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Rick Ross: This Beard is the Boss

November 4, 2012

HAPPY NO SHAVE NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!

Today we celebrate the beard of rap artist Rick Ro$$.  No doubt this beard is hustlin’ every day. Rick Ross styles my favorite beard look: the big guy beard. Rick Ross’  size lets people know that he’s a man that indulges in the finer things in life… often, and what better way to complement that than a big burly beard. Rick Ross is straight up gansta, and his beard embodies his thug life style. He wants people to know that he spits rhymes, makes bills, and don’t take no shit from no body. Let me tell you folks, the beard says all of that and more. It’s a burly son of a gun and powerful, it makes itself known and leaves a lasting image in your mind. Simply put, Rick Ross’ beard is an unstoppable force that is not to be reckoned with. He often refers to himself as Rick Ross “the boss” and I truly believe his beard is what puts him at boss status/ His song “Hold Me Back” says it all. (if you haven’t seen the music video for this i highly suggest it, Rick hardly wears a shirt, always wears a beard, and doesn’t give a fuck,. ( I have the video posted at the bottom). I can’t say I listen to the man’s music too much, but he’ll always my respect thanks to his powerful beard, and for that, we salute you!

Video for “Hold Me Back”

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George Lucas: A Long, Long Time Ago In a Beard Far Away…

November 3, 2012

HAPPY NO SHAVE NOVEMBER!!!!

Today we salute film legend, George Lucas. George is most well-known for his creation of the space opera Star Wars. A creative mastermind ,he has given us one of the most sensational and incredible movie sagas of all time. Who would have thought from one beard could come so many great ideas. Recently his beard sold the rights of Star Wars to Disney and claimed that he will donate 4.05 billion of his new earnings to a Disney foundation focused on education; that’s quite a generous beard if you ask me. But what impresses me the most is George’s unwavering support for the beards. Try to find a picture of Lucas without a beard; those pictures are few and far between.  Lucas’ masterpiece “Star Wars Episode IV:A New Hope” was released in 1977 and even then we see his beard at the age of 33, so to my count he has been consistently wearing a beard for 53 years, not including the years before ’77 that I can’t be certain of. George’s Star Wars series is certainly an artistic masterpiece but if you ask me his beard is even better and for that, we salute you.

Sergio Romo: The Breaking Ball Beard

November 1, 2012

HAPPY NO SHAVE NOVEMBER!!!!

November seems like it can never come too soon and always leaves too fast. I’m looking forward to another month of breathtaking beards to share with you all, so lets waste no time and get to the action. To start out the month I give you the beard of the 2012 World Champion San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Sergio Romo. Just two years ago I was kicking the beard of the day blog off with Brian Wilson after his all-star performance in the World Series, and here we are again, same story different beard. You’ll notice a lot of similarities between Wilson’s and Romo’s beards. Both long and jet black, and both seem to continually grow downwards like a wall of hair protecting their chin and neck from impending danger. Now I don’t want to jump the gun here but it seems like San Fran baseball has caught onto something… beards = championships. Correct me if I’m wrong but the two most imposing beards in the MLB are both on the SF Giants roster and they both have 2 World Series championships under their belt,  coincidence? You be the judge. All I know is that I don’t want anyone to tell me that they can’t grow a beard in the bay area.  Sergio rocks the beard well but he has received some heat for the shirt he wore to the Giants’ victory parade, which read, “I Just Look Illegal” (referring to his Mexican heritage). The only thing that Sergio looks to me is fantastic. That beard oozes confidence and embodies everything that makes a fantastic playoff beard. The sheer size and color make this beard worthy of the list. I’m sure just looking into Romo’s beard is enough to rattle a batter. It’s so dark and big that it’s like looking into a black hole. Once you step up to bat you get lost in the mystery and grandeur that is Romo’s beard and before you know it the ump is yelling,  “Strike 3, you’re out!” Even you can get a hit, anything that comes within a 5 foot radius of Romo’s face is going to get sucked right into his beard, and for those of you keeping score at home, that’s an out. I just hope he keeps a clear enough head during what should be a fun-filled and relaxing off-season to realize that he needs to keep that beard. There is no doubt in my mind that Sergio Romo  reigns triumphant not only baseball diamond but the strasosphere of beards and for that, we salute you!

