Like V-neck shirts, speedos and, to a certain extent, human emotion, only a very specific type of man can pull off facial hair. For the record, I'm not one of them. And odds are, neither are you.
I'm sure that won't stop you from trying, though. And like a defiant teenager, you'll grow one to prove me wrong, because you're different, right?
Well, you're not.
It'll take you a while to realize this, I'm sure, and it'll probably come as the result of your girlfriend either threatening to leave you or her closing shop.
And if you don't have a girlfriend, sadly you'll be walking the earth looking like an idiot for who knows how long. And believe me, you look like an idiot.
And so do the following athletes.
Here is a countdown of the 25 worst beards, mustaches and goatees in sports history.
I know that technically we're not talking about facial hair here, but in the spirit of shaving things off, I thought I'd mention these two men who refuse to age gracefully.
Bobby Valentine and Marv Albert may or may not be dying their hair, and in Marv's case, he's clearly wearing a toupee. And I mean clearly.
And for the love of god, don't start lightening your hair. It's not the 90s, we're not bleaching anymore, and the older you become the more pathetic it is.
This is a friendly reminder that sometimes it's not just your face that needs shaving. It's your butt, and what's left of the hair on your head...as soon as you let us see it, that is.
Yeah, I know, he's the soon to be MVP of the league, but it's probably best he look good when he accepts the honor.
He looks like one of those painters that wears tights and a puffy shirt with a hat that has a feather in it. Maybe a cape.
I never really paid much attention in history, you'll have to excuse me.
The thing is, it's a very subtle beard/goatee hybrid. But so is Sidney Crosby's (you'll be seeing him later). It doesn't scream "look at me," but it's there. And it's terrible.
It's like the little engine that could. I don't know if that's as far as it'll grow, or if he intentionally keeps it in its infancy.
Also, LeBron James should have gotten the MVP, and I'm very upset about this.
You won't see Woods rock this very often, and for good reason, but despite its short-lived appearance, it has to be mentioned.
I suspect somebody told him he looked like an idiot, and if he's attuned to the art of telepathy, it was me.
Now if only I could get into Reggie Bush's mind, I could finally tell him how much I'd love to see him traded for a churro...
Randy Moss looks every bit like a guy jumping from job to job. He may be talented, but his moldy rug of a beard doesn't exactly scream "I care."
Funny thing how in 2007 his face was much neater and smoother; then, the more it grew, his production declined. Is this simply a classic case of correlation vs. causation?
No. Because it's definitely a case of causation. Question me and you'll go bald.
That'll teach you.
Some beards make you look wise, some distinguished and if you're lucky, they'll actually attract women. Sometimes even classy women.
But Reed's beard just makes him look dirty.
He looks like he'd yell at me from a stoop. One that's probably located in the woods, where his parents—some kind of wolf-stoop hybrid—taught him how to play safety.
Look, I love Ed Reed, mostly because we share the same first name, but his legendary play is only bogged down by the mess on his face.
Time to look classy, Ed.
Sometimes a person just doesn't give a damn anymore. They quit taking showers, eat fast food, don't leave the couch, take up the ganja and generally just disregard all forms of grooming.
Or, you can just do what Ricky Williams did and attribute your homeless appearance to being spiritual. This, of course, is a euphemism for all of the above.
Believe me, I know all about this. I graduated from Humboldt State, the mecca of stink, marijuana, organic everything and Spongebob Squarepants.
Ricky, would you please come visit Arcata, CA? And please bring that thing you call a beard with you? We won't judge you. In fact, if you're clean-shaven, you're looked at weird.
But if you're anywhere else, you should probably send that thing to hell.
This is a classic case of attempting to establish a non-existing jawline. Then, too much time goes by, and you realize that despite it looking terrible, others—including yourself—would no longer recognize you without it.
To shave it would mean hearing such things as, "Who is this respectable looking human being?" and "I see you realize you're not 21 and still living at home anymore."
They say he's on the decline, but though he may someday leave baseball, don't expect him to give this thing up anytime soon.
Though he should.
Strap a viking helmet on this man and let's go conquer stuff, though not the Super Bowl—I saw how that ended.
Keisel's beard took on a life of its own, at one point tearing itself from his face and dancing around during Super Bowl media day, though nobody saw it. Except me. I saw it, and I'll never forget it.
You don't know.
He would eventually shave it off for charity in an event called "Shear the Beard." It carried with it all the excitement of a man shaving his beard.
