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Cleveland Weatherman Refuses To Shave Until Browns Win


Like many gentlemen, Scott Sabol is always looking for a way to avoid shaving.

SCOTT SABOL: If I'm not focused on it, I'll cut myself. And then you know how it is. It starts to bleed. And before you know it, you're trying to, like, you know, hold a tissue on it so it doesn't bleed. And then you go on TV.


Sabol is a TV meteorologist for Fox 8 in Cleveland, where not shaving is usually not an option.


SABOL: Look at the showers. Again, widespread rainfall all afternoon.

SHAPIRO: So he comes up with some pretty elaborate schemes to avoid having to shave for work.

CORNISH: One winter, he says he didn't shave until the temperature hit 50 degrees.

SHAPIRO: That lasted 74 days.

CORNISH: This year, before the NFL season started, he decided to grow a beard until the Cleveland Browns won their first game of the season.

SHAPIRO: The Browns lost the opening game. But hey, what's one week without shaving?

SABOL: So the Browns were 0 and 1. And I'm thinking, all right, well, it sets the Browns back a few weeks. Maybe I could go three or four weeks without shaving. They get their first win, it's early October, and that'll be the end of it, right?


SABOL: Well, here we are almost 90 days, and the Browns are now 0 and 12. I didn't think it would last this long at all. There is no way that there was - just - it's very difficult to lose 12 games in a row.

CORNISH: All right.

SHAPIRO: (Laughter) The meteorologist posted a photo online of his beard progress, and we're going to pull that up now. You can see some chubby cheeks that slowly disappear...

CORNISH: (Laughter) I don't know if he'll like that part.

SHAPIRO: ...Under...


SHAPIRO: It looks sort of like an upside-down cupcake with a big tower of curly brown frosting all over the lower half of his face.

CORNISH: And he says he even fluffs up the beard for when he goes on air.

SHAPIRO: Sabol has been a Browns fan since he was a kid, and he calls his beard a microcosm of the Browns' terrible season.

CORNISH: Now, some fans are asking what happens if the Browns don't win any games this season. Sabol says his boss at the TV station raised this issue early on.

SABOL: So it's really difficult to do. But he said, let's just put that stipulation in there, that if they do go 0 and 16, you shave it at the end of the season, or else we could run into, you know, kind of a problem.

SHAPIRO: Sabol says the beard does have some advantages for a TV weatherman.

SABOL: Especially when I have to do live shots and I'm outside and the wind's hitting you right in the face. There is a level of insulation there. So it certainly does help.

CORNISH: But he says it's not exactly a hit at home.

SABOL: Well, my wife likes beards. She likes a well-groomed beard. She doesn't like a 90-day beard that hasn't been touched.

SHAPIRO: Ninety days and counting. The earliest Scott Sabol could shave is this Sunday, when the Browns play the Cincinnati Bengals.

CORNISH: And as for Sabol's next beard growing challenge, he says he's always open to new ideas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.