Why Cause Headaches Over Headband?
"Yeah, and I want to wear these goggles, too, Jerry. We don't have a problem here, do we, Jerry? Huh, Jerry?"
Apparently, the Bulls (i.e., owner Jerry Reinsdorf) are forbidding Ben Wallace from wearing his headband. And, worse, the word on the street is that Wallace isn't all that happy about it.
Neither is the Unknown Column.
Listen, I understand that Reinsdorf has won six NBA titles with the Bulls and a World Series with the White Sox. And that's awesome. I'm fully appreciative, as is the city of Chicago (though Cubs fans are probably a tad ticked off about that Sox title.) But his overbearing habit of running his ship like the world is still filmed in black and white and filled with Leave it to Beaver-types who say things like "Gee wiz" and who would never stray from a strict dress code is getting old. And it's getting old fast.
Reinsdorf pulled similar garbage earlier this year when he demanded that Joe Crede, A.J. Pierzynski and Neil Cotts of the Sox cut their hair, which they did. Of course, none of the three even had particularly long hair and all three have avoided any off-the-field shenanigans throughout their careers. (Crede and Cotts have been nothing short of class acts, while Pierzynski has been...well...Pierzynski.) But Reinsdorf treated them as if they were trouble-making hoodlums because their hair didn't end at the collar.
I'm not saying there are any special powers in a headband or in lengthy hair, and I'm not saying that Reinsdorf's petty antics had anything to do with the White Sox's lack of mojo in the second half of the season. But then again, who knows? Maybe they did.
All I do know is that players will perform best when they are allowed to be themselves in a positive way, and teams will perform best when they are a collection of varied personalities that are allowed to shine and blossom and coexist in a cooperative manner. The coolest teams, the teams that are the most fun to follow, and often the best, are the teams that are not only solid at what they do on the field of play or on the court, but are also melting pots of humorous, strong, and secure indivduals.
So let Wallace wear a headband if he wants. It's a fuckin' headband. What's the problem? Wallace has long proven himself as both a player and a person, so why cramp his style unnecessarily? This isn't the military and it isn't the 1950's.
Besides, Wallace is about the last person you want to piss off. Not when you just paid him all that money and especially not when he's that huge.