Keisel, who’s been growing the beard since the beginning of the season, shaved his beard at the annual Shear Da Beard. Teammates, coaches, his son Jacob and Steelers’ chairman Dan Rooney all cut a bit out of his trademark beard.
“This is what makes Pittsburgh special,” said Keisel to Steelers.com. “It’s awesome to see Pittsburgh come out again in such droves to support such a great cause. They have grasped on to this idea and really made it what it is today. If the fans didn’t respond to it the way they did, I wouldn’t do it.”
Coach Mike Tomlin watched as everyone got a chance to chop off some mountain man beard.
“I’ve got to admit it’s pretty unique,” said Tomlin of the event. “After six years here I can’t tell you that it surprises me.
“I like him with the beard. I think it’s his natural state. I think this thing has taken off and given him the opportunity to do what he probably likes to do anyway, which is not shave. He is a larger than life character and I think the beard fits his personality.”
This is Keisel’s third straight year shaving his beard for Shear Da Beard, an event that benefits cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC.
“The hospital benefits financially from the event, but there is more to it. The kids have formed a bond with Keisel, and his beard has become a symbol to them of his love for them.”