Since it’s possible that Beckmania could fizzle out before the Redskins next play a game, or before next week, I figured I need to get in right now with the John Beck Mullet Photo Retrospective.
Also: I went through some newspaper archives, trying to find anything about John Beck’s mullet, or any of his hairstyles, really. But all I came up with was this long-ago quote from his father, Wendell, about his son’s high school career:
As a junior, the scrawny Beck split time with a senior. A year later, he approached 6-feet, 170 pounds.
“He could throw the ball 60 yards, but the kid didn’t get hair in his armpits until he was a senior,” said his father.
There’s no indication as to whether the younger Beck had an armpit mullet at the time.
Anyhow, above, please find Beck in August, during training camp, via the AP’s Alex Brandon. No mullet.
By October, as the AP’s Charles Rex Arbogast captured here, the party was starting in the back. Like, the first few guests had arrived and the particularly adventuresome guy was starting to crack the first few pistachio shells. Better cocktail party snack: pistachios, olives or cornichons? I love them all. Also, sugar snap peas, whose bland exterior hides a bursting crackle of fresh vegetative flavor.
Speaking of which, no one imagined the crackling surprise in store for John Beck hair fans.
Like here, in early December, when Grant Paulsen took this locker room shot, which wound up on Mister Irrelevant. “Skins QB John Beck Is No. 3 With a Mullet,” read the headline, with the excellent alternate headline of “John Beck Does His Best Redskins Logo Impersonation.”
And from there, the mullet photo contest was on. About a week later, this view of his luscious locks was captured by The Post’s Ricky Carioti. How Rex Grossman could even concentrate on these photos is beyond me. That thing is way better than a wristband.
Before that same game, The Post’s John McDonnell caught Beck while warming up, mullet rippling in the breeze, sunshine illuminating the scraggly strands in the back, casting a soft yellow glow that only hinted at the glorious promise of a new day dawning, a day filled with motivational speeches and I-Knew-He-Had-It-In-Him testimonials and stories about Portuguese cheeses.
And no one did more with the mullet than the AP’s Reinhold Matay, who nailed this amazing image before the second-to-last game of the season, at Jacksonville. That was the one that caused Drew Magary to write, “Holy [bleep], John Beck looks like [bleeping] MacGruber.” You know what Beck is saying here? Here’s saying, Yeah, get ready for me, world, because my time is coming. Now someone snag me a pouch of Big League Chew and an extra-strong comb.
Finally, this comes from the season’s final day. It also comes from Grant Paulsen, and its the mullet at its final, closing-day peak. Had a good run.
I seem to recall Beck once saying that he wasn’t going to cut the mullet until the Redskins season ended. He seemed to live up to that pledge, because by the time he was photographed again this spring, the hair was gone. Gone, but not forgotten. Can’t wait to ask him if he saved a few strands.
(Lockout lockout lockout lockout lockout lockout lockout lockout .)