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Best of the Web: Week of May 18-25

by Peter Pupello / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Beard Is Weird…

Ever heard that expression “the beard is weird” ??

Well, apparently the heralded heap of hair that often adorns one’s face isn’t any more strange than its very own eating habits and exercise routine. In fact, it’s quite less.

What exactly do I mean?

The facial forests currently masking the appearance of Norfolk Admirals defensemen Radko Gudas and Scott Jackson, as well as forward Eric Neilson, have seemingly taken on lives of their own.

They eat, they drink, they bathe (sort of) and they even work out. If any of this at all sounds even the least bit ridiculous, it’s because it is. But it’s also for a very worthy cause.

Several Admirals are growing “playoff” beards to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and to join the fight against pediatric cancer. They plan on buzzing them off following the conclusion of the Calder Cup Finals. I use the term “playoff” loosely because rumor has it that both Jackson and Neilson began growing theirs around Christmas time. But I digress…

Moving on, approximately 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. It is the number one disease-killer of children in the United States and Canada. St. Baldrick's Foundation primarily raises money through head-shaving events in unity with children who typically lose their hair during cancer treatments. Through these events, volunteers discover the power they have to bring hope to children around the world.

I’m pretty sure this isn’t what folks mean when they describe sports teams as having their own individual personalities, but for some reason, I don’t exactly think this one gets lost too often in translation. See for yourself here:

Rock The Vote…

Remember that Seinfeld episode where Kramer starts the J. Peterman Reality Bus Tour, where in reality, J. Peterman is real, but his stories are not, except in the sense that they really didn’t happen to the real J. Peterman, which in reality is really Kramer?

In case you missed it, George Costanza does a pretty good job of breaking it down here:

Where is this going exactly?

It appears as if New York Islanders center John Tavares is apparently taking a similar approach to land himself on the cover of the EA Sports NHL 13 video game.

But not the real John Tavares, just his avatar.

Judging from this photo, Tavares (or rather just some savvy computer programmer) and a supporting cast of NHL stars digital representations that includes PK Subban, Patrick Sharp, our very own Steven Stamkos, and Jeff Skinner, has launched a campaign to rock the vote for Tavares.

Imagine that, an incumbent actually fully endorsing another candidate with no ulterior motive fueled by personal or political gain. Barack Obama might be on his way out, but maybe he was on to something. Maybe there really is hope for America.

Upon my most recent glance, Tavares was still trailing in the number of votes, but it was nonetheless a good move on his part in my opinion, finagling the support of the NHL’s leading goal scorer. Then again, Shane Falco has a point here. Oh the possibilities…

And I don’t know about you, but didn’t the above picture of the Tavares ‘Rock The Vote’ Bus Tour remind you of something eerily familiar?

Call Me Maybe reference, for the win!…

Namestnikov In The Middle…

Bolts prospect Vladislav Namestnikov has already made headlines for helping lead the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League to this year’s Memorial Cup.

But get this, rather than relying on the ever-popular and terribly unoriginal superstition of the playoff beard, Namestnikov decided to be innovative and grow out the hair on his head rather than his face.

Man, doesn’t he look a lot like…

Yup, you guessed it, the deep run by the Knights in the postseason has apparently caused Vlad to channel his inner Steven Stamkos and his outward affinity for long flowing blonde locks.

Really makes you wonder if Eric Neilson and Scott Jackson (above) had anything to do with that do. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they’re up-to-date on all the latest men’s grooming techniques and haircare products. But I don’t need to tell you that, just check out this visual representation of one of their client testimonials.

Hats Jerseys Off To The Blades…

This past week, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s ECHL affiliate, the Florida Everblades, won the Kelly Cup in seemingly uncontested fashion (there’s a pun here that you’ll see in a minute) by defeating the Las Vegas Wranglers four games-to-one.

A great on-ice accomplishment indeed, seeing all of the terrific success that the Lightning’s minor-league affiliates are enjoying this season.

Let’s just chock it up to say that the Everblades have come a long way from the days of wearing these….and these….and these.

Until Next Time…

Sad to say that’ll do it for the week of May 18-25, so please check back next week when we unveil our most recent findings. As always, if you spot any Tampa Bay Lightning coverage throughout the week, feel free to Tweet a link over to @TBLightning!

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