The Rockies made it to the playoffs, and getting there had a lot to do with Charlie Blackmon's beard. Okay, sure, Trevor Story's bat and Nolan Arenado's glove also played roles in moving theRockies into Rocktober. But it's Blackmon's beard that truly deserves National League MVP consideration, and even as the going gets tough for the Rockies, Blackmon's beard looks tougher.
Every sports fan knows that the playoff beard is one of the most important factors in a team’s success. And as with the Rockies, every sports team needs at least one token beard-grower or mustachioed player to make sure that the sports gods stay on their side.
In honor of Octobeard, here are the ten best examples of winning beards/facial hair in Denver sports history:
Todd Helton: Helton may have the best-trimmed goatee in the history of sports. He could have had a successful career as a model in Just for Men commercials, but he instead chose to dominate in baseball. Questionable choice, to say the least.
Domata Peko: Peko has been playing in the league forever, it seems. And his beard has been with him the whole time. What’s so intriguing about Peko’s facial hair is that you don’t know where it ends and where it begins. In fact, studies have shown that the hair coming from his head may actually be a second beard.
Paxton Lynch: Lynch, a fan favorite during his successful tenure for the Broncos, matched his high-quality play on the field with some tough-looking facial hair. Lynch may not find another home in the NFL, but his gritty mustache and goatee continue to score points. Never change, Paxton. Never change.
Lyle Alzado: Alzado had the type of beard that strikes fear into the hearts of opponents. And he did just that with his play. too. Unfortunately, he died at far too young an age, but he deserves major credit for being honest about his steroid use at a time when many athletes across major-league sports were juicing.
Barney Chavous: William Shakespeare once said, “Some are born bearded, some grow beards, and some have beards thrust upon them.” Chavous is one of those guys who was destined to become the stuff of beardy legends. And he's still rocking facial hair to this day.
Jake Plummer: With that long hair and beard combo, Plummer looked like he came to Denver more for the fresh pow than the football. He’s now using CBD to treat the pain and aches that came from playing in the NFL. And he’s also lobbying the NFL to reform its cannabis policy. Stay awesome, Jake.
Tim Howard: Never before had a U.S. Secretary of Defense rocked a beard while serving in office. Howard broke that unwritten rule in 2014, when he had a record-setting sixteen saves against Belgium during the 2014 World Cup. He now calls Colorado home, as he and his beard man the net for the Rapids.
Greg Zanon: When you’re bald, you might as well grow hair elsewhere. Zanon did just that, growing a massive beard to make up for the missing follicles on top. One of the beautiful things about Zanon’s beard is that if you put it on top of his head, he would look just like a red-haired version of Art Garfunkel. Again, versatility for the win.
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Byron Beck: Beck is a hometown hero who went from the University of Denver to the Nuggets. To debunk a common misconception, Beck did not have a career as a 1970s porn film director.
Charlie Blackmon: Blackmon’s beard is the reason that the Rockies are in the playoffs. Not only is it a good-luck charm, but his beard also makes it clear to opposing teams that he is not messing around. Little-known fact: In the off-season, Blackmon actually hibernates in a sensory-deprivation chamber to give his beard some time off. He also spends more than two-thirds of his salary on beard upkeep. That's true care.