A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

playoff beards (with photos)

There's no way I'll ever be able to write anything about the playoff beard that is anywhere near as brilliant as the post by sacamano over at Battle of Alberta the other day. I highly encourage reading that post. As a caveat, you may want to put your coffee down first. You will... repeat, WILL ... spit-take coffee all over your monitor. This is really great hilarious stuff. Maybe the funniest blogger post I've read in months.

Here's a snippet of that post, explaining the point in the progression of the playoff beard where you start to look like a homeless person:
5) Concern II

* Your beard is now full. Very full. Some might say too full. You are on the verge of crossing the threshold from Sexy Bearded Man to Goddamned Hippy.
* In the non-playoff world, this can be remedied by trimming up. In the playoff world--where trimming is generally frowned upon--you must ensure that everyone around you knows that you are growing a playoff beard. I can't emphasize this enough. If you don't let them know, then they will just assume that you spend your weekends and evenings protesting the World Bank and playing the bongos for change on Whyte Avenue. If you let them know, they can join in the fun. Everybody loves watching train wrecks, and make no mistake, if your team makes it through the second round of NHL playoffs you are that train wreck.

I have been playing along with the playoff beard. It's coming along pretty nicely, I guess. Early in the season, I thought it would be funny to grow a playoff beard, but when I was unexpectedly forced to shop for a new car, I thought it better if I didn't look like an out-of-work lumberjack. On December 5, the beard went after being there since game one. I kind of liked having it, and I was repeatedly complemented by the ladies while I had it, so I knew I had to get in on the action for the playoffs.

I know there is some bit of debate about when it's proper to begin the playoff beards. Some say you shave for the last time on the morning of the first playoff game. Others say you shave for the last time on the morning of the last regular season game. I took it a baby-step further by shaving for the last time a few days before the end of the regular season.

As you can see in this first photo, I am clean shaven. This was taken after the April 14 game against Tampa. I shaved that morning and put my razor away, hoping that I don't see it again until mid-June.

Just a few days later, at the Buffalo game, I had my standard three-day stubble going on. I'm not an especially furry guy, so I typically go two or three days between shaves. In the second photo, you can see a little scruff, but it was way before the itchy stage.

I'm nowhere near done, but I reached and passed the itchy stage. I passed the PNR. I've always used a standard manual shaver rather than an elecric or battery powered job. I've most recenly used the Gillette Turbo Excel Mach 5 Extreme, or whatever that newest one is called. Anyway, just after the itchy stage is the PNR. The point of no return. The point at which it would be a lost cause to shave with a standard manual shaving instrument. This last photo is one I took just a few hours ago. Clearly you can see that it is no longer a question of being too lazy to shave. This is facial hair with a purpose.

I made the mistake of assuming that people understood the concept of the playoff beard. When I was recently complimented about my beard, I said that it was a playoff beard, and I assumed no further explanation was needed. This person, though, thought that there was a ritual of growing a beard for the entire period of time between the NFL draft and the Superbowl. Then when I explained, I was sort of given this "I wish I hadn't asked" look.

Anyway, it's on in full swing. With the massive amounts of money I'll save on shaving cream and razor blades, I might be able to afford my tickets for the remainder of the playoffs.

Today we have a 2:00 puck drop, and there will be national tv. NBC in the USA and TSN in Canada. For the fourth time in the last five home games, we'll be given rally towels when we enter the arena. I wish they'd give us t-shrits, or beer coupons, or something useful. I don't mind the rally towel, but as soon as the game is over, it serves no purpose. Not even as a memento.

Remember -- 2:00 puck drop, eastern time.


sacamano said...

You are definitely in Stage 4 -- that looks fantastic on you. Well done.

I also loved your PNR, defined as "The point at which it would be a lost cause to shave with a standard manual shaving instrument."

That's beautiful and should have been one of the characteristics of Stage 3.

Bill Purdy said...

Dude, I drank beer with you today, and I can say this: you are one fuzzy motherfucker. And I envy your devotion.

Keep it up. I need an idol.

Robert Ullman said...

I grew a playoff beard for the playoffs in the rec league I played in last fall. Our playoffs only lasted a little over a week, though, so it never got too out of control. Fun while it lasted, though!


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