East Lake offensive lineman Mason Cole planned to cause a stir this week by practicing without his co-star — the flowing mane he has grown out for nearly two years. It was supposed to be gone, reduced to a simple, stark, short haircut.
Goodbye, American Idol. Hello, G.I. Joe.
The cut no doubt would have prompted a number of questions among fans: Was this just a new look for the playoffs? Or did he want to start over from scratch?
Actually, Cole planned to chop off his hair because it is now long enough to donate to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to children with long-term medical conditions.
Alas, Cole will not have his scalp sheared anytime soon. The haircut has been put on hold mostly because East Lake keeps winning and coach Bob Hudson is known for his superstitions.
“I thought it was time to get rid of the hair,” Cole said. “I told Coach about my idea and he reminded me that we haven’t lost while I’ve had long hair. He said I should wait until after we’re done with the playoffs to have it cut”
Hudson is a man of fastidious ritual. He keeps his car keys in the same pocket and wears the same outfit — polo shirt and shorts — on game days in the regular season. It is hard to argue with the results considering the Eagles just completed their first undefeated regular season and have outscored opponents 472-56.
Hudson does not want anything to jinx what could be a deep run in the playoffs. So it was understandable if he went through some palpitations hearing that his prized left tackle wanted to enter the playoffs sans his long, brown mop of hair.
“I like to keep things the same,” Hudson said. “Why change anything if it’s going so well.”