NEW YORK -- The song calls for heads of long, beautiful hair -- shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen hair. No problem, say many NFL players, who are growing their hair longer and longer these days -- or maybe it just seems that way.
Sure, there's Troy Polamalu's famous 3-foot long locks, now insured for $1 million by Lloyd's of London. But he's got plenty of company, and a whole bunch of long hairs were right in the middle of the action over the weekend. Here are six of them:
-- Devin Hester, wr/pr, Bears: OK, so his dreadlocks were pulled pack in a ponytail, but that didn't stop him from turning in a 62-yard punt return for a TD that gave Chicago a 14-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. And, his 28-yard punt return in the second quarter helped set up the Bears' first TD, in what ended up as a 20-17 win over the Packers on Monday night.
-- Earl Thomas, fs, Seahawks: The rookie came through big time with two interceptions, both in the fourth quarter. The first came early, and Thomas returned it 34 yards to the Chargers 11 to set up a TD that put the Seahawks ahead 20-12. The second came late, with 6 seconds left at the Seattle 5, and was returned 21 yards. So pumped was Thomas, he ended up with a taunting penalty after the pick.
-- Chris Johnson, rb, Titans: He and his well-known dreadlocks braided their way through the Giants for 125 yards and two TDs on 32 carries in the Titans 22-10 win. His longest run was a 42-yarder with 5:41 left that ended up at the New York 22.
-- Larry Fitzgerald, wr, Cardinals: An off day by his standards, Fitzgerald had just two catches for 26 yards -- one, though, was an 8-yard TD grab that put Arizona ahead 24-20 in a game that the Cards won 24-23 over the Raiders.
-- Troy Polamalu, ss, Steelers: For the record, he had four tackles in a 38-13 rout of the Buccaneers. But his best play came when he wasn't in the game. While standing on the sideline in the fourth quarter with his team way ahead, the Bucs' Josh Freeman threw a pass out of bounds in the general area of a helmetless Polamalu, who couldn't resist and made a leaping catch, his locks flowing in the breeze as the crowd cheered. He tossed the ball back, and returned to the bench with a big smile on his face.
-- Clay Matthews, lb, Packers: He ran around like crazy with his fellow long-haired linebacking pals, but came away with three tackles and a few pressures in Green Bay's 20-17 loss to the Bears. He also was flagged for grabbing Jay Cutler's face mask after the quarterback took off on a 10-yard, first-quarter scramble. Three tackles and a penalty hardly compares with his three sacks in each of the Pack's first two games, but he still draws attention.