Playoff time means one thing: playoff beards. It’s superstition and tradition. Fans do it all the time. Players definitely do it, most commonly in hockey. The NHL postseason lasts for what seems like months too, those beards get real aggressive real fast. I’ve never done this before (probably because I’ve been accustomed to watching playoff sports with no rooting interest aka my teams stink). Whether I want to do this or not is irrelevant because I am doing it. I decided this weeks ago, it’s the right thing to do. It doesn’t make me any more of a fan, and conversely it doesn’t make any non-participants any less of a fan. I would prefer if everyone joins me, however, so I don’t have to look like an asshole all by myself. And for anyone unfamiliar with the superstitious practice that is the Playoff Beard, like myself, I’ve done extensive research to learn some of the widely followed rules and regulations. Here’s a list of some policies with my own two cents too.
- The playoff beard growing commences as soon as the regular season ends. Apparently this is a common miscommunication; I’ll admit I thought the beard growing began on the day of the first playoff game. Wrong. That means on Sunday, October 4th, after we deliver the finishing blow, the Coup De Grace if you will, to the Crashionals, your beard has begun. The first playoff game isn’t until Friday, October 9th, but the beard begins after that final regular season pitch. Me personally, I have to shave every 5 days or so before I start getting super itchy, which means at first pitch of Game 1, I’ll be at optimal itchiness. Not looking forward to it, but I imagine at a certain point the itchiness goes away.
- Once you commit, you commit. This has to be the most important rule of them all. It’s been said that in their intended form, playoff beard should not be maintained in any way. No trimming, no sculpting. That goes for the mustache just as much as the beard; also, no haircuts either. I suppose if you want to dye it or style it some weird way, that’s your prerogative, but I’m going all naturale. It’s going to smell, and children will undoubtedly be scared. I’m going to leave my house as little as possible to avoid human encounter altogether. My neck already itches just thinking about it, but I’m psyched because I have playoff fever.
- There are no exceptions. A wedding is not an excuse to shave. Persistent tormenting from friends and family is not an excuse either. A funeral is no excuse to shave. They’re dead…what do they care? Plus, God has an awesome beard. He’ll explain when the dearly departed arrive at the pearly gates.
- The beard is eliminated when the team is eliminated. It actually would be perfect timing; you don’t wanna watch the other team celebrate on TV, so ridding yourself of that monstrosity on your face should be top priority. It should be ceremonial. Shaving cream and tears. Not sure what the policy states if your team wins it all, hopefully I’ll have to provide an update a month from now.
It’s going to be a long, arduous journey, so buckle up. Figure out a way to make it work. Nobody is going to like it aside from true fans and/or people also participating. My mother may evict me. My girlfriend will probably resent me for it; she already knows by the way, I told her what the deal was and she had no say in the matter. Surprisingly she wasn’t too upset, but I have a hunch that will change.