Male grooming

The Playoff Beard

At the time of the NFL Playoffs we take a look at sporting beards past and present.
Brett Keisel. Credit: Jeffrey Beall

With sports across the globe reaching what hackneyed pundits refer to as the ‘business end’ of the season,  one particular annual ritual which always pleases those with an interest in sport and amusing facial hair is the tradition of the Playoff Beards.

The Playoff Beard originally started as a tradition among players in the National Hockey League, particularly players from the New York Islanders.

The idea behind the Playoff Beard is that teams attempting to win either the Stanley Cup (in the NHL) or the Super Bowl (in the NFL) grow beards as a sign of commitment to their cause and also for luck. They won’t shave until either they win or lose their chosen competition.

The Textbook Playoff Beard

Take a look at this textbook example of a Playoff Beard grown by Pittsburgh Steelers defender Brett Keissel last year. It worked pretty well as Keissel’s team made it all the way to last year’s Super Bowl but were unfortunately pipped at the post by the Green Bay Packers. Brett Keissel’s beard is now so famous that it’s even got over 35,000 fans on Facebook.

NFL Beards to look out for this year

With NFL’s playoffs approaching there climax, here are a couple of beards that we approved of so far from this year:

Ed Reed. Credit: Keith Allison

Ed Reed’s Full Beard

The Baltimore Ravens are renowned for their fearsome defense and the beard sported by Cornerback Ed Reed is every bit as fearsome. Although Reed’s beard has been an ever present for the last couple of seasons, Baltimore’s Super Bowl charge was surely aided by his Full Beard form.  If you want to get a beard like Ed’s then check out of the ‘How To’ tab on the Philips Male Grooming site.

Joe Flacco’s Fu Manchu

After he grew a textbook Playoff Beard last year, this year the Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback opted for a much more daring look, the Fu Manchu. When asked about his mustache Flacco said: "It's getting late in the year and we wanted to have fun with something ... and break up the monotony a little bit. Last year, I grew a beard, and this year, I just decided to do this."

We’re all for self-express in these parts so if you fancy having a go at growing a Fu Manchu of your own then look here for a few tips.

Wes Welker. Credit: the_junes

Wes Welker’s HorseShoe

The New England Patriot’s talented wide receiver Wes Welker is renowned for two things; his lightning fast speed on the field and now his new iconic Horseshoe Playoff Mustache. Afterall, if you’re growing a mustache for luck then what better shape to choose than the lucky horseshoe? Wes Welker’s horseshoe mustache was already legendary among New England Patriots, but how could he better such an iconic piece of facial hair? How about with matching symmetrical body hair. If you’re brave enough to try Wes’ style then try here for some tips.

Tom Brady’s 5’O Clock Shadow

The New England Patriots’ golden boy quarterback is usually renowned for a clean shaven look that’s as smooth as his passing, however when the playoffs come around, Tom Terrific, as he’s known to his fans opts for a more battle-hardened stubble look. Here’s how to get the look.

If you’re a sports fan who wants to show their support of their team in facial hair for them why not give the Playoff Beard a try?

Getting the Look

Here’s a quick How to guide on getting the look:

1. Don’t Shave

2. Shave only once your team has been knocked out of a competition, or even better wins.

However, if like Chicago Blackhawks hockey player Patrick Kane, you struggle with growing sufficient hair to create a credible Playoff Beard  then why not try growing a playoff mullet like he did.

Are you planning to grow a Playoff Beard in support of your team this year? Who do you think has the best facial hair in sport today? Do you think Tom Brady’s stuble and Wes Welker’s mo’ will help them win SuperBowl XLVI?