Sunday, April 13, 2008


First of all my apologies for being less prolific of late. I'm on the left Coast. Back soon and all will be explained.

Additional apologies for the glitches that some members of the Infamous Writers Hockey Pool experienced in the first days of the playoffs. The original access codes I sent you are now operative. And since I'm also in distant last place as the first week ends, there's proof for the conspiracy theorists that no funny business was going on.

However -- now that the first great playoff tradition (The Pool) is underway, it's time to participate in the 2nd great tradition. This one you can share with the players you're watching. Because they're doing it too. Yes, it's time to grow your playoff beard.

The tradition of the playoff beard in hockey is long and storied. Initially, they were a simple convenience for players whose faces were scraped, chipped or covered with stitches from the rigors of the marathon of competition that is the Stanley Cup. You see, in the old straight razor days, shaving had a tendency of opening stitches or re-tearing old wounds. So players simply stopped.

Initially, the "suit and tie" establishment of the NHL opposed the process, but in time, they came to see it as something they couldn't legislate. In time, the beard evolved to become a personal record of just how far you'd made it in the Cup run.

And thus, the hockey beard became a symbol of survival, a hirsute record of one's tenacity and accomplishment.

This year, Molson's, the Canadian brewer most closely associated with hockey, is offering fans the opportunity to grow their own Playoff beard -- whether or not they are capable of growing one in real life.

Simply go here and upload a photograph. The scientists at Molson will then magically add facial hair on a daily basis, so as the playoffs progress, your beard will begin to rival those of the players you're following.

You can then post your beard on Facebook, your own blog or send them here and we'll reveal them to the world.

Enjoy your Sunday -- and don't worry, the Legion will be back soon.

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