Love Affair Between Pittsburgh & Keisel is a Two-Way Street

Where else but Pittsburgh would a football player, two years removed from his playing days, be able to raise about $85,000 in one night for the staging of an event that involves the gathering of a crowd to watch a man shave?



 

Coach Tomlin, @official_shawnmichaelswwe & Jimmy post shearing. #ShearDaBeard

A post shared by Brett Keisel 99 (@brett_keisel_) on

It was difficult to identify the highlight of the night; it can be that way when Brett Keisel, James Harrison, Mike Tomlin, Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino, Phil Kessel, Donnie Iris and Shawn Michaels, among others, are sharing the same stage.

But what resonated was unmistakable: Pittsburgh really is someplace special.

Why else would Keisel, a native of Greybull, Wyo., not only embrace Pittsburgh as his adopted home but also enthusiastically recruit other potential converts?

It goes beyond the 12 seasons Keisel spent playing for the Steelers, a run that included the Steelers appearing in three Super Bowls and winning two Lombardi trophies.

It goes beyond Keisel’s commitment to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, a cause for which he has long been a champion.

Keisel has been an ex-Steeler for two seasons.

But he’s still able to raise in the neighborhood of $85,000 in one night for the staging of an event Keisel himself characterizes as “strange,” one that involves the gathering of a crowd to watch a man shave.

Where else in the world might something such as that happen?

“I still have some property in Wyoming,” Keisel allowed on Monday night, just prior to “Shear Da Beard VII,” at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille, in Warrendale. “Wyoming was home for a long time, but Pittsburgh just became my home. It became where my children were born. It became a place where I wanted to raise my children. It’s a great, great, great city. It’s just a special place to me.

“I want to teach my kids that and others that. I want to bring more people to Pittsburgh and show them how great it is.”

That process is already well underway.

Michaels, “The Heartbreak Kid” from wrestling fame (the original “HBK”), was on hand because of his friendship with Keisel, a relationship that originally began through social media and then grew when Michaels came to Pittsburgh last spring to watch the “HBK Line” lead the Penguins to the Stanley Cup.

That led to Hagelin, Bonino and Kessel becoming involved in the seventh annual shearing of the beard.

The event’s Steelers’ presence also included General Manager Kevin Colbert, assistant head coach/defensive line coach John Mitchell, quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, tight ends coach James Daniel and current players Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Cam Heyward and Greg Warren.

Former Steelers who showed up included Chris Hoke, Charlie Batch, Shaun Suisham, Matt Spaeth, Doug Legursky and Heath Miller, in what might have been his first public Pittsburgh appearance since his retirement following the 2015 season.

The approximately 500 people in attendance up couldn’t get enough.

Neither could Michaels.

“The fan base y’all have here is unlike a lot of other places and it’s pretty darn special,” the San Antonio native maintained.

Added Keisel: “I keep waiting for like two people to come and I can pull them up on stage and go, ‘Alright, you guys can cut the beard.’”

Instead, “Shear Da Beard” is growing like Keisel’s incomparable facial hair.

And the approximately $300,000 the first seven shearing sessions have raised for Children’s Hospital has Keisel appreciating his adopted hometown more than ever.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “Pittsburgh, the fans base is unbelievable. And really, that’s why I continue to do it ever year. I know they will come out and support it. I know they will come support Children’s Hospital the way they do for all the other organizations who are doing things.

“We just really, truly have a special fan group here.”
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch: Jameson Taillon's Remarkable Recovery

Watch: Jameson Taillon's Remarkable Recovery

Sports media company Whistle Sports documented Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon's recovery workout regime.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Dish Osteria and Bar To Close

Dish Osteria and Bar To Close

The beloved Pittsburgh institution will serve its last meal in April.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


The (Very Good) Brewery You Should Be Patronizing in Homestead

The (Very Good) Brewery You Should Be Patronizing in Homestead

Voodoo Brewery is an enticing alternative to the many chains in and around the Waterfront.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers’ Philosophy Back on Display After Hightower Flirtation

Steelers’ Philosophy Back on Display After Hightower Flirtation

Even as they entertained Dont’a Hightower for nearly seven hours during a free-agent recruiting trip to the South Side, the Steelers never lost sight of who they are or what they’re all about.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Turn Your Bath into a Spa with These Oils

Turn Your Bath into a Spa with These Oils

The miniature bath- and shower-oil collection from Aromatherapy Associates makes every shower a luxury experience.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The CMU Film Fest Opens with One of 2016's Best

The CMU Film Fest Opens with One of 2016's Best

Reviews of two films appearing at the 2017 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival: "I, Daniel Blake," and "The Eagle Huntress." Plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Combating the Cold: How This Couple Pulled Off Their Winter Wedding

Combating the Cold: How This Couple Pulled Off Their Winter Wedding

Happy to see warmer weather? This gorgeous winter wedding may actually have you missing the snow.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Auction Alert: Own a Piece of Artistry

Auction Alert: Own a Piece of Artistry

Looking for a unique piece? Inventory from Artistry, which closed up shop in the Strip District after more than 25 years in business, will be sold at auction this weekend.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
New Club is a Hit at Thiel College

New Club is a Hit at Thiel College

The Outdoor Recreation Club becomes the newest student organization at the college.

Comments