It’s obvious athletes are pressured by peers

It's obvious athletes are pressured by peers by Bob Karolevitz Like millions of others I watched the professional football playoffs, but instead of being impressed by quarterback wizardry, I found myself looking at arms, ears and chins.

What became obvious to me was just how much peer pressure has affected ball players � and us!

I saw earrings galore and lots of tattoos. Chin whiskers � the kind that circle the mouth � appeared on sidelines and behind face masks. To my old-fashioned way of thinking, it was a clear-cut case of monkey sees, monkey does (no reference to primates implied, however).

I hate to see long, scraggly hair coming out from under football helmets, but then the guys who sport such terrible tonsorial monstrosities can run like the wind or sack quarterbacks who mostly are clipped short.

I suppose it�s a matter of current style � like women�s clothing, for instance � and, of course, I�m about as up-to-date as a buggy whip. But, then, nobody wore that stuff until somebody else did. It�s peer pressure, that�s what it is!

However, it�s been going on for a long time. I once got caught in it, too. There was a time when I had one of those gosh-awful leisure suits. It was a thing to do then. We wore them because, as the kids say, �everyone else is doing it.�

Men�s hair is also something to be copied. Through the years there have been pompadours, duck tails, long sideburns, bowl cuts and pony tails. I suppose crewcuts like mine fall into that category, too, but to me it�s just a carry-over from G.I barbering, so that doesn�t count.

Now teen-age boys wear purple hair, pink hair, orange hair and various other hues. Some have even started to spike their hair � which is pretty hard to do with a butch. I�m beginning to think that bald is beautiful.

(Actually I could be accused of an anti-feminine thing with this column, but it all began with the playoffs. And there aren�t any gals playing professional football. Yet!)

How did all that peer pressure get started anyhow? Is television to blame?

Come to think of it, there were zoot-suiters long before the boob tube was commonplace. Maybe movies had something to do with it?

However it came about, though, peer pressure has always spread across the country like an insidious disease. A style which originated in New York or Los Angeles gradually finds its way to South Dakota.

Old-timers like me can fuss and stew about it when something new emerges, but change is inevitable, like death and taxes. It if weren�t so, we�d all still be wearing buckled shoes and knickers like the Pilgrims did.

And so I will watch the Super Bowl with an open mind. I won�t care what tattoos or earrings I will see. I�ll just concentrate on sock �em football and not worry about peer pressure.

�����

Ah, and a correction! Several weeks ago I told about our trip to Branson, MO, and how we saw the Christmas lights at the Century Club Plaza in Kansas City.

I found out how much my column is read because I was chided by mail and in person for not calling it the Country Club Plaza like I was supposed to.

At least I know that my sterling words get around!

� 2003 Robert F. Karolevitz

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