No. 4 Ronin: Bryce Gibbs & the power of the man-bun

Nothing else in the Australian Football League at this point of time captures the zeitgeist of today quite like Bryce Gibbs’ man-bun. Nothing else in footy right now embraces the wider world around it. For the man-bun is THE style of the now and has had more press paragraphs dedicated to it than you can shake a Sherrin at.

And not since Bruce Doull ran up and down Princes Park has anyone been so captivated by a Bluebagger’s hairstyle. It even blows the most famous Carlton via Glenelg hairdo (Sticks’ mullet) out of the water.

The man-bun doesn’t work for many gentlemen, but it works for Bryce. After a stellar 2014 – John Nicholls Medallist, thank you – and despite the fortunes of the Carlton Football Club, you know that Bryce is going to take things to the next level in 2015. Thanks to the man-bun that Bryce, already established as a gun midfielder and fashion maven, has embraced.

For the man-bun has been embraced by successful men. Celebrities and leaders in their field such as Leonardo DiCaprio, David Beckham and well, two of the One Direction boys, have all put their hair up in the man-bun.

It means that one of Carlton’s best can only get better with the power of the man-bun.

And think of the man-bun’s heritage. It is an evolution of the Japanese samurai chonmage, dating back from the Edo period as a method of using hair to keep ahold of the samurai helmet atop the head in the heat of battle. Bryce Gibbs is embracing the samurai spirit and maybe that’s something the rest of the boys in blue can consider. Think of it…the Seven-teen Samurai (and the grizzled old Emperor of the Princes Park, Chris Judd.)

Like all pioneers in the field of fashion, Bryce is attracting his fair share of “haters”. As usual, Twitter provides the best barometer of public opinion:

“What’s going on with Bryce Gibbs’ hair? Sporting a bun by the looks of things. Sort it out now!”
“Bryce Gibbs hair is sh*thouse”
“If Bryce Gibbs spent as much time on his footy career as he did with his hair he’d be a triple Brownlow medalist!”

There is an irrational hate of the hair-bun. It’s only a matter of time before opposition coaches stop focusing on tangling up the forward line and start focusing more on the untangling those locks. That’s the level of hate found across the footy spectrum.

Yet the haters of the hair-bun only make Bryce stronger. While the opposition are focused on his incredibly hip haircut and figuring out how to smuggle scissors onto the ground, they won’t know how to stop Bryce bringing back the ol’ Carlton razzle dazzle in the midfield. While the other team’s barrackers are foaming at the mouth, those possessions will be racking up nicely.

They’ll all continue to underestimate Bryce, thinking he’s more focused on fashion than footy. (Which might be true.) They ‘ll think he’s soft. They’ll underestimate him at their peril – such is the power of the man-bun and its samurai spirit.

The man-bun is here to stay. Until it stops being cool – that’ll happen when you see it everywhere in footy, even on the heads of the Richmond boys, sometime in June.

PS: Congratulations to Bryce’s coach, who I believe is setting some sort of record this Friday night.

About The Philby

Inconsistent contrarian. Barracker of Carlton FC and South Adelaide FC. Resident of Sydney. Holder of the record of shortest umpiring career with the South Australian Cricket Association.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    He should go for the helmet head look like his dad Ross sported.

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