We’re dyeing to know: What’s up with Joe Maddon’s darker hair … – Chicago Tribune
The question that really needs to be answered is this: What’s up with Joe Maddon‘s hair?
When he left town Aug. 6 for the “Easy Rider” road trip out west, Maddon’s bright, white mane was plain to see. The silver-haired look was part of his image, along with his dark-framed glasses. In Tampa they called him the Roger Sterling of the Rays, a nod to the “Mad Men” character.
But something strange happened in California, as it often does with the Cubs, and Maddon came home a changed man, at least from the ears up.
His hair is noticeably darker in spots, more of a salt-and-pepper look than a straight dye job. It almost seemed as though Maddon was auditioning for a part in one of those Grecian Formula ads.
Was it just an optical illusion? A midlife crisis? A Cubbie Occurrence? Was Maddon actually paid to dye his hair to endorse some product?
Only his hair stylist knew for sure.
Since Maddon wears a baseball cap during games, it was difficult to determine for sure whether he had colored his hair or not, so no one asked him. Maybe it just looked darker during his press conferences, when he typically goes hatless, because it was still wet from a shower. Or perhaps it was the mood lighting in the Cubs media room.
The question went unanswered, or more precisely, unasked, during the recent homestand. Most of the media members covering the Cubs are male, and guys typically don’t ask guys about their hair color, even as they make fun of their bald friends for not having hair. Go figure.
Maddon’s hair was the elephant in the media room, and the same color to boot. But as the homestand progressed, the topic of hair color receded in importance, replaced by more pressing matters like bullpen walks and Lester’s shoulder.
But every day it gets a little darker, so on Thursday I buttonholed someone from Maddon’s inner circle and asked point blank whether he’s dying his hair.
The source, who asked to be called “Deep Root” so as not to reveal his identity, confirmed Maddon is in fact coloring his hair and was waiting on someone to notice. The idea to change hair color stemmed from a visit to a downtown Chicago hair stylist whom the source would only identify as “Fred.”
In late July, Maddon was advised by Fred to “rock the blue-steel tone,” which Ben Stiller adorned in “Zoolander.”
Initially hesitant to mess with his famous follicles, Maddon finally decided to give the product a try after the Cubs lost their third straight series in San Francisco.
Maddon began to adopt the blue-steel look before the start of the Cubs series in Arizona on Aug. 11, and his hair has been getting darker by the day.
The early results have been promising, at least for the Cubs. They’d won 9 of 12 before Thursday’s series finale against the Reds in Cincinnati, building their biggest lead in the NL Central Division.
If the trend continues and the Cubs win the World Series, Maddon’s hair should be black by the end of the season, while Fred would be likely to get a championship ring.
Maddon apparently isn’t worried about negative reaction to the new color, or any cracks he’s trying to look younger than his 63 years. He already has shaved his head for his charity during spring training, and he dyed it jet black back in 2009 when the Rays had a “Ring of Fire” road trip in which they dressed in black like Johnny Cash. (Former Rays manager Lou Piniella set a precedent in Tampa in 2003 when he had blond streaks put in his hair after a three-game win streak.)
Strangely, no one in the clubhouse has said anything to Maddon. One of his coaches has been staring at him funny but hasn’t asked about the hair.
None of the Cubs players had mentioned Maddon’s changing hair color during their conversations with him, though what they’re talking about in the hydrotherapy and sensory-deprivation tanks is anyone’s guess.
Whether blue steel remains the look of choice may depend on how the Cubs fare the rest of the way.
Just remember that hair of the dog is the best way to cure a World Series hangover.