on Sports
Big Hairy Deal


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
            BIG HAIRY DEAL

    Dready got a job to do
    No matter what they do
    Natty keep on comin thru

    Miami Dolphin running back Ricky Williams could be Dready from Bob Marley’s song. Ricky loves Bob Marley, the Jamaican reggae star and author of the above lyrics from the song Ride Natty Ride. Ricky named his daughter Marley and he wears his dreadlocks to honor Marley’s music and now, even though the NFL has ruled it is legal to tackle a player by his hair if it sticks out of his helmet, he will not cut them.

    Why would he cut them now? He didn’t cut them when he was the only member of the All-County team in San Diego with dreads and everybody was taunting him. He didn’t cut them when both Darrell Royal and Mack Brown ganged up on him at Texas to ditch the dreads. He didn’t cut them when Earl Campbell offered to man the scissors.

    And today, even after he’s been tackled by his hair by both Jets linebacker Marvin Jones and Buffalo Bills safety Lawyer Malloy, he’s going to let the dreads hang out. Hairy Deal

    Edgerrin James, another NFL running back known for his locks, trimmed off a few inches after he was brought down by his tresses during the year’s first game. What he should have done and what Ricky and other football playing dread wearers may do is drop in a few detachables among the real locks. Then they’d be like breakaway jerseys and defenders grabbing hair would be left with a handful of wiglets while Ricky’s running down the field.

    When that happens, the Rastas, the reggae lovers and Marley fans will wish Bob was still alive to view and celebrate the dreadification of the NFL. And if he were alive, Bob would be a Dolphin fan adding more lyrics to his Ride Natty Ride:

    Natty Dread rides again
    Have no fear, Have no sorrow, yeah.
    He let his hair lead the way
    A rub, rub, rubby-doo-day
    And now you people on the beach
    He let his feet make his speech
    Ridin’ through the storm
    He’s the glass masked man
    With the wings a sailin
Cause Natty Dread keep on comin’ thru
And no matter what they say-ay-ay-ay
It’s a go Dready, go Dready, go deh
Go Dready, go deh,
    Of course, that would never happen. If Bob Marley were alive today he’d still be spreading his message, championing the downtrodden and the impoverished and hoping there’d be a rise up against the gladiators and the multi-millionaires. Ironically, a very rich gladiator right there on the football field and ready to be overtaken… could be wearing dreadlocks.
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