Red Sox Try to Ride Beard Magic to World Series Title


Jonny Gomes and his Fantastical Beard by Keith Allison via Flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

They may look unkempt, but the secret to the Red Sox success may just come down to their facial follicles.

The Sox are two wins away from their third title in a decade, finding themselves in this enviable position after a towering three run homer in the sixth inning by Beard Leader Jonny Gomes proved decisive in Game 4.

This success of this year’s Beantown team is especially noteworthy as it follows on the heels of a last place finish and an epic late season collapse over the previous two years.

Boston fans are used to bad luck, having suffered through a historic World Series drought after trading the Great Babe Ruth following the 1919 season, and not winning another title for the rest of the 20th century.

That seemed to change after postseason victories in 2004 and 2007 catapulted the team into top tier status. After those winning seasons however, Red Sox fortunes seemed to revert to form as the Curse of the Bambino reasserted itself.

The team has seemingly stumbled upon a remedy based on ancient principles to cure their on field futility. After Game 4 hero Gomes showed up bearded to spring training, the rest of the team followed his lead, and ended up with the best record in the American League.

Former player Derek Lowe claims that the facial hair has had a positive impact on team chemistry adding:

Clubhouse guys, clubhouse kids, parking lot attendants have them. It’s a positive thing. It’s a cool thing that they’ve done. It’s kind of their shtick. It started in spring training. It took off.

While team solidarity is certainly important, the beards also give the team a more mystical edge.

According to Grooming Historian Jan Fúzy, the power of the beard has been known for thousands of years, from the Cavemen of Junogo to the Ancient Norsemen. The most famous example of the beard’s strength is found in the story of Samson, the ancient Israelite champion who lost his legendary powers after his beard was shorn. Fúzy adds that

The Beard’s strength comes from a combination of its fearsome aspect and the sense that its wearer is laser focused on the task at hand to the exclusion of all else including personal vanity.

With Game 4 in the books, the October Classic is now a three game Series, with Game 5 scheduled for Monday night in St Louis, and the Red Sox looking to ride their Beards all the way into the history books.