EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings defensive linemen customarily followed Brian Robison to their drill line at Wednesday's practice, but the veteran's ponytail didn't.
Robison opted on Monday to cut the hair he's grown for almost five years and donate it to Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides prosthetic hairpieces to children who are suffering from long-term hair loss for medical reasons.
"My long lost buddy Fred Evans told me a long time ago, 'If you ever cut your hair, you should donate it to Locks of Love,' " Robison said. "I had no clue what it was, but I made a promise to him back then that if I ever cut it, I would do it, so I kept my promise."
Robison added the former Vikings defensive tackle "texted me the other day and said, 'No, you did not cut my man lock,' so he saw it."
In time, Robison learned about the organization and honored his word when his wife made him an appointment at Spalon Montage. He saw a picture of what the stylist suggested and has been happy with the results.
"I think it's a great cause. I think it's kind of pointless to cut hair and let it go to waste," Robison said. "You get a lot of people, especially now, people want those little things in life, their hair and things like that. You see cancer patients every day that are going through the withdrawals of not having your hair so I think it's a great cause to be able to give something back, and even that, as little as it is, to see a cancer patient that gets some sort of hair they can wear and do that, that speaks volumes."
Robison said the hair reduction will leave less for opponents to grab and joked that "the ponytail was strong; I was able to drag offensive linemen with me." He was surprised when the story was picked up by USA Today after he documented the cut through social media.
"I was like, 'Wow, the ponytail had more fame than I did I guess,' " Robison said. "I kind of like the look I've got right now so we'll see how long it lasts. It's growing on (my wife). At first she was in a little bit of a shock, wide-eyed, I didn't know if that's a good look or a bad look, but I think it's growing on her and I think she likes it."
Defensive end Everson Griffen was asked what he thought about the new do for B-Rob and had fun with his response before saying he thought it was a "great thing" for Robison to do.
"You mean Brian? That's his new name to me," Griffen said. "B-Rob has gone out the window like his ponytail. His name is Brian Robison, so when you guys interview him today, call him Brian. Don't call him B-Rob. Call him Brian, because without the ponytail he'll have no more swag.
"I like it, Griffen added. "He did a great thing of donating his hair, and people need it, so that's Brian to me from now on. He's one of the best, most trustworthy guys on this team. He's a good dude, a fantastic football player and great friend to me, like a brother. It looks good on him, but that's still Brian."