Fear the Beard: A-Mart Style

Bass Fishing Latest Sport to Join Sporting Trend

Fear the Beard: A-Mart Style

Bass Fishing Latest Sport to Join Sporting Trend

By True Image Promotions

Dateline - Friday June 29, 2012 – Green Bay, Wis - Afterthree events of the eight-event season Bassmaster Elite Series Angler AaronMartens was off to his worst season in his career. With finishes outside of themoney in three consecutive events, the normally ultra-consistent Martens was ina tail spin and sat in 79th place in the season standings. That’swhen it started. The normally baby-faced Martens showed up to the fourth event,Douglas Lake, with a new look - facial stubble.

The New York Islanders are creditedfor starting the hockey trend of growing beards during the playoffs.  Hall of Famer DenisPotvin says that theIslanders of the 1980s would "play four games in five nights in the firstround and it was just something that kind of happened." (a)

The hockey player facial hair trend is now practiced universallyby hockey players from the high school ranks on up.

In late 1990’s the Patrick Ewing,Allan Houston and Larry Johnson led New York Knicks joined the beard hype. Thebeards led to several good playoff runs, but no world titles.

Ben Roethlisberger of thePittsburgh Steelers, in his first season, rallied his team from an averagestart of 7-5 and into the playoffs.  Sportinghis playoff beard the second year pro secured pittsburgh’s fifth Superbowlvictory. Following the game Roethlisberger was clean shaven by David Lettermanon the late show.

In 2010, the San Francisco Giantswere led by powerhouse closer Brian Wilson, who sported a deep black ZZ-Topstyle beard on the way to their World Series Championship.  Other players joined their “Fear the Beard”campaign during their playoff by also growing beards. 

 “It wasn’t in my mind to copy the hockey guys, the SanFrancisco Giants or any other athlete. It was more from my busy schedule and just not really taking the time toshave,” explained Martens.

Martens got off to a fantastic start on Douglas Lake.Holding the lead on day one and eventually finishing back in form in thirdplace.

“After Douglas Lake everyone kept telling me, ‘It’s thebeard’ and ‘it look’s good, keep it. So I kept it for the next event on ToledoBend.”

Following the Douglas Lake event Martens continued on his moveup the season standing with a solid 28th place finish on ToledoBend.  “Two for two checks with facialhair, so I figured ‘if its not broken, why fix it.’”

Next up was the Mississippi River and a fifth place finish.

One week later, Green Bay, and Martens set the day one pacewith 20 pounds of bass on a tough tight fishing event. “I don’t think I will beshaving the beard anytime soon,” Martens giggled.

It looks as though the latest trend in fishing isn’t theAlabama Rig, long lining or any other new technique – its facial hair.  Who’s next KVD, Skeet, Ike or BrodyBroderick. 

Trend setter or not, one thing is for sure, as Martens’beard grows longer his season standings get higher. Currently he’s jumped to 14thfor the 2012 season and is in solid position to make his fourteenth BassmasterClassic.

a. IanWalker, Montreal Gazette (2011-04-13). "The Playoff Beard Mystique"