I was never quite sure what to make of Anthony Davis's eyebrow, and I was never quite sure how other college fans would treat it. I was self-conscious as an 18-year-old. Aren't we all? Was it really the best thing to subject a nice-enough kid to questions and chants and posters and T-shirts about a feature that would get most kids ridiculed? Would the talk always be good-natured? It was just sort of awkward, or at least I assumed it would be.
And then Kentucky fans took over. They claimed ownership of Davis and his brow, turning the eyebrow (or eyebrows) around as quickly as Billy Madison turns his friend's accident around on the bus trip: Look at Anthony play! That unibrow is swagger! Fear the unibrow! Brow down! And so on. Before you knew it, the entire college hoops landscape was that little old lady by the side of the road: If having a unibrow is cool, consider me Miles Davis.
By the time Anthony Davis and Kentucky reached the Final Four, T-shirts and eyebrow flair were on nearly every UK fan in the country. Even UK's mascot and Davis' mom wore homages. The only thing awkward now? There were people out there making what one assumes was a pretty good chunk of change by selling and promoting a very specific part of Davis' likeness. Davis, being an amateur, couldn't do anything about it.
That's not a problem anymore, and according to CNBC's Darren Rovell, Davis trademarked the phrases "Fear the Brow" and "Raise the Brow" earlier this month:
“I don’t want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it,” Davis told CNBC. “Me and my family decided to trademark it because it’s very unique.” Davis said that people frequently tell him to cut it, but Davis said he won’t because “everyone’s talking about it.”
I still wonder whether this is a sustainable nickname. Just because everyone is talking about it doesn't make it a keeper, you know? It's not like we're talking about "Air Jordan" here.
Eh, oh well. At least this gives Davis some legal recourse against the who-knows-how-many people have sold some minor merchandise with at least a portion of his amateur likeness on it in the past eight months. Say what you want about the NCAA's amateurism structure -- this seems like as good a jumping-off point as anyway -- but what I know is this: If anyone deserves to make money off of that eyebrow, it's Davis. After all, he's the one stuck wearing it.