Each NHL Team’s Biggest Character: Montreal Canadiens: P.K. Subban

June 5, 2012

Pernell Karl (P.K.) Subban of the Montreal Canadiens was an easy choice for their biggest character. The native Canadian was selected 43rd overall in the 2007 NHL entry draft. Subban made a big splash in the AHL playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs (The Canadiens minor league affiliate) his first year there his first year there. He was voted onto the AHL’s all-rookie team and even won the President’s Trophy (award given to the player with the most outstanding accomplishments that season). When the Canadiens made it into the playoffs in 2010 they called up their best minor league players for reserves during the playoffs and where Subban made a name for himself. In his first NHL playoff game Subban recorded an assist, not too shabby considering they were playing the number one seed in the NHL. The 8th seed Canadiens managed to defeat the 1st seed Capitals as well as the 4th seed Penguins next round but lost to Philly in the Conference Finals. Over these 14 games he recorded 8 points and became the third rookie defenceman in Canadiens’ history to register three assists in one game. Not spectacular but exactly what you need to guarantee yourself a starting spot on the squad next year. Indeed Subban managed to secure a full time spot in the Habs (nickname for the Canadiens)  lineup as well as spot in the eyes of Canadiens and hockey fans alike. PK’s style of play is aggressive to say the least and as a rookie he wanted people to know he meant business from the get-go. He managed to  throw some sauce, light the lamp a decent amount, and create a highlight reel of bone-shattering hits that the fans love to see. Subban’s style of play is good, but, if he manages to refine his style an continue to grow as a player he has the potential to be one of the elite defensemen in the league. But talent and potential weren’t what caught everyone’s attention, it was his “don’t take shit from anyone” mentality and attitude that made people tune in. Subban has been labeled as cocky, disrespectful, arrogant, reckless and dangerous by those who have played against him. He came in and showed zero respect for those he played against. He would antagonize and trash talk anyone including  his own teammates (Tomas Pleckanec in January), but I have to admit I loved watching him get under Crosby’s skin. He is a young guy who doesn’t show much respect for his elders and a lot of people take offense to that. His biggest gripe against him is being way too cocky but PK doesn’t seem to mind, he says that people are just confusing confidence with cockiness. Whether you like him or hate him, you can’t deny that his personality brings an extra element to the game which makes his matchups that much better to watch. But that’s not to say that he’s a bad guy, he brings a ton of positive energy to his team and his teammates love having him because he’s a fun guy. During the most recent all-star game he gave to fans in Raleigh, North Carolina a good laugh when he chose to take the ice for the shootout competition wearing hometown favorite Jeff Skinner’s jersey and giving the crowd a good laugh.. You can also see P.K.’s lighthearted side with his relationship with teammate and Canadiens’ goalie Carey Price. After wins Price and Subban will display what they call the “triple-low five” shown here

All in all Subban is an extremely fun player to watch if you like him, and extremely aggravating if you don’t. P.K. is still young and he needs to channel his skill and physicality to a more well-rounded style of play. If he can manage to do that, we might have a hall-of-famer on our hands in P.K. Subban. 

