"The Boot"

Hair mojo no laughing matter

Posted by Timothy Eade on May 18, 2012 (0 Comments)

Does the hair make the player or the other way around?

It's a question worth pondering which naturally leads me to wonder, 'Would Chris Judd and Gary Ablett Jr be even better players had they not gone bald at such a young age?'

Some might argue the opposite and say that going bald has made them 'no fuss' footballers. You might even reference the Demons Nathan Jones, who seems to source much of his menace and relentless attack on the football from the frustration of being hairless.

Perhaps Jones's elaborate tattoos are a means of compensating for his inability to express himself follicularly. Either way, he seems well suited to being a bald man though it's clear that Ablett would love to be blowing some long blonde locks out of his face as he jogs back to the centre square.

As for Judd, his all business approach seems to reflect his haircut. For others like him, their hair is an expression of their play.

Take Kyle Reimers (erratic), Nic Natanui (long) and Jeffrey Garlett (short) as players whose haircuts seemingly embody their games. Tom Hawkins I'd say has grown into his hair. It's always had terrific body but now it's more of a consistent length. 

Speaking of which, from a distance Jonathan Brown's hair looks like a helmet, something he should consider wearing.

This isn't always the desired intention though. Sometimes players are trying to use their haircut to show the broader world the kind of player they want to be.

Take Dale 'Daisy' Thomas. With his current 'do you can kind of tell Dale is sick of being called Daisy. Gone are the long affeminate locks, streaks of blonde hair with beautiful autumn red tones. His hair and his game were one and the same. Flashy, superficial and lacking in substance. Today, Dale looks like a Dale. His hair is slick and stylish but strong and no longer does he resemble a pre-pubescent boy darting around the outside of packs, toe poking cheap goals and making bad jokes that annoy everyone around him. To be fair, it also looks like the man once referred to as a fragile flower hasn't been playing that way for a while so the trim was well and truly overdue. 

There is a campaign currently circulating that he should grow it all back. I do not share this view.
 
To be truthful 2012 hasn't seen as many major hairdo change ups as previous years and I don't think it's a coincidence that so few players seem to be having break out seasons. Those who have made big changes up top, however, are bringing it on the field.

Richmond's Ivan Maric is one the few modern players who doesn't think a mullet is a kind of fish. The big man looks like he'd be better suited to flannel, some suspenders and wielding an axe but football seems to have taken his liking and with a look like that I won't argue.

I can't lie. At times I feel Ivan is sourcing mystical powers from those 'flowin' Kentucky locks'. He's channelling a style embraced by some of our greatest sports people, namely Jason Gillespie and Sticks Kernahan.

Given the ruckman's form and his aura on the field, it's no surprise Dustin Martin's follicles now drape over the back of his jumper's collar either. I like where Dusty's head's at and more importantly where his hair's going.

Which leads me to wonder, is he making a statement or is his hair making it for him?

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