Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Would Usain Bolt Ever Wear Braids?

Originally Posted October 2013

I'm watching a batter versus pitcher matchup last night in the MLB NL Wildcard game, Johnny Cueto of the Reds pitching to Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, and I decided to write today's article, asking, 'Would Usain Bolt Ever Wear Braids?'.

Of course, I'm talking about the hairstyle that is all the rage and has been for a while.  Braids are way past being a fad.  They've been popular with high-school athletes, college athletes and the pros for many years.

I've wanted to write the article for a long time because I think it is an interesting topic, but I kind of always thought it wasn't for a non-wearing braids person to write.

Braids are obviously a very personal and cultural expression and one which I like quite a bit.  But, I've always been inquisitive as to why athletes would want to add so much unnecessary weight to tug from their head, if they are expected to be so quick and agile to the 1/100th of a second.

The hair is so long, it even blocks the name on the back of their jersey sometimes.  Aren't they losing a possible endorsement here or there?

If it's not braids, it's just long hair that many athletes are choosing.  Long hair-styles are the 'in' thing. Maybe, for some athletes, it's their 'security blanket' to provide psychological comfort.  Wait, isn't that what all hairstyles are?

In football, some thick braids can really help deflect the blow to a helmet and protect against a concussion.  Then again, braids can also have a very different effect on a game situation.  I think it was last season that a player got tackled when another player grabbed his braids, (I think Stephen Jackson was the player who got his braids grabbed) which apparently-is perfectly legal.

I've talked to a few athletes with braids and to a man, they all say the same thing.  They say, 'they can't feel any difference.'  The braids don't hinder them at all, they say.

Okay, fine.  But, for the fastest man in the world, and, maybe the fastest man ever on planet earth, how does he feel about wearing braids?

I've got a sneaking suspicion that he wouldn't run a competitive race with braids because he would worry too much about the negative effect on his time.  However, Usain Bolt might consider wearing them after he retires.

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