I'm looking for an NFL face-off. The trifecta today belongs to Spurrier, Cowher, and Gruden.
Now, 18 hours ago, I'd have said that the Steve Spurrier Angry Smirk would place third in this race. But Spurrier took his face to a new level last night. And those flapping lips? My god, the versatility!
Still, he's a rookie and this was only one game. I'm going to wait until we're a bit deeper into the season, and see if he can bring the facial gymnastics on a consistent basis. Still, there's a lot to hope for there.
That leaves Bill Cowher vs. John Gruden, and what a matchup. These are veteran faces with terrific intensity.
Now, Gruden's bug-eyed grimace is really something to behold. The first time I saw it, I couldn't believe what I was watching. I mean, Gruden is a good looking guy--he's young, practices good hygiene, smiles a lot. But when the camera zooms in on him after a bungled play, I can actually feel the heat from that bulging eyeball on my forehead. He looks like a serial killer. It's an amazing transformation that shows a range no other coach in the big leagues can even approach.
And then there is Bill Cowher. The ding on Cowher is that he's a one trick pony. Jut out chin, stare menacingly, scowl. Maybe spit one somebody if you're really pissed off. But given that Cowher looks like that all the time--can you imagine Christmas morning in the Cowher household?--you wonder if that face deserves top billing.
Well, I'm hear to tell you that it does. And you can thank the beard for that. Just when Cowher's facial act was starting to get old, he turned up a new wrinkle. The beard actually makes Cowher's chin even more prominent, like a natural prosthetic or something. The effect is just amazing, as it accentuates the eyes. Most important, I'm expecting big things from that face this season. Now that Cowher has facial hair, he has a convenient place for all that spit to land. I'm hoping to catch some froth-tinged facial antics from the Steeler coach. (And based on the way Kordell and that defense is playing, I think we'll get plenty of chances for that).