A close shave

If anyone around Albany saw five very large men walking around with the most bizarre and frightening haircuts they've ever seen, they did not need to panic. It was merely members of the Giants offensive line, taking part in what looked to be the "Before'' picture in some amazing physical transformation.

There comes a time when it's clear training camp has gone on too long, and that time surely hit the Giants on this day. Five rookie linemen were the victims of a first-time hazing, as veteran linemen Luke Petitgout and Mike Rosenthal, plus second-year guard Rich Seubert, played the role of demented barbers.

"Just take a little off here, a little off there,'' Petitgout explained. The rookies are required to keep two coolers filed with drinks and ice for every meeting, and Petitgout said that requirement was not met. Hence, the haircuts.

There were assorted Mohawk cuts and other embarrassing atrocities. Amani Toomer walked by, saw Vincent Sandoval and suggested he'd look good with a 'V' shaved into his head, so that's what Sandoval got. Sean O'Connor, Pat Crummey, Terry Wagner and Ryan Deterding were the other poor souls.

"Those guys look like the Three Stooges,'' Jim Fassel said.

The bizarre cuts had to remain for 24 hours and then every rookie planned on shaving any remaining shards of hair.

"The drinks weren't there, and they weren't cold,'' Petitgout said. "I'm reasonable; it wasn't their first offense. They're pretty sensitive about their hair. You would think they're models or something.''

The rookies insist they never had a chance. "Once we actually had the coolers full of ice, drinks were in there and they were like 'No, it's too cold,' '' O'Connor said. "But it kinda helps with the monotony of camp, it breaks the tension, especially right now with cuts coming up.''

There was a small measure of revenge exacted on Petitgout. He was called for a false start in the morning practice and rather than make the entire team run, as he did two days ago, Fassel called out for Petitgout, RB Sean Bennett and S Ryan Clark, and all three had to run 400 yards while their teammates watched. Asked if he at least was glad Fassel changed the rules so that the penalty did not force the entire team to run, Petitgout said "It would have been nice to see [Michael] Strahan run on my account.''


News came down that T Jeff Hatch's rookie season is over before it started. The third-round draft pick out of Penn, who practiced only one day in training camp, will have season-ending surgery to remove a portion of a disc that is pressing on his nerve. Hatch was supposed to provide depth for a paper-thin offensive line. ... Fassel leaped into the center of a brief melee when LB Brandon Short dove onto Rosenthal. Fassel grabbed Short by the neck to try to yank him off his teammate. "I've got to have a little fun out here too,'' Fassel said.

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