I don’t worry about Brian Urlacher and his transplanted hair. They’ll be fine.
I do worry about a whole generation of Chicago-area men with shaved heads, barbed-wire tattoos on their arms and No. 54 Bears jerseys. They are lost sheep – once-balding, now-shorn sheep who idolized and emulated their maximum leader and presently find themselves directionless and as bald as a box of crystal balls.
Uncle Fester has become Cousin Itt.
Urlacher was all over the place Tuesday, showing off his new hair to various media outlets. He seemed completely at ease with his decision to take some of the hair from the back of his head and have it planted on top, where it has grown like a Chia Pet. Good for him. Confidence is a wonderful thing.
But what of all those men who once looked at a shaved Urlacher and saw a way out for their premature baldness? If you’ve gone to any Bears games since 2000, when the retired linebacker’s career started, you know of whom I speak. These are the guys who cut their hair, buffed their scalps, bought an Urlacher jersey, got the ink job straight out of Cliched Tattoos for $300 Alex and slapped on eye black, if not literally than at least in spirit with their hero. You can still see them on game days at Soldier Field.
What happens now to these forgotten people, these lost souls, these turtle-headed followers with no one left to follow?
I recommend letting it all hang out, however much that might be, even if it’s only a little bit on the sides. The whole idea of the shaved head, paradoxically, is to pretend you’re not balding. The shaver is saying, “I have chosen to shave my head as a style statement. You have no idea if I’m bald or if I have flowing hair like Troy Polamalu.’’
Actually, yes we do.
Urlacher has left you. He led you down one path and left you there. Do not end up like the soldier who comes out of the jungle 50 years after the war is over. It’s time to rise up and embrace who you are. Stop fighting it. Balding is beautiful. From what I’m told.