Each NHL Team’s Biggest Character: Minnesota Wild: Cal Clutterbuck

March 28, 2012

Alright my Minnesotans, you’re up! Few expansion teams have seen as much financial and fan success as the Minnesota Wild, but why wouldn’t they, it’s the Hockey State! (not officially or anything but whatever) They haven’t had many faces that have stood out since their inception; Backstrom and Koivu has probably been the franchises two biggest faces but in the 2008-09 a man named Cal Clutterbuck got called up to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and never so much as gave the Huston Aeros a wave goodbye. Clutterbuck was immediately embraced by the fans and earned himself a great spot at the Xcel Energy Center. Clutterbuck is an extremely exciting player to watch. His physical game is a huge driving force for his team’s blue-collar style of hockey. Clutterbuck is ferocious all over the ice and isn’t afraid of anyone. He’ll hit you, hit you, hit you and just for the hell of it hit you again, an absolute wrecking ball out there because he’s constantly throwing his body around the ice. He pumps out more hits than Lady Gaga and Drake combined and more he’s got more blocks than a brand new box of LEGOs. As a matter of fact, in the 2008-09 season (his first full season in the NHL, mind you) he broke Drew Doughty’s record for most hits in a season by tallying 356 himself (the previous record was 311). But it’s not like he’s got a god-given gift of size, standing at 5’11” and 215lbs. he’s not the biggest guy on the ice. Maybe it’s a little bit of a Napoleon Complex for being under 6′ tall, but whatever it is don’t stop, Cal! It’s safe to say that Clutterbuck is a very versatile player, he not only fights and hits but he’s been known to tally some point last season he had 19 goals, 15 assists totaling for 34 points. Not by any means all-star numbers but for his style of play (which every team needs) he doesn pretty darn well. And while Cal’s play on the ice is fun to watch it’s his persona that makes him a fan favorite.

NHL commentator Don Cherry once said that Cal Clutterbuck has “the prototypical hockey player name”, and I have to agree. It’s not too short or long, it’s alliterative and it just flows off the tongue, doesn’t it? It’s a name that doesn’t lose it touch no matter how many times you say it. Clutterbuck sounds like either two things to me: either 1) A really dirty word that has yet to be defined in the English language or 2) some kind of mythical horse (i.e. grab me my Clutterbuck and lets ride!). No matter how you feel about the guy I think we can all agree he has an awesome name. But what’s even more awesome than his name is his hair. I have never seen anyone wet and perfectly comb their hair with a side part before warm ups. It’s hilarious, he looks so distinguished out there among the rest of the hockey goons. I just wrote a whole post on how flow is the hockey hair most envied, but I would put Classy Cal Clutterbuck’s side part right on the same level as some nice flow. Great name, great hair, great hits, what more could you want out of this guy? Answer: great facial hair. Clutterbuck’s moustache is beginning to gain some respect around the league. It sits above his upper lip like the guardian of his face. No one is exempt from the physical punishment he doles out on the ice, if you get in Cal’s way he WILL hit you. Cal doesn’t need to say this of course because he lets his moustache do the talking, just one look at it and you realize that it, like Cal, is stern… stern but fair.Sometime he gives us a gift and allows the stache to grow down giving us a handlebar moustache. The handlebar screams badass and unlike his normal stache, the handlebar takes no prisoners, so get out of the way. If you’re interested in following his moustache on twitter you can find it at @ClutterStache, it’s quite hilarious.

In short, Cal’s intimidating yet versatile style of play, his great hair and stache combo and his interesting and fun to say name make him the Minnesota Wild’s biggest character.

