When new Bucs RB Giovani Bernard appeared before the media via Zoom on Wednesday, he donned only some scruff as facial hair, and not the fabled mustache that helped make him an internet sensation over the last calendar year. Laughing, Bernard told the story of his famous ‘stache and what prompted him to shave it off after the 2020 season.
“It started off in quarantine, I’m sure everyone had a weird thing going on in quarantine last year,” Bernard said, smiling broadly. “I don’t know about most guys, but when I shave, I normally just do random things with my facial hair. So I just kept the ‘stache, and my wife looked at me and she said, ‘it looks kinda cool, I like it’. I just let it ride throughout the season, then I took the team pictures, and guys just fell in love with it.
“Then it hit social media and I just couldn’t let it go. The season went by, and I think it was mid-January, I was like ‘alright, it’s time to go, this thing is becoming way too ridiculous’. It was like almost tough for me to breathe at that point, so I cut if off. I wanna say it was like my COVID protector, like my virus filter. It mighta helped me out a little bit, who knows.”
Bernard brings his good-natured personality and professionalism to Tampa Bay after eight seasons in Cincinnati. The West Palm Beach, FL native was one of the more reliable players on some tumultuous Bengals teams, standing out mostly as a receiver and pass protector. Bernard caught 342 passes for 2,867 yards and 11 touchdowns during his time in Cincy, including 47 catches for 355 yards and three touchdowns from the Bengals revolving door at quarterback last season. Now he’ll take his game, sans mustache, to Tampa Bay, where he should fit in perfectly.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft