For NFL players, going to training camp is sort of like the professional football version of going back to school. And every year when you’d get back to the cafeteria and see all your classmates again, there would always be at least one kid who showed up with a completely different look. This year, it’s Sammy Watkins of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Watkins is known for his amazing dreads. He’s had them for over a decade, and they’re pretty much his trademark. But on Wednesday, this is who reported to camp, claiming he was Sammy Watkins.
It was actually Sammy Watkins, of course, but dreads-free. Without them, he’s nearly unrecognizable. Even his teammate Travis Kelce didn’t know who he was at first, as he told the Kansas City Star.
“I definitely had to give him a second look, for sure,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “It’s fitting though. He’s a high-character guy, and he just comes in and he goes to work.”
Watkins told Brooke Pryor of the Star how he decided to cut off his dreads.
It was 3 a.m., and Sammy Watkins was wide awake.
Two weeks before he was set to report to his first Chiefs training camp, the wide receiver knew it was time for a change.
So in the middle of the night, he took a pair of clippers and went to work, shearing off the dreads he’d worn for over a decade.
“Kind of just wanted to be different this season and just be about business,” Watkins said. “I’ve had them for 12, 13 years. I’m 25 now. I don’t want to be 40 with dreads. I just decided to cut it.”
Well, he had 15 more years to cut off his dreads before he’d turn 40, but it seems like once he got the idea in his head, he couldn’t shake it. It takes some guts to just grab a pair of scissors and change the hair you’ve had for 13 years. But Watkins did it without hesitation.
As Watkins said, he wants to be all “business” this season. He’s focusing on living up to the three-year, $48 million deal he signed with the Chiefs this offseason. And Andy Reid thinks he’s off to a great start.
“He’s all business,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. “I love the way he goes about it. A true pro.”
If this turns into a big year for Watkins and the Chiefs, we can say that it all started with a 3am haircut.
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