Whether you call it a horse mane, silly, ugly, “bad” (as in good) or just weird, students who have it call it “the Boz.”
“It” is a mohawk coiffure with shaved sides and a tail, sometimes dressed with painted numbers or stripes, an earring and black sunglasses.
The Boz sprouts can be found on heads of students walking the halls of high schools in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Del City, Norman and other cities.
“People stare, laugh and ask a lots of questions,” said John Marques, a junior at Northwest Classen, 2801 NW 27. He sports a mohawk and a short, V-shaped tail on the nape of his neck.
Brian Bosworth is the All-American linebacker for the University of Oklahoma who’s responsible for the craze. Boz, 21, won the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in the country after OU’s national football championship last season.
Most wearers agree they like the attention.
“Everybody pretty much likes it. They think it’s bad,” said Chad Baker, a football player at Edmond High School.
Baker’s hair is shaved to a three-inch strip on top and a point on his neck rather than a tail.
In interviews, Boz has said he wears the hairstyle to express his individuality.
That’s just why Alan Lambert, a varsity football player at Del City High School, says he got the cut.
“I like to be seen as different from everyone else,” Lambert said.
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He is also a linebacker and also wears jersey number 44 _Bosworth’s number.
Lambert said there isn’t a hairbreadth of difference between their mohawks.
Some emulators say they see Boz as a hero.
Baker said, “I’d like to play like him, but I’m not as big as him.
I think he’s the biggest idol for (football) defenses.”
Lambert said, “I like him as a person. He’s not scared of anything.”
Richard Ellis, a Northwest Classen senior, said, “I like his image.
He’s a mean, tough guy.”
But students said the Boz is not the only reason for their haircuts.
“I don’t do it just because he does it. I like it. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t wear it,” Baker said.
Ellis said, “I just liked it. It’s easy to care for.”
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Thomas Woody, a sophomore at Northwest Classen, said he got the cut because it is “cool,” as in good-looking, and easy to wear on hot days.
Teachers and parents give the bold barbering mixed reviews.
Henry Manning, football coach at Del City High School, said, “After 25 years I realize (hairstyles) don’t determine the way they play football.”
He said the style is “silly,” but he won’t split hairs over it.
Dan Quinn, Norman High School athletic director, declined to say what he thought of the style.
“It’s just the fashion around here,” he said.
Darrel Palmer, activity director at Northwest Classen, said, “I like it better than the long, hippie hair.”
Lambert’s mother agreed that as long as the style is short, she likes it.
Palmer said, “The kids idolize (Bosworth). If he can turn around and help the kids now, then he’ll get my respect.”
Teachers agreed they hope Boz makes good of his chance to be a role model for students.
Northwest Classen senior Mike Darter explained that students often copy celebrity hairstyles because new styles are difficult to create.
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“With hair, there is not a lot to come up with. It’s hard to come up with something on your own,” said Darter, whose blond tail on his neck curls.
Lambert said his barber wanted to paint stripes on both sides of the mohawk as Boz has recently done.
But “my mom will shoot me” if stripes appear, he said.
Baker said that if his football team does well, he will probably paint stripes with his school colors.
But the “do” on these heads may be short-lived.
Ellis said he probably won’t keep the haircut for more than a few months.
“My mom doesn’t like it, and my girfriend doesn’t like it. It looks kind of weird to them,” he said.
Marquez said, “I’ll keep it until something new comes in.”
Baker said, “After football, I’ll grow it back to normal and start living like normal again.”
And, gosh, if everyone else gets it, students agreed it wouldn’t be so “individual” anymore.
Darter said that hair-raising thought means “I guess I might have to let my hair grow out.” BIOG: NAME:
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