It’s a good thing he did it then, because “Da Beard” won’t be around for long.
Keisel will take the beard off in style, and for a good cause, when he hosts "Shear the Beard" on Thursday, Feb, 9 at Diesel Club Lounge to benefit cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC.
The hospital is close to his heart after teammate
“When I decided to do this one of my first calls was to Aaron,” said Keisel. “I wanted to see if him and Elijah would come down and be a part of it. Aaron came last year, but I wanted to see if Elijah could come too. He was right there when I called him and he asked him if he wanted to cut Keisel’s beard. I could hear him say, ‘Oh yeah.’
“It’s a lot of fun. I have developed a great relationship with Elijah and the whole Smith family. Children’s has done so much for them. To have an opportunity to do something fun and get the city involved has been fun. The beard has been great to us.”
The legend of Keisel’s beard began before the 2010 season when he decided to grow it over the summer to and begin the “playoff beard” run. It started small, but gained national attention particularly when the Steelers played in Super Bowl XLV.
He shaved it off last February as well for Children’s Hospital, but began the journey again this past summer. He last shaved on June 25, his father Lane’s birthday, and the two began to grow their beards together. His dad will also be shaving off his beard at the event.
“I think I get to chop some of his off,” said Keisel. “It’s always fun to see him. I saw him in Denver and got to see his beard. He has never done anything like this. He has grown his beard out a little bit, but he has always kept it relatively shaved up. To see him with this big beard, and he looks beautiful with it, walking around with his chest out, it’s been awesome.
“It looks exactly like my beard, it’s just grey. If people want to see what I am going to look like when I am 70, my dad will be there to show them.”
No matter how big the beard has become, Keisel said it still amazes him how much attention it gets.
“It’s been awesome,” said Keisel. “I was watching the Pitt basketball game the other day and this kid had a big blowup of the beard where they shoot free throws. When the opposing team would shoot he would put this sign up with my mean beard face. It’s been a lot of fun the way the city has grasped it all. They are why I do it. They enjoy it and I enjoy it too. It’s been a lot of fun.”
And taking it off will be fun as well. Keisel, and his wife Sarah, are looking forward to a clean shaven face for a little while.
“I am excited to see what I look like underneath this mane,” said Keisel. “It’s going to be a fun night. It will be a night to remember.”
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Steelers fans can take part in the fun of Shear Da Beard by either buying tickets for the event or making a donation to cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC. Just click on the buttons below for more information. For more details on the event, click on Shear Da Beard.