The Best Neckbeards in Sports

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2013

The Best Neckbeards in Sports

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    As a dude, the one thing that I can appreciate is some solid facial hair.

    Usually a fan of the ironic mustache, I'll always offer a shot to another dude who isn't only unafraid to be bold enough to grow one but then actually maintain it until the joke has worn off.

    While having a 'stache is cool, one look that still has yet to really catch on is the neckbeard.

    Not sure if it's the whole association with Mennonites or just because they look really weird, but having hair wrapped around the neck is still fairly odd—yet these athletes don't care at all, as they try their best to be trendsetters.

Dishonorable Mention: This Redskins Fan

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    There are bets that one regrets, and then there are bets that one regrets—with a mouthful of his own hair in his teeth.

    Although this isn't a neckbeard, per se, I had to add it because 1) it gives us sports fans plenty of rotten ideas for friends to do if they're dumb enough to bet something like this, and 2) it involves a guy eating part of his beard.

    Come on, who doesn't want to puke up their lunch to that?

DeShawn Stevenson

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    While it's a solid attempt at a neckbeard by the NBA forward DeShawn Stevenson, I knock him down a few spots on my list because he comes dangerously close of covering up his epic Abe Lincoln tat when he grows it.

    Now if DeShawn just wore the beard all year-round, never showing us his ink, maybe he'd find himself a few places higher.

Braylon Edwards

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    As the third overall pick of the Browns in 2005, Braylon Edwards was supposed to be the deep-threat receiver that the team was looking to jump-start the offense.

    Though he did have a Pro Bowl year in 2007, Edwards has fallen off the map for the most part since.

    In fact, if it wasn't for the beard he's sported before, I'm not sure anyone would even recognize him without his last name on the back of his jersey.

    Careful, Bray—if you're not careful, someone may take you down via the hair on your neck.

Patrick Kane

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    I admit that Patrick Kane is without a doubt my favorite player in the NHL—for obvious reasons—but I'm putting him on this list as a warning to never attempt growing a beard again.

    Looking more like a middle school kid's attempt at upper-lip hair, Kaner should just stick to growing out his mullet for deep playoff runs rather than the traditional beard.

Royce White

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    Although the 76ers' new acquisition Royce White has yet to play in an NBA game, he has still sported one of the league's best neckbeards.

    Unfortunately suffering from anxiety and a fear of flying, White looks like he has had plenty of time to properly groom and shape the way his neckbeard falls.

    Just a bit of advice, though—lose that damn fedora, bro.

Fathi Oukerimi

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    While we can probably all admit that Rockets guard James Harden has the best facial hair in the entire league, I'm not about to crown him champion in the entire sport of basketball.

    After looking at Algeria national team player Fathi Oukerimi's mop on his chin and neck, NBA players might "Fear his Beard" the most now. And if Oukerimi ever made it to the Association, there would have to be timeouts just to sweep the floor of his hair.

Pau Gasol

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    The problem with the Lakers Pau Gasol's neckbeard isn't that it looks half-assed and untrimmed but that it lacks any form or substance, looking more like peach fuzz than anything else.

    Look, no offense to Pau, because he could absolutely dominate me in a one-on-one basketball game. But if it was a one-on-one contest for best facial hair, I would have a serious chance at beating him.

    This thing looks like me after a day or two without shaving, so come on, bro, stop the indecision already and either let it grow or shave it off!

Jonny Gomes

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    Maybe I'm wrong in declaring that Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes actually has a neckbeard—after all, it does seem to cover a bit of his face, too.

    But with a buzzed head and a ton of whiskers popping out from all angles of his face, it looks more like a necky than just your standard, run-of-the-mill man-beard.

David Beckham

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    I know that he doesn't play anymore, but there's no denying the magnitude of soccer icon David Beckham's neckbeard.

    Seemingly having a perfect mane atop his head to style, Becks lacks some serious hair follicles anywhere on his face, as his attempt to grow a beard leads to this mess of a neckbeard.

    Spotted at the recently completed U.S. Open sporting some scruff, we wonder if wife Posh will let him grow it out again for the fall.

     

Kyle Orton

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    I really don't know what to say about Cowboys backup quarterback Kyle Orton's neckbeard?

    It's seriously so spot-on for an Amish person—especially with that mop on his head—that I honestly wonder if he's better suited for driving a horse and carriage than he is holding a clipboard on the sideline.

    If there really is an "Amish Paradise," Orton's the guy to ask where to find it.

     

Andrew Luck

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    The 2012 No. 1 pick hasn't put his neckbeard on display as much as during his grungy college days while still at Stanford, but when he does show it off, it remains one of the best in the biz.

    My personal favorite, though, is when he buzzed his head as support for his head coach Chuck Pagano last year yet still kept the neckbeard as a little reminder to us all that he wasn't just losing the ability to grow hair.

LeBron James

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    After winning back-to-back NBA titles, it seems that the Heat's LeBron James just wants to get a little lazy in cleaning up his facial hair, as he was seen spotting a bushy neckbeard recently.

    With James getting married this weekend, chances are his fiance Savannah will have him lose it, but who knows? We have seen James rock it during important events before.

    Maybe he's just stealing rapper Young Jeezy's style, who frequently hits up Heat games?

Tim Howard

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    Fresh off the men's national team clinching a spot in next year's World Cup, Tim Howard may have shown what the red, white and blue will use as its lucky charm—his neckbeard.

    Howard has always been great at swatting and punching balls away that come anywhere near his six-yard box, and now he has a glorious neckbeard to help intimidate opponents from getting anywhere close to the goal, too.