Matanzas coaches offer hair for milestones.
After winning the biggest game of his young coaching career, Robert Ripley smiled as his team removed half of his hair at Matanzas’ first lunch period on Monday, Aug. 31. With dozens gathered around to laugh and mock the coach who has given Pirate Nation a heartbeat it has never possessed, Ripley sat cheerfully in the barber’s chair, as if he didn’t have a care in the world. But why wouldn’t he care about a wager that he had to lose his hair over? After all, it wasn’t his idea. Matanzas principal Dr. Earl Johnson volunteered him to put his hair on the line on game day, and Ripley said he believed in his kids and was confident they would win.
"I'd shave my head every week if they'd play like they did last week," Ripley said. "It was nice to see our school spirit and the smiles on their faces."
I remember being confident with a bet I made three years ago, when I lost $100 in one of the dumbest bets ever wagered. Pridefully, to say the least, I bet a Rafael Nadal fan that Novak Djokovic would come from a set down to beat him in the French Open, the tennis championship that Nadal, it seems, created. He literally told me that it was like taking candy from a baby. Sometimes, I still wish I would’ve put what hair I have on my head on the line instead my money, and my wife, Jessica, probably wished I would’ve put myself on the line.
After the error of my ways, I’ve decided not to wage anything anymore, unless it’s a win-win situation, sort of like Ripley.
But the Pirates offensive and defensive line coach, Tahgier Williams, earned a few anticipated “oohs and ahhs” at the mere thought that he would cut his 27-inch locks off, in the case of a win. While Williams can’t cut all of his hair off, due to cultural reasons, he’s vowed that, in the case Matanzas wins its district championship, he would allow the team to cut over half of the length.
“I want to drive them any way I can,” he said. Williams even said he’d let them cut the sides off, if the Pirates reached the playoffs.
Although Ripley and Williams are courageous to donate their hair for big accomplishments, what ever happened to the pizza party? I’d beat a team myself for a Papa John's large pepperoni and pineapple pizza!
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