It has its own Facebook page and Twitter account, it’s been often imitated, but never duplicated, but soon
Keisel started growing the beard in early summer to help inspire the team to get back to the playoffs. As it grew, so did the attention it got, culminating on Super Bowl media day when reporters fired question after question at him about the beard.
“I didn’t expect it. I really didn’t,” said Keisel of the beard’s popularity. “It took on a whole life of it’s own. It’s really getting out of control now. It will be good to take it off and start with another one.”
Keisel will take the beard off in style, and for a good cause, when he hosts "Shear the Beard" on Thursday, Feb, 24 at Diesel Club Lounge to benefit cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC.
“This is something I thought would be a great way to give back to the City of Pittsburgh and show what Pittsburgh means to me,” said Keisel. “Children’s Hospital has not only helped a lot of people on our team, but it helps Pittsburghers and people from everywhere, every day. It’s a great place that can use some money and I am happy we can help.”
Some special guests will have the opportunity to take a snip at the beard, with Keisel’s wife Sarah being a front-runner in getting the first cut.
“She has been awesome through this whole thing, with her husband looking like the big scary guy from Star Wars, Chewy,” laughed Keisel. “She will be happy to have her husband not looking like Chewy and get back to the man she married.”
One thing that does have Keisel a little worried is if his son Jacob will recognize him clean-shaven after the two-year looked at a picture of his dad at the Steelers office earlier this week without facial hair and didn’t realize it was him right away.
“I am concerned I am going to go into his room in the morning and he is going to yell, ‘Stranger, stranger,’” said Keisel. “It will be fun. He will recognize my voice and know it’s me. I think he will appreciate his dad looking a little cleaner.”
While it’s been a fun ride for Keisel getting rid of the beard after losing Super Bowl XLV is also a little bittersweet.
“There is disappointment because I had all of these hopes that we would be able to finish the deal,” said Keisel. “Obviously that is sad. It will help me move on and forget about it. I do feel proud for us making it to the Super Bowl. This will definitely help me get out of my mourning stage.”
Fear not fans of the beard, he plans on bringing it back again next season.
“I will probably keep it mowed down for a while,” said Keisel. “I am sure it will start once I lace the cleats up and put the pads back on."
Shear The Beard Flyer Details
Thursday, February 24
Diesel Club Lounge – 1601 East Carson Street (21 and over only).
Doors open at 6 p.m. Shaving ceremony at 7 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $25 and can be purchased by visiting Shear The Beard Tickets.
Guests will have an opportunity to purchase limited edition items, including a framed before and after Keisel photo set, with or without a lock of the beard. You can pre-order the signed framed photo at Before and After Photo.
Local artist Donnie Iris and the Chris Higbee Project will perform.
The event is sponsored by: Pittsburgh Steelers, 102.5 WDVE, Eat ‘n Park, PNC and Sport Clips Haircuts.