Andy Warhol once said, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
Well, I horribly misplayed my hand, somehow cashing in my 15 minutes of fame making short YouTube videos rating the hairstyles of high school boys. As the creator of the Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair Team, each March I upload to my website www.gameonmn.com my annual love letter to salad, flow, mullets, man-buns, Biebers, afros, and mullets.
So, what's the deal with hair, and hockey hair specifically?
It's pretty simple; for me it comes down to Minnesota pride. Over the years whenever I've heard Minnesota referred to as a "fly-over state," I'd rebuke with, "Bob Dylan, the Mississippi, and Prince started here--and look where they ended up." When defending our polar vortex winters, I'd reply that Old Man Winter was Minnesota's bouncer, keeping the riff-raff out.
They call Minnesota the State of Hockey for a reason: An entire state that is completely comfortable strapping on the knife boots and doing crossovers make us unique. While I grew up in hockey-mad Edina (sorry!), I wasn't a hockey player--but I'm still completely comfortable on the ice because, well, I'm a Minnesotan. I often laugh when I imagine my college-aged daughter on a date someday, and some poor guy asks her to go skating--only to be completely baffled when the former All Conference high school and All-American college club player skates circles around him. Yes, being great at hockey makes us Minnesotans mutants. It makes us different. It makes us special. Hockey is our superpower.
And the hair. The hockey hair. Well, that's a key part of the superhero outfit. For us Minnesotans, hockey hair is no different than Superman's cape, Captain America's shield, or Thor's hammer (it goes without saying that Thor has the best flow). Does great hockey hair provide Samson-like power to slapshots from the blueline? Or Rapunzel-like elusiveness to wingers avoiding hits along the boards? Who knows? But one thing is for sure--bumping into a kid out of Minnesota who can play hockey with a great salad is about as exotic as finding a new tribe or discovering an alien life form. Hockey and hockey hair keep us weird, and weird is good.
While it's true "Long Hair, Don't Care" has been written on my office wall, and I do harbor great fondness for the Rick Rubins and David Lee Roths of the world, long hair for me has always come down to one simple fact. When someone asks me why I have long hair, the answer is simple. Over the years, on the rare occasion when I did cut my hair short, the people who would compliment my new short hair saying, "I really like your haircut," or "about time you came around," well, simply put, they weren't my people.
So, I keep it long like the good Minnesota mutant I am.