Jon Ryan has had a number of hair-raising experiences as the Seahawks’ punter and holder for field goals and PATs.
Thursday, it was more hair-razing as he had the long locks he’s been growing the past 25 months shorn for a good cause – Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.
“Cancer has truly affected me and my family,” said Ryan, whose father died of cancer in 2006 while he was punting for the Green Bay Packers.
“I was looking on the internet for ideas to raise awareness and raise money for cancer research and I just happened to stumble across Lock of Love. The more I read about it, the more I just thought it was a great idea. I thought it might be something I could do and I’m kind of in a position where I have the ability to raise awareness a little bit. So hopefully if other people see this it will encourage them to do the same or maybe donate a few bucks.”
Ryan’s last haircut came in July of 2009.
He didn’t just have his hair cut on Thursday; it was done after practice by Seahawks.com’s own Tony Ventrella, a licensed barber. Ventrella trimmed Ryan’s hair in four, 10-plus inch locks – which is required for the donation.
His first reaction? “My neck feels cold,” he said. “But it’s all worth it. It’s for a good cause. And I’m glad I did it.”
Still, Ryan had been counting down these last few months as his hair was inching toward his goal.
“It was getting too long,” Ryan said. “It was covering up my name on my jersey. At that point, when you couldn’t see the ‘Ryan’ on the back of my jersey, I knew it was too long. I don’t know if I’d do it again, but I’m glad I did it.”