Just Smile and Wave
Kellie Lawless | Freelance Reporter
Bethel University’s football roster looks a little different this year and it’s not because of the new talent stepping out onto the field or past players taking on different positions. Rather, it’s their headshots that are causing people to look twice.
On August 20, a handful of Royal football players took their annual roster pictures for bethelroyals.com, and instead of capturing the traditional smile, the football boys wore goofy grins and braided their facial hair amongst other hilarious hairdos.
This tradition of funny photos started back in 2012 when two players, Jesse Phenow and Joel Lambrides, started rounding up teammates to take funny headshots with them and the trend only grew from there.
The men’s headshots have grabbed the attention of major news outlets such as KARE 11 ESPN, and Fox Sport’s @AtTheBuzzer. Fox Sports’ tweet linking to the story is approaching a combined 400 retweets and favorites.
The players were never asked to retake their headshots but were asked if they seriously wanted their pictures to look like that. According to junior defensive Cameron Svihla, the team had a good laugh but never expected the story to go viral.
“The guys all think it’s pretty funny,” Svihla said. “Nobody did it for attention and nobody expected anyone outside of the Bethel community to even see them. We were just having some fun, and somehow people found out about it.”
“I think this whole ordeal just shows how different Bethel is,” Ian Fowler said. Fowler, a senior offensive lineman, is familiar with the team’s culture, and knows how genuine the feelings are behind it. “We’re a bunch of nutcases who love each other ridiculously.”
Senior defensive lineman Nathan Hultgren agrees, but hopes that this isn’t the last time that their team is in the national spotlight.
“Any publicity is good publicity,” Hultgren said, “although I think I would rather be known as a team that wins championships rather than a team
that takes funny headshots.”
The Royals are currently 1–0 and face the Wartburg Knights on Saturday at home. Kickoff is 1:00 p.m. at Bremer Field.