Baseball is an amazing game. It's America's pastime for goodness sake. Every aspect of the game has a game within it and another little game within that. It's almost like seeing a puddle of rainwater consist of six or seven other rings inside. Well that's baseball. If someone were to write about the meaning of baseball he or she would write a book in which the pages laid out side by side might as well stretch from Boston to Iceland. So going as deep as I can in to a baseball topic, I've been contemplating the meaning of a beard. Yeah that's right -- A beard.
So what does this all mean? What is the point of this post?
It seems to me at least that recent bearded men have set a precedent for fame and success via the "intimidation factor." Along with that, the addition of a beard must ignite plenty more self confidence for one as recent history has shown that players with beards attract more attention whether that's good attention or bad. Beards (such as Brian Wilson's) have also netted companies and even teams with tons of more millions of dollars as commercials, beard items, and other beard paraphernalia been quite popular since the birth of popular beards. Alas, how much does a beard affect a player? How much does a beard affect a team? How much does a beard affect the game? And so on... Put it this way; the beard is valuable in many ways.
Let's backtrack. Last summer, say around July or August, Brian Wilson must have woken up one morning asking himself if he should grow a beard, right? To go along with that, he moved forward with his famous priceless and nonchalant act which Giants fans and now all baseball fans adore (kind of). Little would we have guessed what that beard has done for him less than a whole year later. Wilson himself probably hadn't either. Let's be honest; without the beard, the MLB beard commercials (all three of them), the MLB 2K11 commercials, and the "This is Sportscenter" commercials aren't created.
To go along with that, the millions of dollars worth of beard merchandise sold following the Giants triumphant World Series run (which has played a large role in getting Wilson's name out there even more) as well as general Wilson merchandise such as T-Shirts, jerseys and other paraphernalia likely aren't sold to the degree they have been since the beard was grown.
Wilson has generated an uncountable amount of buzz with the beard act and with that, he's absorbed the Giants many millions of more dollars as well as Major League Baseball, costume stores, stores that sell poster boards, etc... He's brought a new attention to the game that's filled with fun and excitement along with much more.
The crazy persona of Wilson isn't just Wilson as John Axford who had a bobblehead day (with the mustache) yesterday at Miller Park is also a different human being since the beard has been intact. As both have blossomed in to "crazy intimidating closers" more companies and their respective teams as well as the aforementioned MLB Marketing have been opportunistic about expanding upon their already famous features. Slogans such as "fear the beard" and even "shear the beard" have come to fruition by fans as well.
Of course, the "beard" isn't the only strange yet exciting feature that a player rocks. There are many other players with beards who get similar attention and there are many who don't. There are also many players who play the same position as Wilson and Axford who are better pitchers than the two that don't get nearly the same amount of publicity as Wilson and Axford such as Joakim Soria or Carlos Marmol.
Although it's generated plenty of interest but significantly less than Wilson's, Sergio Romo and his beard (RIP) became a riot for quite some time as well as the facial hair that Jeremy Affeldt supposedly referred to as a beard. The Giants in particular have made hundreds of millions of dollars off of the beard theme and rightfully so. They have a great fanbase and one that has the energy and hipness to be enthused by such a theme.
This from an unnamed source:
[Brian Wilson's] beard has probably made many millions. Probably ten's of millions to say the least. We only see the stuff that goes on [TV]. The beard has generated many many millions.
Beards also seem to be the new thing among satire and parody themes on the internet as the Twitter account @JWerthsBeard has turned in to a public phenomenon among baseball fans and normal people interested in, well, beards. Twitter accounts were also made for Brian Wilson's beard as well as Sergio Romo's. As funny as it is, there seems to be an ongoing rivarly between Jayson Werth's beard and the Beard of Brian.
I just wonder and certainly hope that fans see features of these players other than their beards. Again, it's not fair that despite being a World Champion closer, many are less rated than Wilson. Hec, I'm willing to bet more than half of the people across the world amused and energetic by the beard (and who spend a lot of cash on beard items) don't even know who Brian Wilson is. So making the amount of money made off of the beards could easily be said about anybody in the game should the idea come to fruition. Or so one would assume.
Thanks everybody for reading this. You guys are...AMAZING. Time to RAGE!
On a side note, this is just my opinion, but I think disposing of the beard might be the right thing to do as Wilson hasn't been so sharp this year. He had a disastrous performance yesterday so it would seem Wilson, who is many things, is not superstitious.