Hockey in the spring...the time when the post-season begins, temperatures rise (providing prime conditions for Slush Balls at the Phone Booth), and playoff beards make their annual appearance 'round the NHL.
No one has put together an in-depth statistical analysis on the effectiveness of growing a beard for the playoffs, but it always seems to be the thing to do, because, well, it's the thing to do.
Traditionally, playoff beards have been about heavy doses of superstition with orders of team unity and testosterone-fueled camaraderie on the side.
But this year, the Capitals want you to sprout hair follicles like springtime flowers, and thus making "their" team include "your" team so we all can say "our" team...or something like that, as related by Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog.
With their Beard-A-Thon, the Caps hope to unite fans, and media members alike (such as the beardy bros at Comcast Sports Net), in their quest for the Stanley Cup. Oh, they also want to use their pogonological social experiment to raise money for Caps Care, the team's nonprofit organization.
Unable to participate? Don't worry, if you're a dude who can't quite swing a luscious face of hair, or if you're a lady who can't bring yourself to cancel the upper lip waxing appointment, there are other options. You can sponsor a friend, or create some sort of fake online beard, which the girl in the generic jersey, not in Caps colors, seems primed to do.
So kiss the wife and/or girlfriend for one last time, toss out the 13-blade razor, and get ready to store some extra morsels of food in case you get hungry later. The Caps intend on being in the playoffs for the duration and your face might not see the light of day until late May.