Todd Haley has his rally beard started and his sweaty unwashed 2010 Chiefs hat sitting on his desk to wear every game day. Although he is the most recognizable member of the Chiefs organization to sport the rally beard this year, he is not the first to participate in such an interesting superstition. With the bye week upon us, I thought I would bring some insight into where the rally beard originated.
The first sighting of the rally beard was started by the NHL’s New York Islanders in the playoffs in the 1980s. Denis Potvin, Hall of Famer for the Islanders, said that they would “play four games in five nights in the first round (of the playoffs) and it was something that just kind of happened.”
Most of the team-wide rally beards have been seen in playoff settings, such as the 2003 Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the University of Minnesota’s men’s hockey team.
But many individual players and coaches have participated in the rally beard. Ben Roethlisberger and Brett Keisel for the Pittsburgh Steelers are participants each time the Steelers make the playoffs. Matt Light and Logan Mankins, along with a few other New England offensive linemen participated in 2007-2008. Head coach Andy Reid and owner Jeffrey Lurie grew rally beards in 2008 when the Philadelphia Eagles made the playoffs. The most recent rally beard by a player in professional sports is sported by Michael Jenkins of the D.C. United Soccer Team.
To be perfectly blunt, I don’t really mind Coach Haley wearing a dirty old hat and growing a rally beard and looking like a scraggly hobo if we continue on this winning streak. I am a rally beard participant, and I urge the entire Kansas City fan base to rally with the Chiefs and grow your beards until they are defeated. It might be next week against the Raiders, Week 11 against the Patriots, or they might make it to the Super Bowl undefeated from here on out (highly unlikely, but it could happen!) But I will have my rally beard on in full effect until the Chiefs lose. Hopefully my girlfriend doesn’t mind.