In other words, you'll need to be drunk to find this entertaining. And by the sound of it, the crowd was.
There are a billion things I want to say about Ben Roethlisberger—none of which are good—but let's just say that this mustache gave me one more reason why I'd love to kick him in the face.
I could leave it at that, but I won't. Nothing's more fun than kicking a dead horse. Calm down PETA, I mean that figuratively.
It's not just that his mustache looked terrible, it's that it went through phases, each phase uglier and more insufferable than the last. Then he went and had that sleazy slicked-back haircut during this press conference.
God, I can't believe this guy almost had three Super Bowl Rings.
For years, I've been saying to friends and family and to anyone in Arby's that'll hear it—which as it turns out, isn't many people these days.
Mark Henry is the single ugliest human being I've ever seen. And that beard he has going isn't exactly helping.
I realize I'm going to hell now, and I do feel bad for saying that, but it's just what it is. I'm sure he's a great guy and everything, but sometimes you need to help yourself.
Shave it off Mark, for the love of god.
Jenks' goatee is just stupid. So stupid, in fact, that if he were my friend and he walked into my home, I'd kick him out immediately.
Even if he shaved it, I'd still have to ban him for at least a few years, just so he can think about what he's done.
This thing is neither awesome nor quirky, and it's certainly not becoming in any way. He just looks like an ass, and he is the poster child for why I believe goatees are the ugliest things ever.
I once called a pizza parlor and ordered a "Kimbo Slice." They had no idea what I was talking about and, truth be told, neither did I.
I was drunk, you see.
But that's not the point of the story. Frankly, I'm not entirely sure what the point of that story is, if indeed there's a point at all.
Maybe it's that you shouldn't grow your beard out to detract from your baldness. Or maybe it's that you shouldn't grow your beard out to detract from your obvious inability to fight with real talent.
Or maybe it's that someone needs to make a freaking "Kimbo Slice" already. You know, one that doesn't suck.
Wow. I'd tell them to shave it off, but they'd probably beat me up. Or they'd have sex with me. I'm not completely sure.
Here's the thing about the '70s: Facial hair was not only acceptable, it was awesome. That's why you won't see many old school beards on this list, because they were encouraged and a part of the culture.
Today, we know better. Beards are a joke, for the most part. But these are two men who maybe, just maybe, might have crossed into the acceptable zone.
I leave this one up to you.
Did you know that Drew Gooden is still in the NBA? I know, I'm surprised too.
Apparently he was able to accomplish more than Morrison, and no, I don't mean that he was actually good. He just managed to not completely disappear.
Honestly, how can you even look your employer in the eye with this thing? Or your wife and kids? Fans? This had to be for shock value, because there's no possible way that he thought this actually looked good.
Do you remember his rats tail? Someone should revoke this man''s hair license, as soon as we invent that.
I'm not a professional athlete by any means, but I'd think that if I were, I'd expect my teammates' appearance to reflect the excellence that our team aspires to achieve.
This is why the Yankees don't care for facial hair. And it's also why I don't care for Scott Pollard.
I suppose when you suck, you have to go out of your way to attract attention. Hey, it kept him in the NBA for 11 years.
Seriously. It certainly wasn't due to his production.
I'll admit, I didn't notice it until a friend pointed it out to me, but since it's been brought to my attention, I've never been able to look at him in the same way.
Pau Gasol looks like a llama.
And not some kind of sexy llama that you might find in an adult video, I suspect. Just your run of the mill, ugly llama.
When your beard makes you look like an animal, it's probably time to let it go. Especially since you look like one anyways.
If Lalas had walked up to me in his prime and told me that he knew the meaning of life, I would have believed him. Oh, don't be smug. You knew you would have followed him to the end of the world if he asked you to.
All he's missing is a scepter or some kind of badass walking stick, preferably one that looks like a scepter. Maybe a poncho. A couple of burritos would help. Okay, I'm basically just describing Manuel from the taco truck around the corner.
Point is, when you're starting to look like a prophet who plays soccer, it's probably time to shave the beard. Which he did. And now, I think he looks much better.
Unfortunately, he's not so wise anymore.
Looking at Lanny's mustache makes me want to chug beer and chop wood. This is the kind of mustache that demands respect. Unfortunately, I can't give it.
Even as he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary, I still couldn't help but picture him twisting it, hatching some kind of devious plan.
It's funny that his dad told him to "make sure that they remember you not only as a hockey player, but for the man that you are," because I don't see that happening.
