The beard isn’t weird: The quarantine beard is alive and well in the sports world

Be honest — your personal grooming habits have deteriorated during the coronavirus pandemic, right?

You probably don’t shower as often. Heck, you might not even get freshly dressed every day. It’s OK — we’ve all let our standards slip, in one way or another.

But let’s look at the bright side. The quarantine beard is alive and well in the sports world. Some sports stars have decided to stop shaving and, well, the results are simply glorious.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was already a hero to the facial hair appreciation society — and only endeared himself more so this week:

LeBron James has already gone through a few stages of his beard. It was a bit unruly before James’ wife gave him a trim.

“Psychologically, it can be a sort of declaration of fortitude and heartiness,” Christopher Oldstone-Moore told Wired. He studies gender and hair at Wright State University and wrote a book about the history of facial hair.

“It’s a way of saying, ‘I’m tough. I can withstand adversity.'”

So, Fitzpatrick and other athletes are doing what a lot of men are doing to get through the pandemic.

In an ironic turn, while this would normally be prime playoff beard season, a few hockey players have shaved off their beards.

Then there’s Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who shaved — and maybe shouldn’t have.

Roethlisberger, who missed most of the 2019 NFL season with an elbow injury, had been growing his beard before COVID-19 forced the closure of barber shops and hair salons.

“I’m not going to shave or cut my hair until I can throw a football again,” a then-clean-shaven Roethlisberger said earlier in the year. “Throw it to one of my teammates, a legit NFL pass.”

And Roethlisberger got quite shaggy before being able to complete that pass.

The problem was that the barbershop where Roethlisberger went for the haircut and shave should not have been open, according to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s phased reopening plan.

Maybe that can be a lesson for other athletes growing wild facial hair at home: Just keep growing.