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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
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INDIANAPOLIS — The bearded Rob Ninkovich scoffs at Wes Welker‘€™s mustache campaign.

‘€œWelker just started that a couple of weeks ago,’€ he said. ‘€œThis 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.

‘€œI decided that I wasn’€™t going to shave until we won again, and we haven’€™t lost,’€ he said. ‘€œThis 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.

‘€œI 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. ‘€œSome 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 ‘€œ5-0’€ into his beard (his number) said he isn’€™t going to take a page out of Underwood’€™s book.

‘€œI’€™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. ‘€œHopefully, 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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