Hair Takes a Back Seat

By Lloyd Vance
Updated: June 5, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — For the second NFL Meeting in a row and hopefully for good, the issue of whether a player’s hair can cover their name plate was tabled as everyone saw the unfathomable amount of time needed to debate this issue.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he needed more time to talk with more concerned parties (NFLPA, Players, etc) before trying to tackle this issue.

You could sense at these set of NFL meetings that hair wasn’t even on the radar when the CBA, a rookie salary cap, and many other more important issues were on the table.

Maybe now the Kansas City Chiefs and their head coach Herman Edwards, who surprisingly opened this “can of worms” can concentrate on improving the Chiefs’ 4-12 team.

However I am hearing rumblings that the Chiefs still want this topic discussed as a uniform issue sort of like towels hanging from a player’s belt.

Conservative Colts head coach Tony Dungy said of the issue, “I think there is room for personal expression, but when you listen to Herm [Edwards] and the Kansas City guys, it is kind of a uniform thing”.

He added “You look around and the name is covered, and part of the number is covered. We have to figure out how to address that. Hopefully there is a way to do it and get the best of both worlds.”

I believe with the NFLPA, individual long hair players, and even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) speaking up that Commissioner Goodell and owners will finally choose to step away from this issue for good.

Trust me, I know it hurts the “IBM” crew-cut esque NFL to have players express themselves and to see their sacred uniforms “tarnished” by long hair. But the hair issue is a fight that will leave the NFL with a black eye no matter the outcome.

As I stated before, I really don’t care how many tattoos a player has or if his hair is down to his waist as long as the guy can bring the “wood” on the field.

I like that some guys choose to “rage against the machine” and thumb their nose at uniformity.