Commentary

In sports, always bet on the bald guy

Originally Published: June 1, 2011
By DJ Gallo | Page 2

For years sports teams have spent millions of dollars and countless hours scouting players in hopes of uncovering elite talent. What a waste. The only true way to know if an athlete can become a superstar is to find out if he has a family history of baldness.

Use your head -- be it hair-covered or not -- and consider the following:

LeBron James is seemingly balder with every game. Yet each time he pushes his headband a bit farther back to meet his hairline, he's another round closer to an NBA title.

For the last year and change Tom Brady has been desperately trying to hide his retreating hairline with a Biebover and, according to some reports, hair plugs. Brady's sad yet comical battle has been covered one or two times before on Page 2. So let's move on.

Peyton Manning, the other premier football star of this era, long ago bypassed having a forehead or even a fivehead. He's running up the score with six and is fixing to go for two more. Is it a coincidence that football is our country's most popular sport and that its combatants play in helmets that are smooth, gleaming domes? Maybe. Maybe not.

Take a look at the icons of our other sports. Albert Pujols? Bald. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez? Tiger Woods? He wasn't exactly attracting the ladies with his thick, youthful hair. Landon Donovan, the top soccer player America has ever produced, has less hair than most soccer matches have goals. Andre Agassi is the last American man to win all four Grand Slam events and he was so bald he was reduced to wearing a weave during competition. And while NHL superstar Sidney Crosby might currently have a full head of hair, he is incapable of growing facial hair. So he fits the follicly challenged profile, too. In every major sport, the best players have the worst hairlines.

Now think about some of the greats of all time. Michael Jordan? He started shaving his head because of premature baldness. The only two guys ahead of him on the NBA scoring list -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone -- ended their careers completely hairless, as well. Cal Ripken, baseball's most durable player? Bald. Barry Bonds, baseball's home run leader? Expansively bald. Pete Rose, baseball's hits leader? At the very least, he would have looked much better bald. Jerry Rice, who dominates the NFL record book like no other player? Hilariously bald. Hockey great Gordie Howe? He played while balding AND gray. Roger Maris famously went bald while pursuing the most hallowed record in American sports. He got the record, too. Bald may not be beautiful, but it will kill you at sports.

And now take a look at these guys. His hairline is looking a lot better than LeBron's. This guy, like the many other quarterbacks drafted ahead of Tom Brady, is doing quite well in the hairline department. And with this photo I pretty much rest my case.

It couldn't be more obvious. Baldness is the one common characteristic of all elite athletes.

So if you're wondering who will win in the Finals: LeBron vs. Dirk? It's not even a question. Always bet on bald.

DJ Gallo is the founder of SportsPickle.com. His first book, "The View from the Upper Deck," is available from only the finest bargain-book retailers. His next book project will be released soon. You can follow him on Twitter at @DJGalloESPN.


Back to Page 2


• Philbrick: Page 2's Greatest Hits, 2000-2012
• Caple: Fond memories of a road warrior
• Snibbe: An illustrated history of Page 2
Philbrick, Gallo: Farewell podcast Listen

DJ Gallo is the founder of SportsPickle.com. His first book, "The View from the Upper Deck," is available from only the finest bargain-book retailers. His next book project will be released soon. You can follow him on Twitter at @DJGalloESPN.


Back to Page 2


• Philbrick: Page 2's Greatest Hits, 2000-2012
• Caple: Fond memories of a road warrior
• Snibbe: An illustrated history of Page 2
Philbrick, Gallo: Farewell podcast Listen