Texas Tech’s Pete Robertson Says the Defensive Line Players’ Beards Mean They’re ‘Different Creatures’ [Interview]
The team beard is a resolution to perform. A physical promise to the men you go into battle with that you will not let them down. A pledge that as long as no one can see your chin you are playing to win.
Pete Robertson, Texas Tech's senior defensive end, has similar aspirations for this year's Red Raiders defensive line.
The NHL has long had teams grow playoff beards. Vowing not to cut them until their respective team is hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup. The practice was introduced by the NY Islanders in 1980.
The Boston Red Sox sprouted man bushes on their faces in a show of unity and tugged on each other for good luck. It worked for Boston, as they won the World Series in 2013 after being in dead last in the AL East in 2012.
Football is also no stranger to playoff beards. Ben Roethlisberger famously took his Super Bowl XL Champion Beard to David Letterman to be shaved on live television.
The team beard, to some, may be superstitious -- or frivolous. But to those inside the team, it brings solidarity and a sense of camaraderie that cannot be felt without the whiskered cheek of the teammate beside you.
So, what does the team beard mean for Texas Tech's 2015 football team?
"We are different creatures," Robertson told 1340 The Fan's Rob Snyder and Aaron Brodie. "We come to play a different type of football."
Robertson has grown his beard out for football in the past, but this year he is encouraging his D-Line compadres to adopt the team beard.
"We got some guys itching to cut it off so bad, but we let them know they can't. We gonna go the whole season," he laughed.
It may be just a beard, but it's admittedly fun for fans to have a defense that is trying to find an identity. It's been one-sided for far too long.
1340 The Fan's Aaron Brodie also asked Robertson about how Texas Tech's offense dominates the landscape and whether he wanted to take strides to see the defense more prevalent.
Robertson took a workman's approach to making Texas Tech more of a defensive team.
"This is an offense-driven school...We don't have to take all the media," said Robertson, adding: "As long as we go out and do what we got to do and get the offense back on the field, they can score all they want. As long as we win, we'll be happy."
Rob Snyder asked Robertson if there was any specific team he was extra revved up to beat.
"We ain't got no select victims. We want all of them," Robertson said. "Because, we feel like we didn't play our best game against all the teams we played. We know we have our best football yet to come. Every single team should be ready."