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Playoff Beard Equivalent


Like many things for the Chicks, it started with social media. The Hockey Guys tweeted asking for female playoff beard equivalents and I replied that some of our writers were not going to shave their legs but I was hoping to find an alternative. Anthony of The Hockey Guys and I then set out to collaborate on something that would allow females to participate in the crazy hockey playoff traditions and superstitions.

Anthony: I started my playoff beard early this year. A week early to be precise. The team that I root for underneath it all were in a tough battle for playoff positioning down the stretch and since it was the equivalent to a playoff atmosphere I decided to treat it like one.

Fast forward into today. It might look natural but the discomfort that comes from actually growing a beard is annoying.  A man’s face gets very itchy at a certain stage, the one I personally like to call the in-between stage.  It is in-between scruffy and all out beard.  This is where the scratching and rough terrain of a male’s face becomes somewhat out of control.

However, when it comes to playoffs it comes to tradition. But let’s take a deeper look at this tradition shall we?  Over the years, more and more female fans have really taken a liking to the sport of hockey. Not only have they become true fans, they have become passionate ones.

It is great for both the sports as well as all the boys who follow the sport.  It could make for two people finding their actual soul mates.  But we will not get into that. 

What we can get into is, since men have the tradition and ability to grown facial hair what can women do in order to have a similar tradition, possibly one that we can even start on our own and get credit for?

Obviously, easier for males due to the fact that a beard is not frowned upon.  Therefore, we cannot have women going out in public with skirts or shorts or even capris on and showing a leg full of fur. I know it sounds like a battle of the sexes but women themselves have even stated it is not something they would want nor be comfortable doing.

A male and facial hair are accepted, leg hair on females, err….excessive leg hair on females is deemed inappropriate; unfortunately.

With the “Chicks Who Give a Puck” and “The Hockey Guys” attempting to team up to find a way where the girls can get involved on tradition, Anthony Curatolo and Courtney Beckham have sat down and come up with a new tradition. In order to do so, we had to take a look at not only the history of the playoff beard but the work that goes into it and what it represents.

The playoff beard started in hockey; while many other sports now use it as well the New York Islanders are credited with starting it in 1980 when they won the cup. The Islanders went on to win the cup three more times, back to back to back to back. Quite impressive. Since then hockey players and fans have taken to putting down the razor and focusing on the game. The idea is that one is so focused on the task at hand (winning) that personal hygiene takes a back seat. Wives and girlfriends had to silently suffer from the sandpaper effect Anthony calls the in-between beard. Fast forward almost twenty years and we find ourselves in a dilemma. What about female fans? What about our dedication to the sport, to our teams, and our following of superstitions?

Courtney: I started a list of things I could think of off the top of my head. Don’t shave legs. Nope, employer doesn’t allow facial hair on men, let alone letting women roam the hallways with Tarzan looking legs of fur. Don’t thread/tweeze/wax eyebrows. No thanks. Freida Pinto may have been able to pull this look off but this does not show the effort that men display when not shaving their face. This portrays a woman who is lazy or does not care about her personal appearance. Don’t thread/tweeze/wax upper lip. Nope. No one wants to look like a hot tranny mess. Don’t shave underarms. Negative. While French is the second language of hockey the hygiene habits have not carried over. Thank God. Kane is rocking a mullet, what about that? NO. While men can simply shave this off afterwards women are stuck either rocking the mullet or cutting their hair to a butchy length. Ew.

How about dying one’s hair or even a highlight or two? Of course there are the obvious setbacks, some of us (yours truly) have extremely dark hair. Dying or highlighting would consist of not only stripping the color but also dying the hair and finding the right color to do so. I support the Avalanche, so am I to put silver, blue and burgundy streaks in my hair? Maybe just burgundy (reddish) but any girl who has gotten highlights (or studies the color spectrum) knows that certain colors fade out faster than others, red being the fastest. So should a female hockey fan have to spend more money than a male hockey fan to show her loyalty? For me, highlighting my hair would cost a trip to the salon ($120) plus color tinted conditioner ($15) and once the playoffs are over dying my hair back ($120). Hardly seems fair.

What about facial paint, jewelry, outfits, etc? No, no and no. Facial paint isn’t practical or logical for ladies who work (or stay at home for that matter.) Jewelry can be bought, taken off at night, and has no significance for loyalty to one’s team. Outfits? While we all know most women love to shop spending hundreds to thousands during this economy is not only financially illogical but impractical for going to work decked out in hockey paraphernalia. Some fans have suggested wearing the same pair of underwear for each game. Washing only while showering or after the game. While it is completely revolting to me (and if you were honest to you too) it defeats the point of what we are trying to do: Find a female equivalent to the playoff beard in discomfort & be something that can be seen (not smelt.)

What about painting one’s nails the team colors without allowing touch-ups or removing of the polish? Men are not allowed to trim or touch up their beards, they get scraggly and disgusting looking but it’s a part of the process & showing loyalty to one’s team. The showmanship works, the alternating colors (team colors) work because it will make people ask why they are painted that way. How about the discomfort? While some females would find nail polish chipping and looking sloppy to be uncomfortable many men would find this easier than what they have to deal with for playoff beards.

So what are classy, kick-butt, hockey loving females to do? Our suggestion? Females should either change their hair (highlights/dye) or use their nails to show dedication. Why are we discounting jewelry, undergarments, etc? Part of the tradition of hockey is the beard, a beard is a natural occurance, the body naturally grows hair. The tradition for women should encompass the same foundation, something that our body naturally does. Nails & hair grow. Undergarments and jewelry were man-made, synthetic, must be purchased. Both can be taken off, whereas the beard is not taken off. While nailpolish and hair dye can also be taken off and out the steps necessary to do so are similar to that of taking off a beard, it includes grooming. 

Are you a female hockey fan? If you are doing our suggested playoff tradition or another one all your own send pictures to chickswhogiveapuckATgmailDOTcom or to The Hockey Guys’ Anthony at achockeyguysATgmailDOTcom. Check out their site at www.thehockeyguys.net

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Categories: NHL, Playoffs
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