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Fringe dwellers: Sport’s greatest Super Bowls


Are you wildly inspired by the seizure-inducing sparkle and fizz of the Super Bowl?

Do you spend the lead-in week throwing flags at those who infringe on society with foul BO? Or perhaps call an audible in the bedroom when getting funky with your spouse? Maybe you remind everyone that your newly renovated patio has been built ‘left side, strong side’?

If you indulge in any of these activities in the build-up to the match then you would be considered perfectly normal and completely sane, as just like the majority of the human race, you’re simply caught up in the fanfare of Uncle Sam’s annual big one.

It’s the combination of five-beer halftime breaks, unplanned nipple-slips and national anthem renditions with violent scale-wavering that is enough to get even the most dour postage stamp enthusiast talking sacks and advertising spot prices at this time of year.

Here in Australia, for the majority of us with just a passing interest in America’s game of padding, it’s mostly seen as the driving force behind that one dodgy Monday sickie early in the year as well as an explanation for the radical spike in hits to the Ben Graham page on Wikipedia.

However, this year, the upcoming 8-hour traffic-halter between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers has motivated yours truly down a path of reflection different than the usual.

As I relaxed with my dog Plaxico whilst my 7th batch of franks gently boiled, I began to think: what does the word ‘Superbowl’ mean to sports for the other 51 weekends of the calendar year?

The answer, of course, is the athlete adorned with the combed forward hair-do in a globe motif.

So to celebrate the big game, here’s some of the greatest gun-barrel straight Super Bowl cuts from yore. I’m sure you will agree, these are some shapely scrimmage line fringes with a totally safety-first approach!

The 1990s Glenn McGrath

Many cricket fans associated impeccable line and length with Pigeon’s disciplined bowling, but the same could also be related to his rigid approach to a no-frills thatch early on in his career. You wouldn’t be surprised if groundsmen utilised the perfect dimensions of this masterpiece for marking the crease lines each morning before play.

Peter Beardsley

This whippet striker from the north of England spent 20 years knocking in spectacular goals for a number of clubs all over the joint, resulting in him retiring as one of the Old Dart’s most loved products. In saying this, I reckon anyone would be impressed if they saw the fifth Beatle in ‘pre-Sargent Peppers acid days’ fashion carving up on a football pitch.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov

The Russian right-hander not only kept it strictly business-like on the court but also in the barber’s chair. This blue ribbon version of some Grand Slammin’ bangs were obviously done with the cold ruthlessness of a Moscow winter by a hair stylist with Hawkeye-like precision.

John Stockton

Contrary to popular opinion, white men actually can jump and thrive under the bonnet of one of basketball history’s most vanilla hairstyles. Throughout his career, this legendary Utah Jazz point guard was a beacon of prudence in the engulfing sea that is big-ticket basketball exhibitionism thanks to his never-evolving coiffure that was the Michael Jordan of Spock sports cuts.

The 1980s Boris Becker

Higher powers smiled on bowl aficionados in the 80s when they were bestowed the ultimate follicle amalgamation: the bouncing Becker sphere of flames. This wonderfully smooth fringe teamed with the colour of luminous red was a trademark of the young German genius, however sadly as the trophies stacked up, so did the locks on the salon floor, meaning a slow evolution from ginger Lloyd Christmas to eventual lady-killing Euro-flick with foils.

Andrew Bynum

The Philadelphia 76er’s centre blazed a trail with a hard-fought forward press of curls that had to be seen to be believed. Combining a bee farm’s application of wax and some serious beavering on the comb stroke, he was able to produce a symmetrically perfect orb of hair that had the people at Spalding considering a hefty financial offer for their logo to be emblazoned on the surface area.

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