Tue Nov 29 12:15pm EST
Forget the 10 lords-a-leaping for Christmas, how about 10 Plymouth Whalers rocking the most alternately fantabulous yet slightly, hopefully ironically creepy holiday card photo of all time?
In a perfect synergy of Santa, sweaters, side parts and Movember moustaches, a group of Whalers posed with ol' Kris Kringle himself to help put people in the spirit of the season.
It looks like they took that bit of coach-speak about "paying attention to detail" to heart. Check out the throwback tonsorial stylings — they still sell Brylcreem? — of defenceman Colin MacDonald (far left) and centre Andy Bathgate (right). Or the Christmas socks sported by the players down in front. Also, nice touch by making sure the player wearing a Santa hat happens to be named Nicholas.
Apparently, this happened organically. It wasn't a planned team activity. It was more like some of the Whalers just decided to do it for a laugh, proving you're never too old to get a photo taken with Santa. Or just be a gentleman of leisure at the mall like (from left) defencemen Nick Malysa and Curtis Crombeen, and Bathgate.
I'm no cultural anthropologist, but one would like to think maybe they took inspiration from Awkward Family Photos and realized they were sitting on a comedy gold mine, what with the moustaches and Crombeen's ginger mullet (centre in photo). Or they could have been trying to imitate Lloyd Christmas from a memorable scene in Dumb and Dumber, a movie that might have been watched on the team bus once or twice.
The Whalers, of course, are all also well-known for having coach-GM Mike Vellucci and several players dye their hair pink as part of an annual fundraiser during Breast Cancer Awareness month. So Plymouth players would seem to be very at ease with deviating from the standard jock image, whether the cause is charitable or just good clean fun. It's a credit to the organization, really.
Clockwise from bottom, that's Nick Malysa (wearing the Santa hat), Colin MacDonald, Dario Trutmann, Dylan MacDonald, Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick Jamie Devane, Michael Whaley (sitting on Santa's lap), Carolina Hurricanes draft pick Matt Mahalak, Curtis Crombeen, former Whaler R.J. Mahalak and Andy Bathgate.
(Stick tap: @dangergirl33).
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (photos: Twitter).