Months ago, a bet was made.
ESPN’s Jay Bilas — one of college basketball’s most beloved analysts — agreed that he would grow a beard if Gonzaga reached the Final Four.
After yesterday’s 83-59 drubbing of Xavier, the Bulldogs are now officially headed to the Final Four for the first time in program history. It was a watershed moment for a program that has been waiting for quite a while.
So now Bilas has to start growing some facial hair. Now, I realize how difficult it is to decide how to design and style one’s own beard. So to help Bilas out, I took the liberty of shopping around some possibilities. I did this altruistically, out of the kindness of my own heart. I sincerely hope he finds one he likes.
The Modern Look
Beards are all the rage now, and it certainly seems like Bilas — the hippest of college basketball analysts — would have an easy time pulling off such a modern look. Lots of upkeep goes into this beard though, so Bilas might have to cut back on watching some basketball games in order to keep it looking snazzy.
A Portrait of the Analyst as a Young Man
Jay Bilas used to have hair. A lot of it, too. Now, he’s bald. This might not be too feasible of a look, but it’s an insight into what Bilas’s beard might have looked like had he tried to grow one while he was still a Blue Devil.
Originally, Bilas made this bet with the Twitter account @KarnowskisBeard. If he wanted to really lean into this bet, he’d try and replicate the impressive, bushy wonder that’s currently donned by the Gonzaga big man. Honestly, this would be the best look for Bilas, and it’d do the most justice to the integrity of the bet.
The Silver Screen
One of my favorite Pacino movies is Serpico. Besides being an undercover fighter of corruption, Frank Serpico possessed an incredible beard and a flowing set of hair. I even threw in the aviators for good measure.
With a name inspired by two of my favorite things — movies and basketball picks — this is the look I’m pushing the hardest for Bilas to try.
One of the hallmarks of broadcasts with Bilas on the call is his segment called “94 Feet.” He picks a player from one of the teams playing, and walks with them from baseline to baseline, asking them a series of questions in a casual interview.
If he ever wants to, say, run the 94 feet instead of saunter through it (or if he wants go farther than the confines of the court), he should consider taking up the look of another beloved movie character. This one would take the most time, but I’m sure he could probably complete this Forrest Gump look before Rutgers makes another NCAA Tournament.