Sorry Dad, the advice you probably should have given your son was to not look like a comic book villain. Especially not Dr. Robotnik.
Rodgers at a time had the complete package. His hair was long and unkempt with a beard and soul patch to match.
Surely, it was the one and only way to make an otherwise completely awesome human being look like a 90's jerk.
Somebody tie a flannel shirt around his waist and hand him an acoustic guitar. Then punch him in the face. Don't worry, it's not mean—you're doing him a favor.
He'd probably just get up and talk about his feelings. Then he'd throw a perfect spiral directly to your temple and explode your brain.
You know the mark of a good super villain? The twistier their mustache is, the more devious their plots, and the more powerful they become.
Well, Rollie Fingers—a name he actually goes by—is the most devious of them all.
He twisted and he twisted and he twisted some more. So much so, that batters couldn't concentrate. They were mesmerized, neigh, enamored with the entity that had come to inhabit his upper lip.
In time he would be elected to the Hall of Fame. Which I'm sure was all part of his plan...
Look, I'm doing this guy a favor by reminding all of you that he's still alive, so bear with me.
I'm just that good a guy. And I really don't want him to start crying again.
What originally began as a porn-star mustache—minus the porn-star action, of course—gradually made its way down to his chin, where it grew into some kind of hippie serial-killer-in-the-making type of thing.
Probably because he wasn't getting the porn-star action. Or playing time. Seriously, who does he play for now? Oh, that's right—nobody.
Do you see? This is why friends don't let friends grow facial hair.
This just might be the saddest damn thing I've ever seen.
You don't so much "shave" a "beard" like this, as you do pluck it with tweezers or your finger nails. I feel like if he bent over near my ass and I farted, that'd be the end of this monstrosity. Plus his beard would be gone too.
Good thing hockey rinks are indoors; he wouldn't want a sudden gust of wind to come by and erase years of hard work.
Unlike Morrison, Plummer looks like he could actually make it in the porn industry. They did call him "Jake the Snake," after all.
Sure he'll fix your carburetor, but at a terrible price. $5000. And he'll have sex with you too. When he whips you on the butt with a towel, you think nothing of it. Just Jake being cool.
He too went through a prophet phase, where he tried to convince the masses that he didn't suck, when he tried his damndest to look like Jesus.
Not only did it not work, but a local cult mistook him for their leader and brought him back to their commune, telling him he was born to take them to the promised land. Good thing he was in the bathroom when they drank the punch.
He should have known better from the start. None of them were Broncos players, and the "Super Bowl" they were referring to had nothing but poisoned juice in it.
Note: Just in case you haven't figured it out, the preceding events never took place. Pat yourself on the back.
Look, I'll be honest with you. I don't really watch baseball, and I have absolutely no idea who this guy is or what he's accomplished. But damnit, I've never had a man arouse within me such a sense of curiosity, shame, guilt, joy and everything in between.
Look at him. No, stop it, don't look away. Look right into his eyes and tell me you don't feel it too. Is it love? I don't know. But it's something, and the girlfriend I don't have isn't happy about it.
Let's just leave it at that.
Come on, man. What are you thinking?
With that B.S. hanging from his face, I don't care if he's trying to tell me that the world is ending and run for shelter—as long as it's there (and probably pinkish), I can't take a damn word he says seriously.
I put this on the level of tragic. It's not good enough to be funny, and it's not pathetic enough to be laughable. It's just, well, I don't know...tragic.
Let this be a lesson to everyone thinking of growing a soul-patch/goatee type thing. Not only is it a bad idea in the first place, but dying it colors will only make it worse.
Only at the ages of 13-17 could this work, and it's hard enough to grow facial hair at that time. It's a very short window of opportunity.
I'm talking very short. Five minutes maybe.
Oh, let me guess. His beard is awesome, right?
Sure, to an extent.
He's not No. 1 for the reasons you'd think.
His beard was, at a time, pretty cool, but it's not anymore. There's a fine line that is crossed when you ride the gimmick wave. As I wrote about Dennis Rodman, you want to ultimately be remembered for your talent, not your appearance.
He already has his championship, so let the beard go. We all know that it doesn't actually have any real power. At least, I hope you know that. Put it this way: When you think of Brian Wilson, do you think of his pitching or his beard?
Like any good artist, you have to move on and evolve. Let your talent shine and don't hide behind a meat dress or inside a giant egg.
Shave it, Brian. Please, shave it.