There are two things Oakland A’s outfielder Josh Reddick has not been shy about this spring.
The first, of course, is how proud he is of the epic beard he’s been growing since November.
The other is probably strange to some people while perfectly understandable to others, and that’s his passion for professional wrestling. One might even say Reddick has reached fanatical status, which is not uncommon among professional athletes. I just think there’s a respect and appreciation that athletes have for the wrestlers that goes well beyond what many of us can understand or comprehend.
Well, that, or many of them just refuse to grow up, which is something we all understand.
Anyway, with these two things abundantly clear, it should come as no surprise to us that Reddick recently accepted a challenge from a WWE performer named Daniel Bryan (real name: Bryan Danielson, see what they did there?) with a fabulous beard of his own.
Of course this will not be for a wrestling exhibition. Though if there’s nothing written specifically in Reddick’s contract preventing him from doing so, we’d suggest the A’s add that quickly. But rather this challenge is for a “beard-off.” Yes, a beard-off, which simply means both men will continue growing their beards for the entirety of 2013. Then, at the end of the year, we'll all have the opportunity to vote on which man’s facial hair is the most spectacular. Or least scraggly. Whichever it might be.
— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) March 5, 2013
— josh Reddick (@joshreddick16) March 5, 2013
So the loser shaves the beard off immediately, which to me sounds more like winning. Can you imagine how nasty those will be by year's end?
The winner gets, well, I'm not sure. I guess keeping their beard is enough, though it could give them a renewed sense of pride as well.
As for who the early favorite might be. I'm thinking that would be Daniel Bryan for a couple reasons. First, because he's had about an eight month head start on Reddick, which speaks to his dedication. And also because Bryan's worldwide following — he's performed everywhere from Japan to Australia — is considerably larger. In fact, Bryan has nearly 600,000 followers on Twitter as of Wednesday, while Reddick is approaching 36,000.
Reddick has some catching up to do. He also has a baseball season to focus on, but he's already told teammates that he's committed to the challenge. If he happens to fall into a slump and the temptation to shave creeps into his mind, he's instructed them to talk him out it. He's in this to win it.