So, since today is Wayne Gretzky’s 52nd birthday, I thought I’d take a moment to recognize something that is often forgotten. Sure, he scored 894 goals and 2857 points. Sure, he once scored 50 goals in 39 games and ended up with 92 that year. Ok, so he won four Stanley Cups, a couple Canada Cups, and guided Team Canada to the Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City in 2002. I get it. He was a pretty good player in a decent league.
I’m not here to talk about that shit. I’m here to talk about a haircut that I was always jealous of and just could not pull off, no matter how hard I tried. It was a haircut that transcended genres. It had enough mullet in it to party with the best of them, but enough business in it to be serious to the point that it could single-handedly make hockey grow in the US Sunbelt. It said “I’m from Brantford, and I respect the common man, but I’m also from Los Angeles, and I’m better than you.” It said “I’m too good for St. Louis, I’ll go to New York instead, bitches.”
The haircut was the Wayne Gretzky, and it’s in the Hall of Fame. Respect it.
1981 Donruss – Dave Rosello
This particular haircut could also be called “The Earmuffs,” as it really looks like Dave Rosello is wearing a rather magnificent pair of the winter earwear. I mean, check these out. See what I mean?
Rosello spent his career as a utility infielder in cold climates. Chicago (Cubs, 1972-77) and Cleveland (1979-81) can be cold, cold places in April. Maybe that explains his particular brand of hairstyle. Also, who needs those new-fangled earflaps on a batting helmet when you’ve got your own protection?
It seems to me that Rosello was a man ahead of his time, and a man for all seasons.
1991-92 O-Pee-Chee - Todd Gill
In my continued efforts to look into the past to take my mind off the Leafs godawful shitstorm of an epic collapse, I found this piece of absolute gold, courtesy 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards and one Mr. Todd Gill.
This is one of the greatest hockey mullets ever recorded on cardboard. You may notice that the flow in the back reaches almost all the way to the nameplate on his jersey. So, so, so much party in the back. I feel like it’s trying to will the Leafs to win all on its own.
1991-92 O-Pee-Chee - Ken Baumgartner
This haircut is absolutely everything that hockey hair should be. Short but still a bit of party in the front, trimmed cleanly on the sides, and flow in the back that is a perfect match for absolutely any helmet, particularly the Classic Jofa that Baumgartner sported during his career. Call it a mullet, call it whatever you like, it belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
1994 Topps - Darren Daulton
With mind-boggling flow like that, I believe that Darren Daulton was born to be a hockey player. If he played during the hockey-style catcher’s mask era, he could have even challenged Kelly Hrudey for beneath mask mullet supremacy. He probably could have worn a bandana and gotten away with it if he wanted to.
But, instead, he got into some different ways of thinking. I won’t use the words “batshit crazy” or “insane,” because people are entitled to their own beliefs, but other people might like those words. Check this out with a website called Google.com… Magical place.
2008 Topps - Manny Ramirez
Yes, “Manny being Manny” is one of the most overused expressions in baseball. However, with Manny’s recent “retirement,” or whatever it was, let’s take a moment to reflect upon Manny Ramirez. No, I don’t want to talk about his formidable skill. I want to take a look back at his haircut, or rather lack thereof.
I guess you could say his haircut was kind of representative of his career. Early on, in Cleveland, it was neat and tidy. By 2004 in Boston, it was messy, but still manageable. By the time his career with the Red Sox was winding down, the hair and the personality were disasters. By 2009 to 2011, there was just no order to it, as Manny floated from LA to Chicago to Tampa (sort of).
This all said, there is no way I could ever pull this ‘do off, and that makes me jealous. Long, greasy, probably rarely washed. What did it smell like? Never mind, I don’t want to know. Later, Manny.
1990 Upper Deck - Dennis Eckersley
When I see this haircut, the glorious, dark flowing mane they call The Eck, it makes me think of the following things:
-A heightened level of intensity on the mound.
-That one-eyed, sidearm delivery, frozen on so many baseball cards.
-The accompanying mustache.
-The days when the Oakland A’s were the big, bad guys and the Yankees were average.
-Robbie Alomar hitting a home run to turn the 1992 ALCS around.
-Hating Dennis Eckersley. Not because he was such a good pitcher on a team I couldn’t stand, but because he pulled off the same great flow for his entire career.
1990-91 Topps - Tim Kerr
Has anyone ever seen Tim Kerr and Michael Bolton in the same room?
I’m just saying, maybe all those years Kerr had “injury problems” he was actually out on tour as that “no talent ass-clown” (if you haven’t seen Office Space, please, feel shame, and go rent it now)… either way, Kerr represented the Michael Bolton mullet – not quite a skullet but well on the way – with pride, respect and dignity, if a little less length.
1989-90 O-Pee-Chee - Rob Brown
Rob Brown’s haircut is saying something here. I’ll tell you what it is: “I just got promoted to Mario’s line for a year and scored 115 points. I’m going to live the dream for a while with some sick flow until I become an IHL superstar in the mid-90’s.”
If Rob Brown could have listened to his haircut, he would have been able to predict the future.
Happy 2011 everyone.
1981-82 Topps - Ron Duguay
Duguay was a pretty good hockey player, scoring 30 or more goals three times in the NHL, but he was best known for his off-ice activities and the people that he was seen with partaking in said activities.
Check out this great article from People magazine back in 1984.
With a haircut like his, it’s no wonder the guy was a celebrity.