Smile Politely

Those are very frozen beards you have there, Josh Whitman and Derrick Burson

I see now, in this moment, that U of I Athletic Director Josh Whitman has a beard. I didn’t know he grew a beard until now because, while he usually doesn’t have one, this is a pandemic, and things are happening all around me that I can’t really keep tabs on. Like Josh Whitman’s beard, and whether or not he’s grown one.

Anyway, have you been outside lately? I know not many of us are leaving the house these days for much of anything because of said pandemic, but shit, it is cold. I don’t like it, and I’ve lived in Illinois my whole life. You’d think I’d understand these things by now, but somehow that chill always gets me.

OK, back to Whitman. Check out this frozen beard he’s got going in Lincoln, Nebraska, as the Illinois men’s basketball team faces off against the Cornhuskers tonight. By the looks of it, he and Derrick Burson (the team’s Sports Information Director) “logged” 10 miles (10 miles in sub-zero temps?!) and by the end of it, this is what they looked like:

I suppose I must deliver props to these men who are braver than I am for subjecting themselves to such a harsh environment, and keeping their tradition alive. But I must ask: how much of that beard is made up of snot and sweat now? Mostly snot in the mustache, in all likelihood, but you gotta imagine there’s a combo and well… your imagination can do the rest.

As a man that also has a beard, I can’t say this has ever happened to me, but maybe that says more about me than it does about these two guys. More power to them. For now, I’ll be at home not running 10 miles in subzero temperatures, thank you very much.

Top image by Derrick Burson.

Executive Editor

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