Few things get my attention when it comes to pro athletes doing postgame interviews. Having a five o'clock shadow is pretty commonplace stuff; if the facial growth goes to beard level, no blinking there.
In my best phonetic impersonation of my former Philadelphia Inquirer colleague Stephen A. Smith: "How-evuh ...!"
I don't care how accomplished an athlete you are; please take a little time out to shave before going on camera. Some reporter out there probably will do a sidebar story on unkempt countenances, and ask some ridiculous (but relevant for such a story) question like, "Thank you for speaking to the media. But before you talk about what happened during the game, why is your beard connected to your chest?"
Exhibit A: The normally clean-shaven Tom Brady gave a postgame interview with a noticeable beard after leading the New England Patriots to a 39-26 victory at Pittsburgh on Sunday night. (Catch Monday morning's highlights on SportsCenter if you want to see what I mean.) When the whiskers are visible on his neck, that's unseemly.
I wonder sometimes if Mr. Brady's latest look is an homage to former teammate Randy Moss, a stellar wide receiver who himself plays his position with ever-present facial hair. Now with the Tennessee Titans (who lost to the Miami Dolphins 29-17 on Sunday), Mr. Moss' beard is fuller and coarse.
On Sunday, Mr. Brady, a three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, took a walk on the wild side, even for him. C'mon, man! It's the NFL, not the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Ironically, during Mr. Brady's postgame interview on Sunday night, there's are Gillette Fusion ProGlide logos in the background. (Cue up the ad campaign right about now.)
It's late in the day, guys. The excessive facial-hair thing is soooooooo '70s.
Shaving the neck area takes about five minutes tops, and your appearance is more orderly for subsequent interviews. Yes, it's a free country, I get that. But really, from a style standpoint, a selective lack of grooming draws a penalty flag in a hurry.