Following Your Team Into A Pact Can Be Stupid And Liberating At The Same Damn Time

Basketball, Soul On Ice — By on April 15, 2013 at 4:48 am


On February 7th, with the Dallas Mavericks at a God-awful record of 21-28, word got out that the Mavs made a pact within their basketball team. Legend has it that O.J. Mayo was the ringleader, and he suggested that the Mavs grow their beards out as a sign of solidarity and not to shave until they reached .500.

Soon after, word of the pact got out to the fans and the Mavs even made it a formal thing, making a pledge on their official Facebook page for fans to show their support by not shaving, and for the folks who had to, to wear Mavs paraphernalia until they reached their goal.

For some, I imagine they looked at the pact with disgust. Here was a team that was a world champion less than two years ago, and they were making a pact to grow beards until they reached .500. How pathetic.

However, I saw something different. As a lifelong fan of the Mavs, I decided to make the pledge and follow their lead. Sure, the Mavs were seven games under, but Dirk Nowitzki was regaining form from his injury, and I figured the pledge would last a few weeks, at the most, before I’d be in the barbershop, in Chico’s chair, getting it cut off.

Well, it didn’t exactly go that way. Soon, the Mavs started to resemble a group of characters that looked they didn’t bathe, let alone shave. See, the pact included no lining of beards, no trims, nothing. The only exception was cutting hair under your neck, so it wouldn’t get caught in shirts, but hell, what was that going to do? So what started off as a pact built off of fun, team-building and even a morale booster turned into an exercise of patience and resolve, mixed in with a healthy dose of frustration.

The Mavs would go on a winning streak, inching closer and closer to .500, only to lose a lead in a game and fall back into a hole. The Mavs, on two occasions, got within one game of .500, only to get their dicks kicked in the dirt at home against the Pacers and at Staples Center against the Lakers. The Pacers game is affectionally known around Dallas as The Omar Game, since Mayo invited Omar The Barber to the arena in anticipation of a Mavs’ win and the opportunity to finally shave. However, it was all for naught since the Pacers heard about the pact, beat the crap out of the Mavs and sent fans like myself back to work looking even more crazy for signing up for this foolishness.

After the third time to reach .500 came, only for the Mavs to lose, at home, to the Phoenix Suns, one of the most terrible teams in the league, I lost it. I went on a tirade against the Mavs, the fans, myself and anyone else invested in the franchise. With four games to go, there was no way they would reach .500, not if beating Phoenix couldn’t happen. I was resigned to my fate. The beard was here to stay.

K. Masenda

Kenny Masenda is a fan of the game, and an admirer of the culture. You can find more of what makes him tick at his Facebook profile located here.

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  • J. Tinsley says:

    I’m thrilled the Mavs achieved their goal and got back to .500. I truly am. I am not, however, pleased Dirk chopped off that awesome beard. In such a short time, that beard literally became one of the most awesome beards in the history of facial hair somewhere behind Santa Claus and miraculously above Rick Ross.

    Sad day in beard history, this is. Really sad day.

  • What’s funnier is that OJ Mayo’s beard looks exactly the same as it did when he was in high school hooping with Bill Walker. Dope stuff Ken.


  • JAG says:

    What vexes me about this post is that you appear to have a clear understanding of the fact that, no matter how talented, a Judas, a Benedict Arnold, should never, ever be tolerated. If you withhold your appreciation of Brand, why, why to you exalt the traitorous Charles Woodson?

    He is a native Ohioan. One of the greatest prospects we ever produced. Yes, we produced him. He didn’t develop that talent by himself. Offense lessons, Defense lessons, Track lessons. We were going to team him up with Eddie George, Orlando Pace, Antoine Winfield, Terry Glenn, Darryl Boston, Ricky Dudley, Shawn Springs, etc and just sit back and watch the banners roll in. Four Rose Bowl wins! Three National Championships! Two Heismans!

    But what does he do? He runs off. He went up north to perform his miracles for strangers. He did it just to make me look ridiculous. AND A MAN IN MY POSITION CANNOT AFFORD TO BE MADE TO LOOK RIDICULOUS.

    Woodhead is now released from the NFL and looking for a team to hook up with. He won’t be successful in his search if I have anything to do with it. Good riddance to the man who shunned loyalty and displayed a shocking lack of character.

  • I can’t believe Ed chopped his beard. That’s tragic.

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