Each NHL Team’s Biggest Character: Los Angeles Kings: Anže Kopitar

March 27, 2012

Anze Kopitar: The Obscene Slovene. One of the premier players in the NHL today he dangled and deked his way to a starting spot with the LA Kings. He was practically born into hockey, Anze’s father, Matjaz, played for the Slovenian National Team and used to build him an ice rink in their back yard and he would go out there whenever possible, you can’t keep this guy off the ice. But the only love he has more than hockey is his family. He said that his dad is his biggest hero and his best friend is his little brother. In fact, after his first year in the NHL he moved his entire family out from Slovenia out to California, what a nice guy. He is just one of two Slovene players in the league (along with Jan Mursak of the Red Wings). He is also one of the only players in the league to wear a black tinted visor, but why wouldn’t he? Kopitar’s facial structure, namely his eyes, rivals that of the unfortunate looking Steve Buscemi, so can you really blame him for wanting to cover up? He is kind of quiet but that ok, because I feel the Kings are a team that never really make  too much noise. What’s really makes Anze a character is his ability and skill on the ice.  He won the Calder award his rookie year and has maintained his skills since. The LA Kings are an interesting team, they really haven’t had a superstar or a staying player that has defined their franchise since Wayne Gtretzky left, Luc Robataille had that chance but the few times he left and the cup he won in another city gave up his opportunity. Kopitar has the opportunity to become that player, should LA continue to resign him and should his style of play and skill continue to maintain its current state, he could potentially have a permanent home and loving relationship with LA and its fans. He has the potential to remain in LA and have his jersey retired someday and I hope he does so.

Anze is one of the top scoring players in the NHL since he has entered and you might be asking how he manages to do that. His hands are a soft as a fresh loaf of bread and he makes every single move look so easy. If you watch his highlight reel it seems like he’s doing everything at half speed because it all flows together so well. There is almost never nd stuttering or break in his movement. He slides the puck around in the tightest of spots and makes it seem like he has an entire 747 hangar to move in. Check it out 

One word to describe his game: effortless. Not because he doesn’t put any in, but that the way he makes it look. LA hasn’t seen a player with this much individual skill since Gretzky. Kopitar has the potential to be a resounding name in the city of Angels and we hope he gets there and thats what makes him the LA Kings biggest character.

An Ode to the Flow: Hockey Hair through the Years

March 27, 2012

Flow noun: Long, wavy or curly hair on a hockey player that can be seen moving in the air as the player skates down the ice (coming from the term long, “flowing” hair).

Flow is an unwirtten and highly admired object of desire in the world of Ice Hockey. It’s prevalence can be seen throughout the years in the NHL and hockey world in general. Hair without restrictions, free to flow wherever it pleases defining players over decades of hockey. But flow was not always what it is today, in fact, it used to be quite different.

Ice hockey was seen in its earliest forms during the middle ages in Scandinavia as a game played with a curved stick and a ball on ice. So we know right away where hockey gets its incredible roots in flow from, historically the Vikings had some of the best long flowing hair in the history of the world. Lets fast forward a few hundred years to a more civilized society. Hockey in its first official organized form was started in late 19th century. So all you Canada haters out there, don’t say they never gave us anything. Hockey began to gain some appreciation and in 1917 the NHL was formed. The flow in the early days of the NHL was defined by hair a few inches long, above the ears, and with massive side and middle parts until about the 1950s as demonstrated  by Montreal Canadien, Toe Blake (all pictures of players for this post are in a slideshow down at the end of the post). In these times flow was certainly interesting but everyone had the same hairstyle. It was very hard to distinguish yourself, but then times began to change. The 1960s were an experimental time in North America in regards to lifestyles, fashion and other “recreational activities” we’ll call them. Men began wearing their hair longer in many walks of life and this was no exception in the NHL. As the 60s transitioned into the 70s we began seeing players like Phil Esposito, Bob Nystrom, and Guy Lafleur setting standards for flow. he sported long, flowing hair that waved in the crisp rink air as they strided and glided up and down the ice. We even saw the emergence and image of flow being reinforced in Hollywood with the release of the 1977 film Slap Shot. The Hanson Brothers helped shape the image of the hockey goon, but more unnoticed than that they set the bar for flow extremely high. The freedom and uninhibited styles of flow  were very representative of that time. The rules weren’t nearly as strict as the are today and less equipment meant more space on the ice and room to move freely, just as their hair remained liberated and unrestricted to move as it pleased. Yes, hockey flow seemed to be unstoppable and the trademark look for hockey players everywhere.

