Arts & Culture

Jews And Hockey Players: Brothers In Beards

Beards: they’re mostly for Jews and hockey players again. Read More

By / May 3, 2011
Jewcy loves trees! Please don't print!

Spring might not seem like the best time of the year to grow thick and scratchy facial hair; and that is probably why people seem to have no issue with cleaning up their punims as of late.  Last night Will Ferrell shaved Conan O’Brien’s red beard off, and then there’s the guy who finally got rid of his ten-year-old masterpiece that he swore he’d grow until Osama bin Laden was caught or killed.  I’m sure his wife was pleased, but this leads me to wonder: has the cultural fascination with beards has finally died down?

For two groups it certainly hasn’t: Jews and hockey players.  This is the time of year when shaving cream companies see a dip in sales from these two demographics.  While the stereotypical picture of an Orthodox Jew usually comes with a beard and hat (obviously not always the case), we’re in the middle of counting the Omer, the time when Jews are commanded not to shave their beards.  So maybe you notice a few of your friends are a bit fuzzier than usual (maybe they’re doing it as part of our Omerathon).  I’m going to say that there is a good chance that either they’re Jewish, or that they’re growing along with their favorite NHL team — to keep with a tradition started in the 1970s by the New York Islanders that essentially commands players not to shave until their team wins the Stanley Cup or gets knocked out of the playoffs (whichever comes first).

Jews and hockey don’t share the same relationship as Jews and other major North American sports do, but maybe this is the common bond that brings these two groups together?   I say that it’s time we reevaluate that relationship, and we start with the common appreciation of beards in the springtime then work from there.