LaPanta, you see, has been getting his hair cut at the same place by the same person since he was 13 -- a span of nearly three decades. He has also been getting it cut in pretty much the same style for all those years.
"About 15 years ago, I started parting it on the other side," he said Thursday afternoon. "That's about as crazy as I've gotten."
But in January, LaPanta found out that his trusted barber Cecil from The Razor's Edge in New Brighton was packing up his shop and retiring. LaPanta said Cecil's last day -- and LaPanta's last haircut -- was Jan. 28. "He has a cabin up north. And he took all his stuff with him," LaPanta said.
Now what? Good question. LaPanta said he normally gets his hair cut every two-and-a-half weeks. That puts him on pace to need one in the middle of next week. And he has no idea where he is going to go to have those famous locks shorn.
It wouldn't be such a big deal if LaPanta's hair wasn't at least 60 percent of his celebrity.
"It makes no sense to me. I can’t figure out why. It defies logic," LaPanta said. "I tell people that if I was going to get a hair piece, I’d get one that looks better than that. ... We were just walking through the mall last weekend, and I had a woman come up and say, 'Look, is there any chance I can touch your hair. I have a bet with my husband. I think it’s real. My husband thinks it’s a hair piece.' She wanted to get a picture of her pulling my hair to prove it was real.”
His hair is most definitely real -- and so is his problem. He says he hasn't "thought about it too much," but if you have spent any amount of time around him in recent weeks you know that's just not true. [Full disclosure for those who don't know: We do some work with LaPanta on the weekly Fox Sports Prep Zone show, where he has told pretty much everyone about his barber situation].
"My hair grows up and out. It's just thick," LaPanta said. "If I let it go too long, and I walk out in the wind, it looks like I'm wearing a helmet."
Nobody wants to see that on his or her TV set.
So step one is helping LaPanta out as best you can. He's looking for a new barber that can "make it look good," and he likes the old-time barbershop feel. Know of any places like that? Along with RandBall contributor and mutual friend Local Quipster, we've pitched to him the idea of a reality show whereby he tries out different barbers. He is amenable to that.
"Yeah, I guess," LaPanta said. "It kind of follows the theme of the deal in the first place. But I can't imagine why anyone would care."
If you care, you will help.