And that is the tradition of the playoff beard. If you follow my blog you may have gathered that I like a man who knows how to sport some good facial hair. It's like it's a man's way of saying, "Hey ladies, I'm a man and here I am." It's enough to make any girl swoon, am I right ladies? Actually I know a good handful of chicks who really don't dig facial hair at all. "It's too rough!" "It hurts when you kiss me!" blah blah blah. Come on girls...embrace the wonders of good facial hair on a man. Of course, I can only appreciate a beard on a man if it's done right. Some guys just look down right ridiculous with some scruff. It's almost embarrassing. It's like they're trying to prove their manhood but it only hurts it more than enhancing it. What a shame. So the idea combining this wonderful display scruff and facial hair to the game of hockey is a win-win situation in my eyes. Some of our favorite players are completely transformed and you can barely recognize them. Sometimes it works in their favor, and some players that you never really thought were attractive in the regular season all of a sudden become a fox. And then sometimes it works against the players, and a player that you thought was a man can't even grow a proper beard. I immediately lose all respect for a hockey player when I see a pathetic beard upon his face. Forget the hockey skills, if you can't grow a beard then you're useless in my eyes. Okay, just kidding. But you have to admit it's fun to laugh at the poor souls who are desperately trying to partake in the tradition but can't seem to get past that awkward scruffy stage.
Some of my favorite playoff bears have to be Scott Niedermayer and Brian Campbell. Scott's beard makes him look like a crazed serial killer who has been on the lam for the past several months and has found a new home with the wolves and grizzly bears. Awesome. And then there's our dear friend Soupy. I love gingers. Is that a derogatory term? Because I don't mean it to be at all. So when I see Brian Campbell with a fiery red beard, it just makes me smile. 'Atta boy, Brian. What a man.
He might eat your kids.
Then there's the downright embarrassing playoff beards. I cannot go without mentioned Sidney Crosby. Poor Sid the Kid. He's got a reputation of being a bit immature and someone who likes to whine...and having a "beard" that resembles the pathetic mustaches that boys in junior high to try grow doesn't really help him break that reputation. Nor does bitching about how many hats were thrown onto the ice after Ovechkin's hat trick but that's neither here nor there. Another "honorable" mention is Daniel Briere. I like Danny, but I always thought that he looked like he was permanently stuck with the face of a 14-year-old. So I guess it makes sense that his beard is rather feeble.
"I hate when fans throw hats onto the ice after their franchise player scores his first career playoff hat trick!"
Then there are players like Zetterberg who likes to rock the beard all season long. He doesn't need to wait for the playoffs to come around before he lets the magic grow. That's my kind of man. It seems to suit him very well, wouldn't you say? Another beard that suits its owner is Ovechkin...it seems to enhance his whole, "I'm a crazy caveman" look, don't you think? Of course I can't go without mentioning my homeboy, Ryan Miller. Now his playoff beard is Badass with a capital "B" because it makes him look like Jesus. Now you earn extra points in my book if your facial hair makes you look like a mad earthy hippy...or Jesus. Is there really a difference between the two? Not really. Remember when he had long hair, the dude pratically looked like the second coming in goalie equipment. It was extra awesome because he was playing out of his mind too. It wouldn't really have had the same effect if he sucked, you know? "Yeah, he looks like Jesus and all...but he sucks." Fortunately for Ryan and Sabres fans everywhere, that wasn't the case. Then Ryan tries to act all humble and he's all, "I'm not a martyr, okay?" Sorry, but it's pretty hard to back up that claim looking and playing the way you do, Ryan. Just embrace it.
Aww yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about.
Towards the end of the season, Ryan had a significant beard...it's almost as if he was hoping it would bring the team some extra luck in getting into the playoffs (or he was just being lazy and didn't feel like shaving...you be the judge). Poor Ryan hung onto the beard until the bitter end, as I noticed he still had it during the Bruins game even though the Sabres were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Maybe having the beard made him feel better. He was ~pretending~ that they were in the playoffs.
So I'm aware that this post had a satirical and nonsensical tone, but all in all I really do love the playoff beard tradition and it's great to see all the player's transformations during such an exciting time. It's also fun to see the fans partake in the tradition and grow beards in support of their team. Unfortunately I am incapable of growing a beard (sad, right?), but I do show my love for the tradition and the playoffs by rocking my awesome God Bless Playoff Beards t-shirt. Sadly I haven't been able to wear it for two years due to a certain team failing to make the playoffs...so let's hope that changes next season. If anything, let me be able to wear my awesome t-shirt again, alright Sabres?
So I hope everyone is enjoying all the facial hair and exciting hockey that is currently underway. As I hoped, the Anaheim-Detroit series is an exciting one and I'm really loving the match-up. I haven't watched much of the Carolina-Boston series but it's turning into a real interesting series now that Boston is trailing. It certainly will be fun to see how both Detroit and Boston react to being behind in their series after sweeping their previous opponents.