by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
“Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair, shinin’ gleamin’ streamin’ flaxen waxen.” A few words from “Hair” by the Cowsills, from the musical of the same name. Years ago, companies would hire clean shaven athletes for commercial ads touting razors and blades. Now, it would be difficult to find more than a few to take the job. In the early seventies, a team of bad boys, led by one Mr. Reggie Jackson, sported some bushy moustaches on their way to a couple of world championships. Our 1987 Champions had Danny Gladden, who always had a few golden locks sneaking out from under his cap or helmet.
Then along came Johnny Damon with the Kansas City Royals. Johnny looked like a homeless man but later was traded to the Yankees, who have a strict appearance code. Johnny cleaned up but now fast forward to the likes of Brian Wilson, a closer for the Giants and now the Dodgers. Brian has a thick black beard about 8 inches long, and I might say, not very baseball player looking. Especially since the beard is accompanied by a mullet under his cap. Several players have adapted the look spearheaded by Jason Werth of the Nationals. Jason tends to remind us of the old GEICO commercials where even a caveman can save 15 per cent on car insurance.
Recently the Twins played Boston, and we were treated to simulated dreadlocks highlighted by hand weaved dandelions under the cap of Hanley Ramirez. Then there are the flowing locks of Mets’ pitcher Jacob Degrom and White Sox’ Jeff Samardzija. These hairstyles are approaching that of Bruce Jenner. Oops, did I say “Bruce”? I meant Caitlyn.
Four of our six major sports, Baseball, Football, Hockey and Basketball provide uniforms for the players. There, the only fashion statements available are pointing the bill of a hat cockeyed, or maybe not buttoning the uniform all the way to the top, ala Oswaldo Arcia. So that leaves clothing options for only Golf and Bowling. Ricky Fowler has gained attention on the links with colorful orange outfits and a hat that’s about three sizes too big for his head. Ian Poulter has donned some more than fashionable pants for his rounds.
On to Bowling. In the 70’s, Ernie Schlegel showed up on the tour with some colorful outfits, and everyone noticed Wayne Webb and Guppie Troup when they arrived on the lanes. But I cannot remember any outfit more striking than Guppie’s son, Kyle Troup, making his first TV appearance on PBA’s Summer Swing in Oklahoma City. Kyle showed up with a white outfit with black outlined red and blue patches. What was really unusual was his four inch afro hairstyle that would make Oscar Gamble and Dr. J jealous. I guess nobody told Kyle that Michael Jordan made afros obsolete.
Hair and pants – in the PBA big dance. The twohanded Kyle won the tournament. Congratulations!