Quirky sports traditions: everyone’s got ‘em. In hockey, of course, teams grow playoff beards, not to be shorn until their playoff run ends. In basketball, meanwhile, the players fast 24 hours a day while the coaches gorge themselves. Actually, that may not be true.
But Peter Moylan, a reliever for the Atlanta Braves, has introduced the “Rally Head,” and it’s beautiful. As you can probably see - unless you roll so fly that you have someone to read websites aloud for you - it’s accomplished by shaving only the top of your head, so as to imitate male pattern baldness. Hey, man, it works.
With so much free time around the clubhouse this week, given Monday’s three-hour rain delay, Adam LaRoche got wind that Moylan paid tribute, or poked fun at, John Smoltz last year by shaving his head half bald. The Braves went on to win a couple of games after that.
So after seeing a photo of it in Kelly Johnson’s phone, LaRoche dared him to do it again.
“[LaRoche] said let’s rally-head it to the playoffs,” said Moylan, who smiled when asked how much money he was doing it for and said: “I’m not at liberty to say.”
Last year Moylan waited about an hour before he shaved the rest of his head. This time he agreed to go with the half-bald look for more than two weeks, through the Braves’ visit to St. Louis where Smoltz is now pitching for the Cardinals.
You see? It’s all for a good cause: winning.
Oh, I thought of another weird tradition, though maybe it’s just a quirk since not everybody does it: Moises Alou taking a leak on his own hands. Remember that?
Well, I remember it. In fact, I was just taking a leak when I was writing this article and thinking about the whole “it’s sterile” argument. So then I imagined a baseball player who was confused, so he took a dump all over his own hands and showed his teammates. After trying not to throw up from the smell, they would then have to explain to him that it doesn’t work that way for #2. Then he’d get really embarrassed and ask if someone could turn on the shower for him, since his hands were too covered in poop to do that.
And that mental image made me laugh so hard that I got urine on places that aren’t the inside of the toilet. That too is funny, so then I laughed until I cried. The end.