NFL owners will consider length of hair flowing from helmets

NEW YORK -- Troy Polamalu might not have to worry about getting tackled again by his hair.

At their meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., next week, NFL owners will consider a proposal to ban players from having hair flow from their helmets below their names on the back of their jerseys.

That might affect Polamalu's image, but help him on the field. Two seasons ago, the Pittsburgh safety with the long ponytail had his hair grabbed by Kansas City's Larry Johnson and was thrown to the turf after an interception against the Chiefs.

The rule banning long hair on the field was proposed by Kansas City. It does not require players to get haircuts, but does "require them to tuck it up inside their helmets," said Atlanta president Rich McKay, chairman of the league's competition committee.

Polamalu is the best known of the players, most of them defensive backs, with hair flowing outside their helmets. Others include cornerbacks Al Harris of Green Bay and Mike McKenzie of New Orleans.

Because the rule was proposed by a team, the competition committee did not take a position on it. It will be discussed Monday with a package of other rules.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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