Each sport has its own tradition. Some have many.
In hockey, when teams make the playoffs, the players grow “playoff beards.” National Hockey League players stop shaving when their team enters the playoffs and does not shave until the team is eliminated from the playoffs or wins the Stanley Cup.
Reports indicate that the New York Islanders started the tradition in the 1980s. The practice has grown and spread to other hockey leagues and to fans.
I am among them. When the Pittsburgh Penguins make the playoffs, I let my beard grow. I have not shaved for over 25 years. Never one to take things to an extreme, I don’t shave for the playoffs. I simply stop trimming my beard until Pittsburgh loses. That gives me a bit of a head start on some of the players, but as a fan, their guidelines do not fully apply to me.
The Penguins had a great season and entered this year’s chase for Lord Stanley’s Cup as one of the favorites. My beard grew as they progressed. I had hopes of not trimming until the Pens reclaimed the Cup. It did not happen.
Pittsburgh lost tonight. They left the playoffs, swept out by the Boston Bruins.
See you along the Trail.