They say that the Masters golf tournament, played last weekend in Augusta, Georgia, is ‘a tradition unlike any other.’
And don’t get me wrong, the Masters is must see TV the first weekend of every April. However, I’ll show you an even better tradition – the hockey playoff beard.
What began with the New York Islanders dynasty during the early 1980s quickly spread throughout the National Hockey League. As the 2010 playoffs commence Wednesday evening, the playoff beard is now as much a symbol of the postseason as the Stanley Cup.
In conjunction with the beginning of the playoffs, the Mario Lemieux Foundation is once again sponsoring the Beard-A-Thon to raise money for the charity.
Penguins Hall of Fame owner Mario Lemieux will be “growing one for the team” for the second consecutive postseason. This year he will be joined by FSN reporter Dan Potash.
“I told the guys we have to go to the Final now,” Potash joked.
Fans can pledge their support to Lemieux, Potash or one of their friends by logging onto www.beardathon.com/penguins
Fans are also encouraged to upload freshly-shaven pictures of themselves onto the Beard-A-Thon site, where they too can have family and friends pledge support.
Anybody who does decide to join in the contest should expect to receive quite a challenge from Potash.
"I hope to raise money for a great cause even though fans will get to see the GRAY in my beard in FSN high definition,” Potash said. “I don't think I can grow one that will challenge Billy Gibbons or Dusty Hill from ZZ Top...though Pascal Dupuis
and Max Talbot can give them a run for their money! So vote for all of us!"
While the star of the Penguins’ between-period interviews said he intends to not trim his beard until the Penguins’ playoff run ends, he did allow for some minor tweaking.
“I have to touch up the grey a bit from time-to-time,” Potash said. “Me and Billy Guerin can have a grey-beard competition.”