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Brett Keisel: “The beard is why we’re here”

Brett Keisel

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel stretches during an NFL football practice in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. The Steelers face the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV Feb 6, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


Super Bowl week is when legends are made: Joe Namath’s guarantee. Lynn Swann’s catch. John Elway’s helicopter.

And now we can add one more: Brett Keisel’s beard.

Keisel, the Steelers defensive end whose facial hair makes Kimbo Slice think it’s time for a shave, got more questions about his beard than anything else when he arrived in Dallas today. And he provided the kinds of colorful answers that the Super Bowl media love.

“The beard -- the beard is why we’re here,” Keisel said today. “It’s unleashed Super Bowl powers on our whole team and hopefully it can win us one more.”

Keisel said he was inspired by seeing hockey players who grow out their beards during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“I saw those guys looking burly and thought, ‘You know what? After minicamp in June, I’ve got seven months until the Super Bowl and we’re trying to win our seventh Super Bowl, so I’ll see if I can let this thing [grow] for seven months and this is the result,” Keisel said.

Kissing Keisel must feel like wiping your face with a Brillo Pad, but he says his wife has been understanding.

“She’s been a great supporter throughout,” Keisel said. “She gave me a razor for Christmas and it’s still in the package, but I’ll have to break it out eventually.”

Keisel just hopes he can wait to shave the beard until after his hairy face has kissed the Vince Lombardi Trophy.