ESPN soccer commentator Alexi Lalas at auction purchased Geraldo Rivera’s mustache and had it dyed ginger.
This is important to note because only a guy working in a growing sport could pay those kind of prices. If you doubt that, take a look at some of Lalas’ looks from when soccer was the red-headed step-child in America.
Remember the earlier days of Major League Soccer when Lalas was running around looking like a bicycle-kicking ginger Jesus. Of course you don’t; nobody watched the MLS until Drew Carey bought a team.
That led to PlayStation Lalas. Who even has a PlayStation anymore? Aren’t we up to like PS9 by now?
After that, we get Serie A Lalas, the first American in the modern era to play in the top Italian league. The difference is all in hair and beard length.
One thing you have to be careful of is the ease of which any variant of the long-haired bearded Lalas can easily be confused with Metallica’s James Hetfield (again, depending the length of hair or in this case, the presence of Lars Ulrich).
When you are being compared to one of the unquestioned gods of rock, your level of popularity is only going up. And when you get your own bobblehead, you are certainly going places.
With an increase in popularity comes the beginning of the end for the look you’ve become known for as there is a mainstreaming effect. This is why Lalas showed up one day looking like Chuck Norris.
But at some point, the beard has to come off, and there is no better proof of your arrival than parody.
The upside to losing the hair disguise is you can end up in a major motion picture, which is the height of popularity. The downside is if you are a ginger with big face bones…well, the picture says it all.
Through all of that, we as a nation find ourselves at a point where now that Lalas can afford to buy Geraldo’s mustache, destroy it’s Smithsonian value by dyeing it, and play Rocky Dennis while playing in two FIFA World Cups, there’s no denying the popularity of soccer is on the rise in America.
Oh, and Lalas got Hannah Storm pregnant. You aren’t even allowed to talk to her unless you are on the “A” list at ESPN. But don’t tell anybody; let’s the tabloids have their day with it because she’s like 70 years old.