For some there’s No Shave November, getting faces acclimatized for the rigors of winter.

For me the new November is August.

That’s partly because my beard takes forever to expand and partly because I am outside a lot covering sports in the cold.

As I do at this time of year, I keep an eye out for the best beards at various schools as I take fall sports teams.

And I compare them with some of the most fierce, warming beards to appear in sports over the years.

One of the most iconic beards belongs to professional basketball player James Harden of the Houston Rockets, whose well-groomed growth finished 10th in the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year voting.

How the heck does he play in the heat of an indoor sport with a beard of gigantic proportions? I bet if he ever got rid of it no one would recognize him.

Of late I’ve been drafting a ton of fantasy football teams at ESPN, which leads me to watching preseason games.

One of my favorite teams, Kansas City, included one of the top three tight ends in pro football – Travis Kelce.

The 6-6 Kelce reminds me more of a Viking than a Chief.

The beard is red, much like my dad’s. His nickname was Red.

Ruby-colored hair is common in my family.

The names of my grandmother (father’s side) was Ruby, partly for being born in Ruby in 1888.

I had a crimson beard before Father Time dyed it white.

Okanogan assistant soccer coach Ken Vedders’ beard is a fiery orange-red.

So is the beard of Brewster’s wide receiver and defensive back coach, Eric Hersman.

His nickname could be Eric the Red. That would put fear of the Bears in opponents for sure.

Then there is Pateros girls’ soccer coach and former Brewster player Jesse Villalobos, whose chin mane is almost as bushy as the top of his head.

The Nannies will offer girls’ soccer for the first time starting this fall.

UFC fighter Kimbo Slice’s beard definitely stands out

No only is it stylish, but it hides his chin and if an opponent should connect, it will cushion the blow.

Al Camp is the sports editor at The Chronicle. Email him at

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