A GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY

By Eric D. Graham BASN columnist
Updated: May 10, 2012

Everybody's doing it

Everybody's doing it

NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)—It was a “dreadful” draft this year for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Why? Because, seven of the 27 players selected in the first round in the 2012 NFL draft proudly “rocked” braids with geometrical designs and patterns in their heads as they walked on stage to greet him on Thursday, April 22.

General managers, however shouldn’t be disturbed.

And coaches shouldn’t worry.

This is the style for most college athletes playing football these days.

Matter of fact, most players love to display their African pride by letting their “dreads” hang outside of their helmets and swing slightly below their shoulder pads.

In their minds, their long “locks” represent the spirit of a warrior and the soul of a furious fighter as well as the swagger of a superstar.

While paying homage to their African ancestry, some players also consider their hair as the source of their strength like Sampson in the Bible.

Plus, psychologically, a head full of holy hair makes them look intimidating to their opponents like the movie character the “Predator” when they are suited up in their uniforms.

The Predator comparison to a defensive player, who sports “dreads”, in fact gives most of them a little extra adreline; for a predator is always in attack mode, ready to annihilate his opponent by hunting them down and eventually inflicting pain on them.

But, what once was considered a hairstyle for defensive players has also become the norm in offensive huddles. As a result, some wide receivers like Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald along with several running backs like the Titans’ Chris Johnson and the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch have been seen sporting “dreads”

And now, there is even a quarterback in the NFL, who will be dangling his hair on the field and on the sideline.

Yes, the most highly-acclaimed quarterback in this year’s draft, Robert Griffin III aka RG3 unapologetically displays his royal crown of kingly locks. And being the face of the Washington Redskins, he will be idolized by the young fans in DC, who are known for wearing braids, cornrows, and locks.

Other members of “Team Dread” include: the 3rd overall pick of the Cleveland Browns Trent Richardson (Alabama), the 7th pick of the Tampa Bay Bucs,Mark Barron (Alabama), the 10th pick of the Buffalo Bills Stephon Gillmore (South Carolina), the 11th pick of the Kansas City Chiefs Dontari Poe, the 17th pick of the Cincinnati Bengals Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama), and the 25th pick of the New England Patriots Donte Hightower (Alabama).

Whether these players’ herculean hairdos will give them an edge over other players in the NFL during rookie camp, pre-season or the regular season, is still to be determined.

But with all of these “nappy roots “on the gridiron, I’ll be “rooting” for these weekend warriors on Sunday.