Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Meet the Hero Who Saved Jay Cutler’s Hair and Became the New Bears’ Barber


Jay Cutler arrived to plenty of fanfare in 2009 when the Chicago Bears traded for him. His bigger body and rocket right arm seemed like exactly what the team had been missing at the quarterback position. However, there was at least one thing about the 26-year old at the time that people couldn’t get over. Personality notwithstanding, of course. It was his haircut. Facts are facts. Cutler had terrible taste in hairstyle.

When he first arrived, the best way to describe his hair was a lazy bowl cut. There was no sense of style at all. Just a big bowl that covered his head with bangs almost down to his eyebrows. Given the NFL is a quarterback league, being able to look good was almost as important as playing good. Cutler needed help. Somebody who could clean up the train wreck on top of his head. It turns out a stroke of good fortune would eventually come his way.

It arrived via a recommendation from teammates about a place run by a fan named Lawrence Funk according to Lauren Comitor and Adam Jahns of The Athletic.

The first of only two replies suggested Funk’s Barbershop.

“So we said we’d give it a try,” O’Donnell said. “The rest is history.”

Soon, other players were going to Funk. Patrick Scales. Connor Barth. Even Jay Cutler.

“I changed Jay’s haircut,” Funk said with a smile. “Remember how bad Jay’s hair was?”

Everyone, of course, asks about Cutler. Funk went to Cutler’s house and Cutler came to his shop.

“Cutler, to me, was about as normal as it gets,” Funk said. “We would laugh and talk about cars and talk about everything other than football. He was completely normal.”

Jay Cutler can likely credit his reality show fame to Funk

Funk’s work was so successful that it drew the attention of Bears GM Ryan Pace. The relationship grew to such a point that Pace thought it might be a fun idea to give the newly renovated Halas Hall an on-site barbershop. Who better to fill that role than Funk? He has since become the official barber of the Bears, cutting hair for all the coaches, players, and front office staff. No doubt a dream come true for him. However, it’s unlikely he’ll ever top what he did with Cutler.

It could be argued that incredible transformation played a big part in Cutler becoming a hot commodity for television work after he retired. Not only was he an instant hit on reality TV alongside his wife, but he’s also sought-after for work in the analyst booth. Something fans are all too anxious to see happen. Cutler will be in attendance for the Bears’ opening night game against the Green Bay Packers on September 5th. No doubt his hair will be in pristine condition for the event.

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