Why do NHL players grow beards?
The National Hockey League is a premier professional ice hockey league with 23 clubs franchised in the US and 7 in Canada. The most important league trophy is the Stanley Cup, which is awarded to the champion of the league playoffs annually.
Sports can involve a lot of superstition. For instance, in some sports – basketball being one example – socks are considered lucky, and a player will sometimes continue to play with only a single pair of lucky socks through all the games. In a similar way, members of the national hockey league have a superstition regarding beards.
The playoff beard is basically a practice in which national hockey league players refuse to shave off their beards during the matches for the Stanley Cup. The practice started with the New York Islanders in the 1980s and since then has become somewhat of a ritual. It has spread to other teams and it is now used even by high school hockey teams.
According to its adherents, the practice promotes a feeling of teamship. It is also meant to serve as a reminder â€“ every day, when the team player wakes up in the morning, he sees the beard and is reminded of the importance of what they’re all fighting for.
The practice has spilled over into other sports including basketball, baseball, American football, soccer and tennis. It has also affected spectators, with fans growing beards to show support when their favorite teams are in the finals or semi-finals.
Other ways in which hair has been used to show support includes instances of sportsmen styling mohawks or other specific styles for luck. Outside of sports, no-shave November, also known as â€˜movember’ has been used to promote men’s health and create awareness for prostate cancer. In this event, both men and women refrain from shaving or otherwise removing hair from their face (or upper lip) for the whole month.