Any man who prides himself on his beard has likely drawn inspiration from others at one time or another. And for a lot of guys, some of that inspiration inevitably comes from the world of sports.
7 Inspirational Beards in the World of Sports
While the average athlete may tend to be clean-shaven, beards have a way of standing out on a field of play. This ultimately leads to some pretty outstanding examples from sports and even games of all kinds.
For those who may be seeking a bit of inspiration, we thought we’d highlight some of the best beards going these days.
Bryce Harper is a little bit of a polarizing figure in baseball. Some see him as a generational talent, and others find his career somewhat disappointing. Some love his tenacity and approach to the game, and others cast him as a villain. What’s been fairly consistent throughout Harper’s career, however, is exceptional facial hair.
He changes the look from time to time, but by and large Harper has maintained a full, medium-length beard, trimmed and conditioned to perfection. It helps his look that he’s also got quite the full head of hair, but the beard is the envy of Major League Baseball.
If there’s an NBA equivalent to the Harper beard, it rests on the face of Jaylen Brown. The budding Celtics star maintains a uniform, clean-cut facial hair, typically a little more trimmed on the sides but perhaps a little longer overall than Harper’s average look.
Brown may not get the attention of, say, James Harden (who may just have the most famous beard in sports these days), but if you’re in search of a look to model your own beard after we’d point you toward Brown first. Harden’s beard is impressive in its own right but usually looks a little more like it has a mind of its own.
Conor McGregor may not always come to mind when you’re thinking about athletes today (or their beards). MMA is still not considered a “major sport,” and for that matter, McGregor himself has been in and out of retirement. That said, he’s a renowned fighter, and even more noteworthy personality, and ultimately another athlete with an exceptional beard.
McGregor tends to maintain his almost like Brown’s — trimmed down on the sides and shaped an inch or two below his chin and jawline. One has to imagine he likes the effect it has on his image as a fighter, but intimidation factor aside it’s also a sharp look for guys to emulate.
If you’re not familiar with FalleN (real name Gabriel Toledo), it may be because you haven’t honed in on eSports. While competitive gaming may not be an athletic activity though, it is increasingly being thought of as its own sport — to the point that it may even make its way into the Olympics before too long.
At any rate, the eSports world is filled with a lot of young, clean-shaven competitors, and FalleN stands out as a contrast. The accomplished gamer maintains a full yet short beard and offers a wonderful example of the fact that with the right fullness and face shape, sometimes keeping it tight is the way to go.
Jason Mercier is a professional poker player, putting him in a similar category to FalleN, somewhat on the fringes of the sports world. Poker, in fact, maybe drifting further from that world than it was in past decades.
The era following the “Poker Boom” is seeing a bit less televised action from the pros, and casual fans have enough ways to play poker online with friends that they aren’t as preoccupied with amateur tournaments or pro aspirations as they once were.
Nonetheless, the pro poker circuit remains active and does still have its fans. Many of those fans are familiar with Mercier not just for his consistently excellent play, but for his often wild beard — a distinctive feature at the tables and an example that a long, full beard doesn’t have to be unkempt.
Alisson Becker, best known simply as “Alisson,” is a Brazilian goalkeeper who currently plays for Liverpool in Premier League soccer. His beard varies a little bit, in that sometimes it’s shaved down nearly to the point of stubble.
At its peak fullness though it’s a tremendous beard that — like FalleN’s at its best — shows the value of simply keeping facial hair in the close-cut shape of the face.
With his best facial hair, Alisson tends to look a bit more like the lost Hemsworth brother than an athlete.
We may have saved the best for last. Ryan Fitzpatrick has played quarterback for a number of different NFL teams over the years. Once viewed as something of a journeyman, he’s now seen as a stabilizing veteran presence and one who will be a valuable addition to the Washington Football Team this season.
Through all his stops around the league though, Fitzpatrick has maintained a magnificent, Viking-like beard. The specific shape and size of it change from time to time, but it’s always a clinic in how to maintain a long beard, and it might just be the best beard in sports today.