While it’s been officially proven that women generally prefer men without facial hair, when it comes to sports, and particularly the supersition of successful playoff runs, ladies’ opinions don’t matter. Rumor has it, the tradition started with hockey teams trying to stay warm during the extended time around giant ice patches. The fad has since expanded to include all pro male sports with playoffs (aka not tennis).
I don’t know for sure, but I am almost positive that the womens’ Lingerie Football League doesn’t go more than a week without shaving every part of their body, playoffs or not. Luckily for most male athletes who become intolerably lumberjacky during their quest for championships, the lump of cash they’re bound to receive keeps them eligible bachelors and earning street cred from their fresh-faced peers. The playoff beard is not a tradition for the weak of heart. It exists as an art form and should be assessed as such, with a few particularly important critiques:
The length of the beard during the playoffs should be in direct relation to the amount of time spent in the playoffs. This is the whole point. If this is a novel idea to you, welcome. Join us. We’re talking about playoff beards.
The longer the run in the race, the longer the fun on your face. If you look down and your beard pats yourself on the chest offering a congratulations for working hard, that’s an admirable feat.
There’s nothing wrong with a little touch up here and thereIf you look like you’re mere days away from talking to a volleyball, you’re doing it right and hey, congrats on making it so far!
If you can lose food in your scruff, that’s a beard. If you can lose a small toy in your beard, that’s a man’s beard. If you can lose a kid playing with a small toy in your beard, BAM. You’re in the playoffs soon to be a champion.
TOP TO BOTTOM RATIOS
The evolutionary purpose of going bald but still being able to grow a beard is one of the many reasons Darwin conducted so much research. There can’t possibly be a survival method that benefits from such an uneven distribution of follicles–except apparently tournament longevity. If you’re going to abandon the razor, then by all means abandon the razor like you mean it. For some with hairy grandfathers on their mother’s side, that means a lot of hair a lot of everywhere. For others, they look a bit upside down. Cue balls automatically have hairier looking faces. Crazy afro sporters look like a giant dandelion. Shave wisely.
There is not too much to this category of critique except that all red beards are crazier, funnier, more outgrageous, and just generally better than any other natural color beard. That’s that. Unlike finances, sports beards thrive in the red.
And just as an aside — why do blonde beards always look so filthy?
If your beard takes you into the Hall of Fame, prepare for infamy. If you grew a playoff beard and you didn’t take home the W, you’re beard doesn’t work but at least you have something to keep you warm at night instead of a ring.
It’s not crazy, it’s sports. Actually, no. It is crazy. When it comes right down to it, if you look like you could be put away for serious time on a unibomber conviction no questions asked, you’ve achieved bearded greatness and hopefully a ring. So live on lumberjocks, live on.