May 02, 2008
SportSquee describes itself as "an online girls' locker room," and it's one of our favorite sites that celebrate female sports fandom. Margee is the Queen Bee of Squee, and an occasional contributor to the Y! Sports hockey blog. Here is Margee, writing about the glory of the Stanley Cup Playoff Beard ...
Playoff Beards. One of the finest traditions in sports. And one of the finest traditions in fug. Rare is the Playoff Beard that doesn't completely obfuscate one's looks. Rarer still is the Playoff Beard that improves one's looks. For the most part the Playoff Beard gives us varying degrees of hilarity when it comes to our favorite hockey players. Here is how the current crop of Stanley Cup hunters shakes out.
A chinless ginger for 82 games out of the year, Campbell is notorious for his yearly post-season transformations into a strawberry mountain man. Sans beard, you want to ask him to do your calculus homework. With the beard, you want to sniff his flannel shirt while he hangs deer antlers all around your cabin in Vail. Is it that the beard covers his lack of legitimate chin? Or does the extra red hair deflect from his Scut Farkus-ish yellow eyes? Either way, Campbell's beard is the unicorn of postseason facial hair.
Poor Sidney Crosby. Somehow, as the Penguins have ventured deeper into the playoffs, Sid the Kid has turned into my 13-year-old cousin, Pablo. It happens in every middle school across the country. The boys you once knew now greet you with a furry coating resembling the withering skin of a kiwi across their upper lip. And perhaps most cruelly, this fruit mold mustache will not grow. It never does. The fruit mold growth somehow stays, suspended between resembling dirty pores and chest hair. It will remain a shadowy abomination until it is finally, mercifully, shaved. Sorry, Sid.
This is the most common among Playoff Beards at this stage in the postseason. Unless one has a predilection towards hairiness, most players are rocking a Sonny Crockett-ish semi-beard. A quarter-to-half-inch bit of all over growth. Not enough to offend or inspire, but for the most part, it's a flattering look. And there are no better Crockett and Tubbs right now than Modano and Daley. They totally look like after the game, they throw on Italian sport coats, hop in a Testarossa, pick up alligator feed, and then bust some drug-runner ass. It's just a hint of beard, but it says so much. Just beware of making out with a Miami Vice face. It will cut your face up but good.
Also Seen On: About 90% of postseason players, Don Johnson.
This is the next stage past the "Miami Vice." This is when little distinction can be made between the eyebrows and the rest of the face. This is the beard of Henrik Zetterberg. To be fair, Zetterberg boasts a silly beard during the regular season, too. He usually manages to look like the unholy product of a threesome betwixt Martin Havlat, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, and Marjery the Trash Heap from "Fraggle Rock." Which is not to say that he isn't cute, just hairy. And like a Muppet. However, given free license, Zetterberg will be savoring a beard that lasts from navel to nose, and wraps around his back. Simply, every bit, save his eyes, is covered in a thick layer of Zetterbergian down. Disagree? Check him out in profile. I promise you that he's getting much of his daily protein from biting off split ends from the mustache that is clearly curling over his lips and into his mouth. This is the kind of beard one finds only on fallen political leaders hiding in underground bunkers with nothing but tattered copies of InTouch Weekly and a few cans of Sprite. But for Hank Zetterberg, this is probably only a few hours worth of growth. Note: You can make out with a ‘Zetterberg' till the cows come home, because it is long enough to braid out of your way.
There seems to be an alarming frequency of patchy beards this year. It's hard to know if this is because players are unable to grow a full beard, or if they are so nervous that they've scratched their complete beard away. This seems to be prevalent in Montreal, where blond Saku Koivu and Alexei Kovalev are working twin dark beards. Or in the case of Kovalev, a bandito-soul patch combo. Saku Koivu could tape cotton balls to his face and still look dreamy, so the strange growth patterns don't really effect him. But Kovalev looks like a carnival worker. The stringy blond hair coupled with the brown scraps all over his face evinces thoughts of cabbage smell and a rigged ring toss. Not a good look.
J.J. has had a phenomenal playoff run. His play is in direct contrast to the massacre that is his Playoff Beard. Is this some sort of tribute to Scott Speizio? Or Adnan Ghalib? Or Jenna Jameson's crotch? Does he think we miss Raffi Torres's facial hair so much that we need a replacement? When I first saw the beard-turd occupying Jaromir Jagr's chin, I actually rubbed my eyes to makes sure I was seeing correctly. He is actually walking around with a landing strip. On his chin! Is he brave for taking it out of the waxing room and onto the ice? Is this a subliminal clarion call to Britney Spears, asking for a date? Was this a calculated move to make his cheeks look even more round and rosy than usual? We may never know. We just want it gone.
Also Seen On: Ryan Hollweg (for his mustachioed marriage of Ron Jeremy and Al Swearengen), Marc-Andre Fleury (for the Jagr-esque tribute to the pubic region with his neatly-trimmed delta of soul patch).
Margee is the editor of SportSquee. "I'm also an Islanders fan, so I love lost causes."