By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Daily Leader
Boys will be boys. And when the boys at KKBS The Boss in Guymon, Okla., were told they needed to shave, what did they do? They formed the first annual Beard Brigade. They quite literally made a contest out of not shaving.
“There was a couple things that brought the idea on,” said Rockin’
Ramone of BS in the Morning. “Our boss here at the station is always telling us that we have to shave, for one. And so we thought if we made a promotion where we didn’t have to shave then we wouldn’t have to shave.
“And number two, around the holiday season, a lot of guys take on extra duties so they can buy their wives or their kids something nice for Christmas,” he explained. “So we thought we would just do a promotion for the fellas, kind of a ladies get Valentine’s Day and guys get the Beard Brigade.”
The Beard Brigade began with nearly 30 participants, but there were rules involved.
“We started off with almost 30 and now we have probably lost five or six or seven,” Rockin’ Ramone said. “Everybody had to be clean shaven on Oct. 2. You had to completely shave, and we went from there. The only thing you could trim is your neck and the rest of it had to be untouched.”
Winners are likely to be announced on Monday morning during the BS in the Morning radio show. According to Rockin’ Ramone, two prizes will be offered.
“We have the manliest beard award and that is 500 bucks and then the white trash award wins a Harley Davidson mini-fridge,” he said.
“Whoever has the worst beard is still gonna get a prize.”
Although the guys have had a lot of fun during the Beard Brigade contest, Rockin’ Ramone is glad that the prize money will help one lucky participant during the holiday season.
“That was really the purpose of it,” he said. “We have a lot of people that take on extra duties during the holidays we thought maybe this could loosen the load on one person while having a little fun.”
KKBS owner and manager Marsha Strong is the individual who liked her employees to come to work clean shaven. However, she said, a little fun never hurt anyone.
“Yeah, you like them to shave and look like they have cleaned up for work,” she said with a laugh. “They come in looking like they really didn’t come for work.”
She believes that those that have dropped out of the Beard Brigade were pressured by either the women in their lives or their employers.
“Those that dropped out may have been under pressure from their ladies,” she said “I think the drop outs could have been pressured both professionally and personally.”
Ultimately, Strong just bit her lip and let the guys go ahead and enjoy the Beard Brigade contest. She felt the contest brought together KKBS listeners in a great way.
“We are community radio and this is something we feel our community can relate to and feel like a band of brothers,” Strong said. “That is what it created, it created a little mirror of our radio audience.
“Just like a little band of brothers,” she continued “That is how I characterize what happened. This band of brothers from the BOSS listening area got together and also had an in house competition.”
Strong began to understand the fun behind the Beard Brigade. Although she likes for her employees to shave, she came to appreciate the fun behind the contest.
“In the rural America, we make our own fun,” she said. “We can’t go down here to Coney Island for a time out, we have to make our own fun.
“It is part of how we make our own fun around here,” she added.
“There seems to be a lot of testosterone in these parts in rural America and the Beard Brigade really took off.”