Remember that time we had a B&RU tailgate and we all got our very own headbands? Remember when D.C. United signed an affable Finn named Markus Halsti who had beautiful blond hair and a headband to boot? Remember when Conor Doyle, in a futile attempt to tame the flop of hair atop his head, donned a headband? Remember when Nick DeLeon did, too?
Well, good. I hope you do remember those things. Because it seems that the Age of the Chris Rolfe Magic Headband has come to pass, at least for the near future.
Confirmed: @ChrisRolfe17 cut all his hair off.— Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) November 16, 2015
And in case you don't believe Pablo, have it from the man himself:
@MLSist @jefecrandall pic.twitter.com/AeLuKDLpDs— Chris Rolfe (@ChrisRolfe17) November 16, 2015
It's tough to stomach, I know. I suppose we should be grateful he waited until the offseason to make this change, or else United's luck in the playoffs would surely have been worse.
Hard analysis, though: the guy was due for a change. While I supported Rolfe's unique hairstyle—which alternated between "country music singer" and "90s grunge enthusiast who recently showered and moonlights as a midwestern farmer, probably" depending on the length—I was mostly in it for the headband. The headband was, indeed, magical. The headband sparked a piece of DCU history that will live on for generations to come.
But lately, the hair had taken on a questionable length. As I remarked to my crew whilst watching the Black-and-Red fight, and ultimately fail, to stay in the playoffs against the Red Bulls:
"Chris Rolfe's hair looks like flared jeans." - @leanneelston— Katy (@gokatygo) November 8, 2015
And flared jeans have a place (maybe?), but that place isn't Chris Rolfe's head. So while I mourn the probable loss of the headband, I understand the decision to shed its reason for existing in the first place.
I can only hope that this isn't truly the end of the Original Headband. Time will tell. In the meantime, Rolfe, you look good, bro.