Fear the beard?

CLEMSON - In case you missed it, there's a certain phenomenon sweeping across Clemson's offensive line this year. You might recognize it on twitter as #BeardGang.

Yes indeed, it's time to "fear the beard" in Tigertown.

What started out as a joke, has turned into serious business with Clemson's trenchmen.

Starting center Ryan Norton, explains to CUTigers:

"I think we were all just joking around. Me, Eric Mac Lain, Kalon Davis and Tyrone Crowder were all growing beards and Spencer Region. So Mac would get us all to take a picture and then he'd post it on twitter with #BeardGang.

"Then we had guys on the team asking us... how can I get in on that? And we said well you have to grow a beard. Then you got guys like Maverick Morris who can't grow a beard, so we have a pretty good time with that. It's kind of a way for us to poke fun at each other."

Ryan Norton is one of many players on the team now sporting a beard.
While it certainly has been quite the hit on social media, recent history suggests teams that grow beards win championships.

There were the Red Sox teams in the last decade that won a couple of championships promoting that same sort of unity. In fact, the beard-growing movement began in spring training last season with Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes, and as the Red Sox kept winning — despite all predictions to the contrary — most of the team began growing beards.[18] By the beginning of the World Series, only pitcher Koji Uehara was without facial hair.

NHL teams tend to describe it as a "playoff beard." A quick google search on "playoff beard" reveals the following:

"The superstitious practice of a National Hockey League player not shaving his beard during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The player stops shaving when his team enters the playoffs and does not shave until his team is eliminated or wins the Stanley Cup."

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has also participated in such postseason trends.

"I've had a beard since last year," said Norton. "Kalon hasn't shaved since the winter of last year. He's got a pretty thick beard. Usually I don't shave during the season.

"It's just kind of funny. We know the other teams that have done it in the past. That's not necessarily why we are doing it. We're just having fun with it."

Even QB Cole Stoudt and a handful of other players on the team are growing a little scruff these days.

And if that wasn't enough, check on Mac Lain's twitter profile picture:

Will it mean anything by season's end?

Who knows? But the ever-growing #BeardGang can't be a bad thing.

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