Should the NFL have a rule regarding the length of a player's hair?

Leading Off: Are hairdos out of control in the NFL?

Published: Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013 - 5:27 pm

We were hunkered down watching the 49ers-Packers game Sunday when my wife blurted out, "What's with all the hair? It's gross."

Then on Tuesday I received an email from reader Charles Hummer of El Dorado Hills on the same subject.

"Just wondering if there is any media comment at all regarding the length of hair coming out the back … of player helmets?" Hummer wrote. "It was so bad on Sunday that you could barely see the number on the jersey of #22 for the Packers."

That No. 22 was Jerron McMillian, a safety for the Packers whose hair was so long you couldn't read his name. At least four other Packers – linebacker Clay Matthews, tackle David Bakhtiari, safety M.D. Jennings and running back Eddie Lacy – had hair coming out of their helmets, too.

It was much the same in the Raiders-Colts game, with tight end Mychal Rivera, receiver Denarius Moore, defensive tackle Pats Sims and cornerback Mike Jenkins of the Raiders and linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and cornerback Greg Toler of the Colts among the players sporting long locks.

It might not be gross – well, Matthews' hair is pretty gnarly – but a player could be injured if tackled by his hair.

If that happens, don't expect a penalty flag.

In 2003, the NFL enacted the "Ricky Williams" rule – named for the former Dolphins running back who once sported long dreadlocks – that says hair is part of the uniform.

Instead, how about a "Jerron McMillian" rule requiring that names and numbers on jerseys must be visible?

Today's poll

Should the NFL have a rule regarding the length of a player's hair?

• Yes, fans should be able see names on uniforms.

• No, hair length should be a personal choice.

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday's poll results

What would compel you to attend Sac State football games?

• Winning more games, even if against inferior competition: 69%

• Playing more schools from bigger conferences on the road: 31%

Total votes: 62

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Read more articles by Tom Couzens

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