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The Caw: Meet The Man Who Cuts The Ravens' Hair


Before the Ravens fly to Cleveland for their first road game of the season, some will make a pit stop.

When you're on the team plane, dressed in a suit and arriving to another city in style, you gotta look the part. And that means stopping in to see Nick Service.

Service, 32, is the Ravens' unofficial barber.

Service's full-time work is at Supreme Cuts in Elkridge, Md. But every Thursday during the season, he comes to the Under Armour Performance Center to trim players and coaches upon request.

He cuts them in the players' lounge, which is turned into a makeshift barber shop with the same jokes, banter and friendships. Cuts cost $23.

Service's patrons include Head Coach John Harbaugh and about 15 players, including safety Matt Elam, running back Justin Forsett and safety Darian Stewart. Service once cut quarterback Joe Flacco's hair, but didn't keep him as a client.

"He started going to Sports Clips, which is like a slap in the face to me," Service said with a laugh. "But I'm Harbs' only guy."

Harbaugh helped keep Service around after the longtime barber got in the door via a former strength and conditioning coach, James Rooths, in 2012.

Rooths went to Service in Elkridge, but when Rooths started working long hours for the Ravens, he didn't have time to come in for his usual appointment. Rooths asked Service if he would come into the facility with his chair and gear.

"I was like, 'Ummm, yeah, definitely! I'll be there tomorrow!'" Service said. "Then he let me leave my chair."

The following week, Service came back and word spread. He ended up seeing 19 clients, with Harbaugh coming last. Buzz had reached the coaches' offices.

"Cutting Harbs that first time I was here was pretty incredible," Service said. "We really hit it off."

The two often discuss their daughters, which are around similar ages. Family is a favorite subject for Harbaugh.

But sometimes football coaches or players start talking about football, of course. And sometimes those conversations can be somewhat tactical, or not meant for the public domain.

"I try not to listen too hard cause I don't want to get in trouble," Service said. "But when somebody starts talking Ravens in the barber shop, I'll speak up a little bit. I'll be like, 'No, look, this is how it goes.'"

Among Service's highlights are cutting Harbaugh's hair that first time, cutting General Manager Ozzie Newsome's hair before his trip to the White House and stylizing a bunch of players in New Orleans the day before Super Bowl XLVII. Service even ended up on the field after the win.

Service moved to Maryland when he was 10 and has been a Ravens fan since the team's inception in 1996. He began cutting hair when he was in middle school, and kept the players on his high school football team looking dapper too.

"It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to do this," Service said of cutting the Ravens' hair. "It was a goal of mine for probably 10 years. It's really a dream come true."

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