Pick Six: Best bald players of all-time
By Adam Rank
Patriots QB Tom Brady is bald. That’s right, bald. Or so the reports in the National Enquirer suggests (via the Detroit Free Press). Brady reportedly is a patient of the Leonard Hair Transplant Association in Cranston, R.I. Meaning Brady’s gorgeous locks are nothing more than a façade. A mere cover-up to one of the biggest sporting scandals since the 1919 Black Sox.
Say it ain’t so!
Apparently, three Super Bowl rings and a supermodel wife are no match against vanity. Then again, none of us have been compared to Jets coach Rex Ryan in the looks department.
But, Tom, whether these rumors are true or not (and I believe everything I read in the tabloids), there is no reason to fear being bald. Sure, we cannot be president (seeing that we haven’t had a bald president since Eisenhower). But many bald players have gone on to have great NFL careers.
Here are the six top bald NFL players of all-time.
And point of order, these are hair-thinning bald guys. Not dudes who are bald because it is fashionable. As Larry David once said, you are not part of the bald community.
6. Otis Sistrunk
This might have been a grooming choice, but you couldn’t tell at the time. When he took his helmet off on Monday Night Football and Frank Gifford said, “And from the University of Mars …,” you knew you were looking at one of the coolest football players ever. He personified the Raiders.
5. Mel Renfro
When your friends tried to trade you a Renfro football card, you thought that no way this guy was an NFL player. He looked like a friendly neighbor, not one of the most feared defensive players in the NFL. Turns out he was a Hall of Fame defensive back.
4. Y.A. Tittle
Some might argue that the image of Eagles LB Chuck Bednarik standing over a prone Giants RB Frank Gifford might be the greatest NFL photo of all time. But if a bleeding Tittle does not top that photo, it is very, very close. Tittle was an NFL MVP (1963), but the title continued to elude him. But he proudly wore his male-pattern baldness.
3. Jerry Rice
Maybe this was a product of playing way too long in the NFL. But Rice became a member of the bald community later in his career. Though one might say that Rice was able to cover it up earlier in his career with his high-cut fade. During his time with the Raiders, Rice became the first player in NFL history to combine cornrows and a shaved head. Only to be later matched by QB Donovan McNabb.
2. Terry Bradshaw
Bradshaw over Rice? Well, he does have more Super Bowl MVP awards than Rice (three to one). And Bradshaw played the majority of his career as a BA … a Bald American. Plus Bradshaw starred in a number of movies — “Cannonball Run” and “Hooper” — with fellow baldy Burt Reynolds. Only a collective effort could keep him out of the top spot.
1. The 1970s Dolphins
Probably the greatest collection of bald players ever. S Dick Anderson, K Garo Yepremian and S Jake Scott all sported the look of the time — chrome dome and thick, luscious horseshoe of hair. There was no shame. In fact, this is why this team was able to have a perfect season in 1972 and still win the Super Bowl, Tom. There is something to be said for being imperfect in your hair but perfect on the field. Something your Patriots couldn’t do. Coincidence?