apparently real) American Mustache Institute come to interview.
Congrats, St. Louis Rams fullback Brit Miller.
WR: Braylon Edwards
With great beards come great responsibility...and that is certainly the case for current free-agent (formerly of the San Francisco 49ers) wide receiver Braylon Edwards.
TE: Chris Cooley
It's good to see pictures of Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley smiling on the sideline. It's a lot better than photos released a few years ago showing him disrobed while perusing a playbook.
The New York Jets have an excellent offensive line, anchored by its center, Nick Mangold.
Likewise, Mangold's face is anchored by a tremendous beard that has few equals (and as you'll see in the next slide, that number is dwindling).
His beard has become such a presence that it has fled to the world of Twitter in order to speak directly to fans.
Needless to say, the All-Facial Hair team will be doing just fine building its offensive line around Mangold.
It's easy to select Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Brett Keisel to the 2011 All-Facial Hair team, but I'm pretty sure that he will not be a part of any such team in 2012.
Keisel, in a charity event this past weekend, agreed to shave his entire beard. It's all gone.
While it must be tough for him to lose his great beard, it must be a relief to finally be able to clear it all off (not to mention eat foods that can break off into crumbs and not feel self-conscious).
LB: Scott Fujita
CB: Champ Bailey
He may be the elder statesmen of the Denver Broncos defense, but cornerback Champ Bailey is a great example for younger players with his tremendous facial hair.
At 33, Bailey shows no signs of stopping. He made the Pro Bowl this season for the 11th time in his career.
S: Ed Reed
If people can recognize you through the phrase "Fear the Beard," like Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, there's a good chance that you'll make this team.
K: Dan Carpenter
In a position dominated by clean-shaven players, Miami Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter stands out with his solid facial hair.
However, his numbers were more solid than flashy. Making about 85.3 percent of his kicks, his numbers were just outside the Top 10 for accuracy.
P: Shane Lechler
The beard team would be doing well at the punter position by bringing in Oakland Raider Shane Lechler.
He was second in the league in punting average, with a whopping 50.8 yards per kick. (The leader, San Francisco 49er Andy Lee, averaged 50.9 yards per kick.)