Football offenses are a lot like hairstyles. There's a wide array and all offer a different look and give a distinct vibe.
Some are clean and tight, lacking creativity. Others are free and flowing but prone to turnovers.
There's the Wing-T, the Wishbone, the Veer and the Option. There's the Run-and-Shoot, the Pistol, the West Coast and the Spread.
There's the crew cut, the buzz cut, the flat-top and the mullet. There's cornrows, dreadlocks, the afro and the mohawk.
Over the last 20 years, said West Coast high school football referee Ed Blake, he's noticed a trend for the shorter look. With obvious exceptions.
"Other than the cultural Polynesian trend of very long hair - like Troy Polamalu - the short hair is in," said Blake, who graduated from high school in 1968. "I think we're going the other way from the long hair."
But the exceptions are noteworthy and they stand out. Polamalu and Green Bay Packers defensive end Clay Matthews are known as much for their lengthy locks as their All-Pro play on the field.
Blake notes as pretty - and perhaps intimidating - as the excessive hair is, it also can be a disadvantage, at least on the offensive side. It is completely legal to pull down a ballcarrier by the hair, something Blake said he's seen twice while refereeing in two decades.
"The first time a kid was running down the sideline for a touchdown, and the defensive back just pulled him down," Blake said. "I thought it might cause quite a stir, but the sideline of the kid who went down knew the rules. I knew them too, but it was still pretty alarming."
The other time it happened, Blake said neither team squabbled either. "I find the rule (lack of a penalty) a little peculiar," Blake said. "I mean, if a horse collar is a penalty - and it should - I would think the same thing would apply to pulling one's hair. But hey, football is football."
And fashion is fashion.
Our MaxPreps photographers have captured some of the most unique and stylish hairdos on the gridiron over the last few years. Here are many of our favorites from around the nation.
— Senior writers Stephen Spiewak and Mitch Stephens