Logan Paulsen's beard is a subject of great mirth among his teammates, but deeply symbolic to the man himself.
Tight end Logan Paulsen is in his third year with the Washington Redskins. In that time, he has caught 14 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown. He's mostly a blocking tight end, and the fact that he's mostly seen wearing a helmet doesn't lend itself to people discovering the inner Paulsen if you will.
Sarah Kogod of the Post has been tracking the development of Paulsen's beard, which is a subject of great mirth among his teammates, but a deeply personal issue to the man himself.
He's is growing out his beard in honor of his college roommate and former teammate at UCLA, Nick Ekbatani.
In July, Ekbatani was riding his motorcycle north on Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach, when a taxi made a left turn in his path and collided with his bike. The former lineman survived the accident, but his left leg did not. His femur was crushed, his knee cap shattered, and his foot and ankle were beyond repair. Doctors had to amputate his leg at mid-calf.
"One of the things I do every season is grow a beard and kinda be gross," Paulsen told me. "But this season I'm growing it out for my friend and I'm not going to shave it until he can walk again. It's kind of a daily reminder, when I look in the mirror, of what he's going through."
So, there we go. Sarah's also thrown up a link to the Big Nick Fund, which is aiming to raise $100,000 for Ekbatani to purchase a pair of Oscar Pistorius-style running blades and train to compete in the Paralympics. We've done the same, in case you have a few coins knocking about. Wouldn't want to disappoint a man with a beard like that now, would we?