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HE'S BURNING TO BE A SUCCESS
John Underwood
September 20, 1971
Tim Rossovich of the Philadelphia Eagles wants to be the best linebacker in the NFL. Great, but why does that entail jumping naked into birthday cakes and setting himself on fire?
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September 20, 1971

He's Burning To Be A Success

Tim Rossovich of the Philadelphia Eagles wants to be the best linebacker in the NFL. Great, but why does that entail jumping naked into birthday cakes and setting himself on fire?

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Both Rossovich and Young, after some soul-searching, reported to camp this fall with less hair and found that Williams wasn't going to let them room together again. There was still plenty of hair left to be admired, but Young, who had grown a bumper crop touring Europe in the summer, felt especially bereft. "Adrian's the serious type," says Rossovich.

They both have their hair cut by a blonde named Cissie who works in a bikini in the bathroom of a house in Reading. Not long ago Rossovich sat on the edge of the bathtub below a sign on the wall that said "BATHROOM" as Cissie trimmed Young's hair for the second time. The first trim had not quite satisfied Williams.

"At least it's out in the open now," said Young testily. "It's a dictatorship. I can accept it this way. No more pussyfooting around, saying, 'Hair is irrelevant.' But this business of changing roommates...."

Cissie said she hated to cut Adrian's hair, it was just so nice. She snipped at it gingerly. With each strand that fell to the bathroom floor, Rossovich let out a moan.

"Surgery," he said. "Major surgery. This is hurting me more than it hurts you, Adrian."

Cissie said she had cut six ounces of hair off Rossovich's head a few days before. It was traumatic, she said. She raked it up and put it in a bag. Rossovich said he was going to fashion it into a scalp and wear it on his belt.

"What I really wanted to do once they made us cut it off was cut it all off," he said. He said he had a beautiful new, light, velvet tie-dyed monk's robe with a hood, and that he was going to spring it on the dining room some night, and it was going to be dynamite. He would come into the dining room, the cape on and the hood up, all huddled over like a supplicant. Then at the right moment he would whip off the hood and reveal—a polished bald head! Cissie had put the damper on it. After exploring the scalp beneath that beautiful crowd of curls Rossovich calls his "Jewish natural," she discovered that he had a head only a mother could love. "It comes to a point," she said.

Rossovich took a visitor up to his dormitory room to show him the new cape. Adrian went down the hall to his room to read his mail. Rossovich's new roommate, he said, was one of the more conservative guys on the team, a soft-spoken nine-year veteran lineman named Don Hultz who is a Tennessee deputy sheriff in the off season. Hultz wears his blond hair close-cropped. He gives off an aura of wholesomeness. Young's new roommate, Guard Jim Skaggs, is similarly conservative. "I think they want us all to rub off on one another," said Young. (Coaches never stop trying.) He said the first night Rossovich went to his room there was a Bible on the bed.

Rossovich showed his visitor the new cape. Hultz was lying on his bed reading a magazine as Rossovich modeled it, prancing around, swirling the cape.

"How do you like your new roommate, Don?" Hultz was asked.

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