During his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brett Keisel was known for his beard as much as his defensive line play. Even in retirement, he’s making sure his facial hair goes toward a good cause.
With the help of patients, Keisel shaved his beard this week to help cancer programs at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. A two-time Super Bowl champion, he began growing it out during the Steelers’ run in 2010, crediting the Pittsburgh Penguins for the idea.
He’s almost unrecognizable without it, and his ‘Shear Da Beard’ event was held annually for ten years and had special guests shave his bushy facial hair. It was announced that the 10th installment of the event — which was in 2020 — but it appears Keisel couldn’t help but support a good cause. His events have raised more than $1 million for the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UPMC Children’s Hospital.
“All the money goes toward programs that directly help the families and kids that are fighting there on a daily basis, and Pittsburgh has shown up,” Keisel told TribLive’s Madasyn Lee in 2020. “Pittsburgh is such a fantastic city where we look out for each other, take care of each other and show up for each other. I love this place.”
Brett Keisel played defensive end for the Steelers from 2002-14, taking part in 156 games and starting 114 of them. As part of some of the best unit’s in the team’s history, he totaled 408 stops and 30 quarterback sacks. With that sort of production, he’s considered as one of Pittsburgh’s best late-round choices of the Kevin Colbert era.
As for his beard, it has its own website with official gear such as face covers, shirts, hats, and beanies.