Friday, May 05, 2006


Beard Talk

It is about this time that all those folks who started growing playoff beards (or playoff pants for the ladies), are starting to seriously question whether or not it was a good idea. You look at the playoff schedule, you look at yourself in the mirror, you look back at the playoff schedule, and you realize that you can't shave until the middle of May at minimum (May 12 if you are a particularly pessimistic Oilers fan), and quite possibly well into June.

Oh sure, the uncomfortable itchiness is long gone, but--if you are not already there--you are starting foresee the potential that your beard might actually get too big. I realize that if anyone had told you two weeks ago that your playoff beard could get too big you would have laughed them out of the room; but here you are, in Stage 5 of beard growth.

As someone with greater than average experience in growing facial hair, I thought it might be useful to go through the progression of a playoff beard -- just to help those of you over the mental hump of becoming truly bearded individuals. As an added bonus, CinO Chris! has documented the first couple of stages in his beardwatches - I hope he doesn't mind me outright ripping off his material.

1) Elation
2) Concern
3) Cautious Optimism
4)Elation II
5) Concern II
6) Cautious Optimism Part II
7) Elation Part III
Good luck, all!


This might be excessive praise as the co-publisher of this site, but this post is truly One For the Ages.


Shaving during playoffs is unacceptable for career related issues with the single exception of job interviews -- and even then it is only permissable to trim.

Think of it this way, that piece of ID will be a terrific conversation piece for years to come.

Ruling: no shave

Perhaps you should think of it this way. Do you have the job already? If so, this really isn't and issue and sacamano's ruling should stand.

Also, there is a relevant clarification required for MC on Stage 5: while it is permitted or even encouraged to explain the playoff beard, it is a strict no-no to apologize for the playoff beard, an act which senselessly negates its accumulated karma.

Also, Bill Simmons has some extra Beard Insight in today's column:
"...Playoff Beards almost always work. So if you grow the Regular Season Beard, either you have to shave it for the playoffs, or you need to shave it into something even goofier, such as one of those horseshoe-shaped mustaches like the one belonging to Vito Spatafore's diner cook/boyfriend in New Hampshire. You just can't stand pat."

He's also not a fan of Lebron's 'chinstrap only': "..his playoff beard stands out only for its atrociously atrocious atrociousness."

Excellent point, MF, I've updated the Stage 5 writeup accordingly.


That was a great post. My early Post-Of-The-Year nomination favorite.

The real standout detail from this post is that May 12 is the elimination date for the Oilers in the event of a Sharks sweep. That's my birthday.

Go Sharks!

Ahhh, but Game #1 is on my birthday . . .

Apparently, you and The Hockey News are in synchronicity on this thing. Yours is much better, even though an "Eng-Lit student" would make someone an Engineering-Literature student. What university did you do your undregraduate studies at, again?

And you forget a critical point in Elation, Part 3;

"Your team has lost the Stanley Cup and you can finally shave the dead animal off of your face."

I don't think so. Aren't you forgetting the Beard of Shame? Originally formulated in the Lagwagon song "Razor Burn" (I have even posted the song here), the Beard of Shame identifies heartbreak, depression, and of course...great shame. I have grown several Beards of Shame following breakups--its traditional application--but have also broadened out the "she" into a more metaphorical application. I have grown it several times after my teams have lost. Two in particular stand out. The "Aaron Fucking Boone" Beard of Shame of 03, and the "Donovan Fucking McNabb" Beard of Shame of 05. Take a listen to the song, and I think you will be in agreement about this application. If your team loses in the Stanley Cup Finals, your Playoff Beard should seamlessly transform into a Beard of Shame. This should carry on for 7 days after the final game. It should also apply to your team losing in earlier rounds, but the standards can be much less vigorous.

This might be excessive praise as the co-publisher of this site, but this post is truly One For the Ages.

Yeap, awesome stuff. This'll be on the sports editor's desk in the morning.

(No, not really. But it's good.)

This is indeed outfuckingstanding. Hilarious stuff.

As far as I can tell, I'm in stage four myself.


I can't help but think that losing Commodore and his mighty beard was somehow bad karma for the Flames. There was a man who took the whole playoff beard thing seriously.

Dare I say this post is...hairlarious?

Hmmm. This Beard of Shame concept will require some thinking.

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