In other words, we all look alike. A man at O'Hare once asked to take my photograph on the assumption that I was Agassi. When Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, who has the finest head of hair in sports, saw me recently in a Canadian Olympic hockey jacket, he said, "You can tell people you're Mark Messier."
When I began writing a column in this magazine, one of my brothers looked at the page and said pointedly, "Well, they couldn't call it Hair and Space."
Last Halloween my own wife blew up this page to poster size, donned a bald wig, stuck her head through a hole she'd cut in the mug shot and went as me. But the greatest indignity came in London, while on assignment in a darts pub, when a woman sidled up to me and purred, "You look just like that bloke from ER?
" George Clooney?" I replied, rakishly raising an eyebrow.
She spat a spume of lager in the air, like water from a whale's blowhole, and said, "No. The bald one. With the glasses. Dr. Greene." Sigh. The truth is, baldness has been an aphrodisiac, if not an Afrodisiac, at least since 1989, when Sean Connery was named PEOPLE magazine's Sexiest Man Alive.
Remember a bald Nolan Ryan pummeling a young Robin Ventura when the latter rushed the mound in Texas? "I think baldness gives you a manliness, a toughness," says Vitale. "All these guys in sports have gone our way because—with all those showers after all those games—they like the low-maintenance lifestyle."
Hear that? We have a lifestyle. A bald lifestyle. We're livin' la vida Roker. And lovin' it.