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Win or lose, Rob Ninkovich is ready to lose the beard come Sunday night

02.02.12 at 11:50 am ET

Rob Ninkovich and his beard are ready for Super Bowl XLVI. (Mike Petraglia,

INDIANAPOLIS — The bearded Rob Ninkovich scoffs at Wes Welker’s mustache campaign.

“Welker just started that a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “This has been going three months now, so I think I have more time invested in the beard.”

The linebacker has been growing out his beard since the Patriots’ last loss — a Nov. 6 defeat to the Giants. Since then, he’s looked more like a Bruins’ blueliner in the throes of a playoff run than a New England linebacker.

“I decided that I wasn’t going to shave until we won again, and we haven’t lost,” he said. “This is a win-streak beard. The last time I shaved was when we played the Giants. … I have to take it down a little bit. It’s getting kind of long.”

In the hockey spirit, Ninkovich said he tried to get some of his teammates to try and grow beards with him.

“I saw that last year how [the Bruins] all grew their beards out for the whole playoffs. I couldn’t get too many guys to come along with me,” he said with a smile. “Some guys can’t grow them too well.”

Welker and Ninkovich aren’t the only two garnering attention for their hair this week. Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood sports a high-top fade with a Patriots logo carved into the side. Ninkovich, who said he was thinking about shaving a “5-0” into his beard (his number) said he isn’t going to take a page out of Underwood’s book.

“I’m going to stay away from getting it lined up. I don’t want to look like Underwood with a Patriot in my beard. I’ll stick to the lumberjack look,” he said. “Hopefully, Sunday, I’ll be able to take it off, trim it down for a celebration. But I’m waiting until after that, after Sunday.”

Read More: Rob Ninkovich, Tiquan Underwood, Wes Welker,
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