Wide receiver Julian Edelman is ready to take the field alongside his teammates on the New England Patriots and challenge the Los Angeles Rams on the National Football League’s biggest stage, Super Bowl LIII.
Edelman is in Atlanta, Georgia, for the big game and he brought his big beard with him. Edelman’s famous facial hair has taken on a life of its own and the spotlight is shining upon his beard just as much as the man sporting it. Edelman’s beard is getting as much attention as fans can expect Edelman himself to garner from the Rams’ secondary.
Mind you, not all of that attention is positive in nature.
Here’s what you need to know:
Deion Sanders Was Distracted by Edelman’s Facial Hair
NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was interviewing Edelman for the NFL Network — or was, at least, attempting to — but seemingly found his bushy beard distracting, according to Boston Magazine.
“Sanders clearly had a few questions ready for Edelman, but moments after beginning the interview, he totally shifts gears and gets lost in the beard. ‘I just can’t see you with this beard,’ Sanders says. ‘This beard is doing something to me.’ And no, that ‘something’ is not a compliment. ‘It don’t look right,’ Sanders explains,” according to the report.
Edelman cheekily responded that he had shaved two days prior and that “It just grows back.”
Sanders wasn’t giving up that easily, as Boston.com reports. Later in the interview, he pressed Edelman, “Will you shave? If you win will you shave?”
Edelman simply responded “I gotchu,” which seemed non-committal at best.
Is Edelman’s Beard a Traditional Playoff Beard?
Though Edelman has been cultivating his beard for quite a while, the idea of shaving it off after a championship run lines up with the idea of a playoff beard. Playoff beards are the result of superstitious athletes refusing to shave. The playoff beard’s origin lies in the 1980s New York Islanders hockey franchise, and the phenomenon is most closely associated with hockey, though athletes in other sports have adopted it.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers claims he actually disliked the playoff beard he sported during the team’s run up to Super Bowl XL, which he revealed during an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, according to CBS News. He was depressed after a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in December 2005 and didn’t shave; the Steelers won their next game and Roethlisberger’s superstitious nature got the best of him.
“‘I was so mad that we lost the game,’ Roethlisberger told Letterman. ‘I kind of went into a depression and didn’t shave and we ended up winning the next game. And I am kind of superstitious, just a little bit to people who know me, but we won that game and I said I am just going to keep it going until we lose and we kept it going,'” the CBS News report reads.