FOOTBALL: Juniors Cut Off Locks For Charity
BC’s Amidon And Sylvia Sport New Looks, Look Ahead To Fresh Start
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:01
Next season it might be a bit more difficult to spot wide receiver Alex Amidon and defensive back Sean Sylvia making plays on the field. The two Boston College football team members have made some drastic changes over break, and it has nothing to do with football.
Both Sylvia and Amidon chopped their infamous long hair to support the non-profit charity Locks of Love, which uses donated hair to create wigs for children who have experienced hair loss caused by illness.
The need for the cut was a long time coming. Amidon had been growing his hair for about two years, while Sylvia was approaching the two and a half year mark.
Amidon lost a bet to his sister over Christmas break his freshman year, and he wasn’t allowed to cut his hair for a year. His sister and his Mom never liked his short cut. When the year was up, he decided to stick with it.
For Sylvia, football also served as inspiration for the long hairstyle. A huge fan of the television show Friday Night Lights, he modeled his long hairstyle after the shows’ star and Panthers football player Tim Riggins.
When it came time for the cut, Sylvia’s younger sister brought up the idea of donating his hair, as she had gone through the process of Locks of Love before. The plan was made even more poignant for the two Eagles because of the devastating influence of cancer that surrounded the BC community this past year. Lisa Gallup, BC ’06, daughter of Barry Gallup, director of football operations, was battling cancer during the Eagles’ 2012 season, and passed away in late December. The 26-year-old had been a vibrant part of the BC community, and the struggle of the Gallup family made an impression on both players.
“I knew Coach Gallup’s daughter was battling with cancer, so that was another driving force,” Sylvia said. “I had cut my hair before (Lisa passed away) so I was able to send them a picture of my haircut before, and it was cool that when I went to the funeral I had my haircut and could show my support”.
The haircuts also had a cleansing effect for the two prominent players, as the Eagles had just endured a dismal season on the field. While the team as a whole struggled, Amidon and Sylvia both made impacts, especially with Amidon breaking the school’s single season receiving record.
“Especially after the season, because we had such a rough season, it was more that I wanted an absolute change, a total 180, to see if that could spark up some good luck” Sylvia said.
“We’re trying to get some good luck for the whole team,” Amidon said.
Even with all the reasons, they couldn’t help but be a bit nervous when they actually sat in the hairdresser’s chair.
“I didn’t think I was gonna be nervous, but I had anxiety about it,” Sylvia said. “It was over two years of my life ... but once I saw it being hacked away it felt like relief. I felt like a normal person again”.
As for the future, neither is sure if they’d be willing to take their hair to such extremes again. It worked on the football field for the past few seasons, but that might not translate to later careers when their playing days are over.
“It’s funny, if we started to re-grow it we’d be out of college by the time it was long enough,” Amidon said with a laugh, “which probably wouldn’t be a great look for job interviews”.