As the 70s gave way to the 80s terror struck. The NHL made a ruling that starting in the 1979-1980 season players who signed contracts after June 1, 1979 were required to wear helmets. How was the image of hockey players having long flowing hair supposed to stay in tact when they are now required to wear a piece of equipment that covers your hair. The 70s were unabashed and long hair was encouraged, but in an attempt to clean up their acts men in the 80s began cutting their hair shorter and styling it in goofy ways (i.e. flock of seagulls haircut). And yet again we saw the hairstyles of the time being reflected in the NHL. Players began wearing a plethora of moronic looking helmets. Instead of free-flowing hair that made players look like gods of the ice rink they began to look like crash test dummies and robots designed by the nerds from your local Jr. High School’s AV club. In fact the old cooper helmets were used as a part of the standard costume in the movie TRON to help represent people and programs with in the computer’s mainframe. With more young players entering the league, the more helmets we saw, the less flow we saw. A few players attempted to keep flow alive namely The Great One, Wayne Gretzky. But the look of hair popping out the back of the helmet was too before its time. It’s safe to saw the 80s were a dark time for flow due mostly to the helmet. But what are hockey players known best for? Their grit. The hockey world grit their teeth (or at least the players who had teeth) and stuck it out till the 90s where flow returned to glory.

The resurgence of flow had to come on strong with the helmet now in play and to say that flow came on strong in the dirty 90s is an understatement. Grunge was taking over and mullets were at an all time high. Needless to say, long hair was back… WITH A VENGEANCE BABY! The 90s said, “If helmets prevent flow from occurring on the top of the head then we’ll just have our’s come out the back!” The flow game was totally reinvented. Instead of flow being on the top of one’s head, it had now migrated out the back of the helmet. Flow now looked like an extension of the helmet and, in some cases, of the Jersey. With flow players like Chris Simon, Mike Ricci (who looked an awful lot like Steve Zahn with long hair) and Al Iafrate were rocking in the 90s it was not enough to say they had flow. Ney, they had OVER-flow, too much hair to handle. The crazy flow these guys had you would have thought they were front men for their own heavy metal band! Their flow dragged down so far that you couldn’t even read the names and numbers on their jerseys. But none came close in comparison to the flow of Jaromir Jagr, the holy grail of flow AND mullets. Jagr wore an absolute mane of beautiful black hair during the 90s. His flow alone is enough to send him to the hockey hall of fame and to win a Billy Ray Cyrus look alike contest. So to the men of the 90s, thank you for keeping the flow alive.

As we entered into the new millennium players began to clean up their acts a bit and cut their hair shorter. Chris Simon shaved his head and Jagr cut the mullet. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact players were beginning to look too scummy and shorter hair was a breath of fresh air. Jeremy Roenick rocked some great flow in 90s alongside Ryan Smyth and Anson Carter (who showed us that the 2000s had all the elements of awesome flow but looked much more clean and controlled. Except Michal Handzus, I guess he didn’t get the “no mullets” memo, he looked like he could he could have been singing backup vocals for Skid Row.

As we now enter the decade of 2010 flow is alive and surging. It keeps a clean, slick look embraced by the NHL’s youth. Kris Versteeg, Steve Stamkos, TJ Oshie, David Booth and Patrick Kane with his playoff mullet are just a few young players who fell the flow. For the most part you don’t really see any players with out of control flow (with the exception of Mike Commodore and Scot Hartnell’s long hair) like you saw in the 90s. More often than not though, flow is under control and alive these days. While flow is not a necessary part of hockey, it certainly is a great way to associate yourself with the hockey world, great flow = great respect. Flow helps define the hockey culture, no other major sport (sorry lax bros) that I can think of has such an unspoken respect for flow that it can make your image improve so vastly. Players I mentioned like Handzus, Simon and Ricci aren’t known (at least to me) for their incredible skills or hall of fame numbers but their flow, alongside many others will live on in infamy. LONG LIVE THE FLOW.

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