Ok guys. We need a consensus here. Are we growing playoff beards for the Penguins playoff run? Let me know.
That’s the text of an email I sent to three of my closest friends (they were all groomsmen in my wedding) this week. We all live withing 100 miles of each other, one lives in the same town as I, but with the busyness of life rarely see each other (except for one of the guys, who plays on my hockey team). I thought this, the playoff beard, would make a good bonding experience.
Let me explain. As you may or may not know, the hockey playoffs started last night. Our favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, are again in the playoffs and again playing the Ottawa Senators. Back when we were growing up, the four of us would always gather at someone’s house to watch the playoff games together, living and dying a little with each play. Back then not all of us could grow playoff beards (unless you count me growing three hairs on my chin a beard).
It’s tradition in hockey for the players, out of superstition, to not shave during the playoffs. That’s where the term “playoff beard” comes from. It seems in recent years fans of the hockey teams have started on the tradition as well. One of the blogs I read about Pittsburgh sports posted a Ten Rules to Growing a Playoff Beard yesterday. I thought it was a funny post, but if you are easily offended by swearing you may want to not click that link.
The responses I received from my friends were all pretty funny. They all started with, “Well <insert wife’s name here> doesn’t really want me to grow a beard, but I’ll do it anyway..”. I got a pretty big kick out of that because I have the same situation in my house. So, as an act of solidarity we’re all growing playoff beards.
We may not be able to watch the games together anymore, but at least we’ll all have the solidarity in growing ridiculous facial hair together. And for the next month or so, there will be four bearded guys enjoying hockey, sending emails to each other, and most likely sleeping on the couch.