Written by Melanie
There are some epic beards in sports right now. Brian Wilson and his dyed and hair tied facial mane. James Harden and his impeccably groomed even when driving to the basket bush of a beard. But these are not men usually considered to be hugely sexy (unless, in the case of the latter, you are Khloe Kardashian).
There are some men however who do seem to owe a great deal of their sporting sex symbol status to their careful cultivation of facial hair:
In his time, the world’s most beautiful soccer player has tried out more different looks than most supermodels. He’s had long hair, a crew cut, dreads, gone bald and even rocked a mohawk for a while. Now that he has finally officially retired though he has yet another new look that appears to be sticking around; the elegant bearded gentleman.
Being Beckham however, the beard is not a singular look. It’s been a goatee, accompanied by a grand handlebar mustache, little more than graying designer stubble and even the full lumbersexual. No matter what, though, it only seems to have enhanced Mr. Beckham’s sex appeal, as in 2015 he was voted People’s Sexiest Man Alive for the first time.
When Ryan Fitzpatrick took over at quarterback the injured Geno Smith (a locker room catfight, really for the New York Jets at the beginning of the 2015-16 season) the ever critical Big Apple fans were understandably skeptical.
But as the season progressed Fitzpatrick made his mark, and not just with his throwing arm. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard made as much of an impression as his franchise record breaking feats on the field. They call themselves Mean Green so Ryan’s tamed caveman look actually fits in perfectly and the beard has earned him as many new (lady) fans as his play, even if neither did quite get his team to the playoffs.
When it comes to sultry, sexy singers they don’t come much hotter than Shakira. But, in the eyes of many ladies her longtime significant other, Barcelona FC’s Gerard Piqué, is no slouch either and a great deal of his appeal stems from his artfully cultivated beard.
When he first joined the ranks of the soccer elite, with Manchester United in 2004, he was a clean-shaven Spanish lad and, to be frank, attracted about the same amount of lust from the ladies as well, Wayne Rooney. Then he secured a transfer home and a ticket to soccer superstardom, ditched his razor, spiked his hair a bit and bagged himself a Columbian pop princess. Was it all down to beard? Perhaps not, but we think it had an awful lot to do with it.
The NBA has long been the home of the tattooed hunk, but increasingly the beard is making a return too, as it’s not just James Harden sporting some serious whiskers. Many of those bearded ballers do not really fall into the sex symbol category though, but one very notable exception seems to be Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets.
In fact, he kind of has it all, at least as far as many women are concerned. The carefully combed and trimmed beard, the luscious and shiny dreadlocks, just the right number of artfully placed tatts and a very well formed physique that he had few problems sharing with the world in the 2014 Sports Illustrated Body Issue. It would be easy to hate on him for all of this if he wasn’t just such a nice guy to boot.
At just 23 the Washington Nationals Bryce Harper is another man who seems to have it all. National League Rookie of the Year, three All-Star appearances, this year’s NL MVP by a landslide, All-American boy good looks and the hair and beard of a rockstar.
And a rockstar of the diamond is pretty much what Harper has become. He’s the new face of New Era, even though he raised more than a few eyebrows this season just past when he allowed his beautician sister to dye his locks, and the meticulously maintained semi lumbersexual beard that accompanies them, a striking shade of silver. He’s also one of the reasons that the number of female Washington National fans has increased significantly. With the clean shaven and squeaky clean Derek Jeter now out of the game, the MLB needs a new heartthrob and Harper is primed to be the ultimate sex symbol –and beardsman – of the MLB for the next generation.
What do you think who is the sexiest bearded man in sports?