WELCH TOWNSHIP, Minn. -- On a rare occasion, you might find Emmett Pearson of Welch Township not wearing something Vikings. He has two dozen sweatshirts, a dozen hats, a handful of jackets and a pair of gloves, all bearing his favorite team's logo. Believe it or not, his beard also pays homage to the purple and gold in a miserable sort of way.
"I just made up my mind I wasn't going to shave it until they won," Emmett said from his kitchen Saturday. But that no-shave promise was made in January of 1975, right after the Steelers stomped on the Vikings for their 3rd Super Bowl loss.
Needless to say, the beard is getting long. "When he has to go some place really nice, he has to get it combed and looking decent. It's looking lumpy right now," Emmett's wife Rosanne said.
Since '75, the Vikings have had some really good squads; even had a couple of close calls, but have yet to pull of the elusive Super Bowl victory. Over that same period of time, Emmett's beard has had a few close calls, like the time 30 years ago, when Rosanne wanted to go to the movies but her husband was too tired.
"You know when you're sleeping and you pull the covers up?" Rosanne said. "(He leaves) the beard outside the covers so I could have cut it off easy, but I didn't," she recalled with a wink and a laugh.
Ten years ago, Emmett was in Rochester to have surgery on a carotid artery in his neck. You can imagine, that beard was going to get in a doctor's way. "She looked at me and said: what is this, a religious beard? I said not really," Pearson recalls. Alas, he woke up after surgery and found his pride and joy was still flowing from his chin.
Rosanne says she's ready for the post Super Bowl-shave; she's booked a room at church and the whole town will probably come out to see the clippings hit the ground. "I'll gladly shave it if they win," Emmett concluded.
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