A real hair-rais­ing scan­dal at ESPN

Orlando Sentinel - - PAGE 2 -

It’s been a good cou­ple of weeks if you’re a fan of the apoca­lypse.

Hur­ri­canes are at­tack­ing, North Korea is fir­ing mis­siles and now we must deal with an­other sign that civ­i­liza­tion is about to end. hair is

gone.

Tech­ni­cally, he still has hair. But the ’do that pro­vided decades of de­light and de­ri­sion is no more.

I re­al­ize a few of you may not ap­pre­ci­ate the sig­nif­i­cance of this event. You might have even missed it with all the hub­bub over Sport­sCen­ter an­chor tweet­ing that

wants to re­place U.S. currency with Con­fed­er­ate money.

But this is big. Or it was big.

Kiper’s blow-dried bouf­fant first ap­peared at the 1984 NFL draft.

Legend has it that young Mel had been so busy look­ing at film of the third-string tackle from Idaho State that he didn’t have time to go to the ESPN makeup room, so he just put a Chia pet on his head.

The sides were as long as the top, and it was all combed back and spack­led into place.

It looked like a foot­ball hel­met, only more in­de­struc­tible.

In those days when hel­met phones were on ev­ery team’s draft desk, you half-ex­pected the Bucs rep­re­sen­ta­tive to reach for Kiper’s head and try to pick up the re­ceiver.

We laughed at Kiper Hair, but it saw us through the Cold War, six pres­i­den­cies, five Magic re­build­ing plans and the Macarena.

Then on Thurs­day, with­out any warn­ing, it was gone.

Kiper ap­peared on Sport­sCen­ter to talk about the 2018 NFL Draft. An­chor brought up some­thing far more im­por­tant.

In his usual busi­nesslike bark, Kiper ex­plained that he sim­ply de­cided he wanted shorter hair.

“And hey, 35 years at ESPN, David, time has come where you can fi­nally see my ears,” he said.

There must be more to the story.

It could be an ESPN ploy to dis­tract from the COM­MEN­TARY White House say­ing Hill should be fired and re­placed by

Or since he’s start­ing to gray, maybe ESPN thought Kiper’s Hair was start­ing to re­sem­ble

beard a lit­tle too much and had to go.

What­ever the rea­son, this should cause mil­lions of more sub­scribers to cut the cord. That’s as­sum­ing the world doesn’t end be­fore they can call the ca­ble com­pany.

I re­ally don’t want to add fuel to that in­ferno. I’ll sim­ply say ESPN went too far when it took broad­caster

off the Vir­ginia game and re­as­signed him to Youngstown State.

NASA’s Cassini space­craft. Af­ter 20 years and 2.2 bil­lion miles of ex­plor­ing the cos­mos, it plum­meted into Saturn’s at­mos­phere and burned up on Fri­day.

Due to the de­lay in ra­dio sig­nals reach­ing that far, the probe’s guid­ance sys­tem ap­par­ently short-cir­cuited when it learned the Cubs had won the World Se­ries.

Sports Il­lus­trated. As part of its year-round Swim­suit Is­sue pub­lic­ity cam­paign, it posted shots of a top­less model at a pool in Har­vey-rav­aged Hous­ton. It fol­lowed with shots of the Brook­lyn Nets cheer­lead­ers in biki­nis in Bar­ba­dos, which was flat­tened by Irma.

It seems a bit taste­less, but I’ll for­give S.I. if one of its top­less mod­els shows up with a chain­saw to­day and helps me clear de­bris from my back­yard. and have po­litely de­clined

in­vi­ta­tion to serve as hon­orary cap­tains at a Michi­gan foot­ball game this sea­son. As luck would have it,

will be Ann Ar­bor the week of the Rut­gers game. She re­port­edly is will­ing to show up and blame last fall’s loss to Ohio State on

if Michi­gan will add a speak­ingfee charge of $2,000 to ev­ery ticket.

Sports Il­lus­trated says the cover of next year’s Swim­suit Is­sue will be shot at ei­ther Ch­er­nobyl or Hiroshima.

The Knicks are re­port­edly try­ing to trade

to the NFL for a 1987 Hous­ton Oil­ers hel­met phone.

This just in: NASA has an­nounced the fireball over Saturn Fri­day was ac­tu­ally a foot­ball

threw against the Ti­tans last year, and the Cassini probe is in­tact and will con­tinue its mis­sion to find the real killers of

GAIL BUR­TON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Back in 2009, ESPN draft an­a­lyst Mel Kiper Jr. al­ready had long es­tab­lished his bouf­fant style of ul­tra con­fi­dence.

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