A lifetime ago, when Gilbert Arenas was still the merry leader of a fun-loving Wizards squad and Washington Post reporters didn’t spend all their time sulking over failing to make quick-hitting blog posts turn into viral shareable sensations, DeShawn Stevenson had a beard-growing contest with then-enemy Drew Gooden.
I wrote about it. Poorly.
Both guys live in Orlando, and they saw each other socially. Gooden had a beard, Stevenson made a comment, and so Gooden challenged him to grow facial hair of his own.
“So I said all right,” Stevenson said. “He said ‘who cuts it first,’ I said let’s do it,’ and the rest was history.”
Two months later, all is going according to plan. DeShawn says the beard doesn’t itch, and he’s allowed to edge it up to keep from looking “all nasty,” as Wiz beat writer Ivan Carter put it. There was some concern in the locker room that the beard might be a bad-luck charm, what with that 0-5 start and all; Gilbert Arenas kept asking Stevenson to shave it off….I asked DeShawn what he thought he’d look like in March.
“Probably look like Teen Wolf,” he said one time. “Probably Moses,” he said another time. “Moses with an even cut.”
Anyhow, with Gooden now a proud member of a Wizards team that has no other connections with that far-away era, Monumental Network’s Casey Phillips asked about the beard contest.
“I think it was called a Dirty Man Contest,” Gooden recalled. “You couldn’t shave or trim it for a whole basketball season. So it was a lot of junk in there.”
Stevenson had previously claimed that he won the contest. Gooden remembers it differently.
“I think it went to a stalemate,” Gooden said. “Because I caught DeShawn kind of trimming his, and I kind of kept mine rugged, so I didn’t think that was fair. So I think I won by default. But this might be my last [beard]. I’ve got a couple grays coming. So this might be my last dark beard. It’s not a contest going on; it’s just for looking-good purposes.”