The Official BEFORE pictures

Many of you have submitted exceptional before photos. Some of you have submitted borderline offensive before photos. Some of you have submitted nothing at all.  I’m not surprised.  Hopefully this years contest will be better than last years contest in that the NEW YORK RANGERS will play for a long enough time for those face follicles to reach your toes.

Meet the contestants:

BuckarooClub

BuckarooClub hates Sidney Crosby and so do you (probably)!!!

JamesG has already sewn up the awards for "Prettiest" and "Most Artistic". Good luck topping this amateurs.

JamesG has already sewn up the awards for “Prettiest” and “Most Artistic”.  Good luck topping this amateurs.

Vicky

Vicky is a man clearly attempting to compensate for something…

This is a picture that Booby thought was acceptable to enter into the contest.

This is a picture that Booby thought was acceptable to enter into the contest.

Last season's winner of the "Most Disgusting" award is back and seems to be competing in the regular bracket.

Gravy, last season’s winner of the “Most Disgusting” award is back and seems to be competing in the regular bracket.

@blueshirtfan77

@blueshirtfan77 just kind of looks like Benoit Pouliot. I don’t think he’s really Benoit Pouliot. Right? He can’t be…

The one and only Doodie, a/k/a Patrick Bateman, will command a reservation at a great table at Dorsia should he win.

Doodie will definitely command a reservation at a great table at Dorsia should he win.

Capt. Ilb just gets cuter and cuter each year doesn't he?

Capt. Ilb just gets cuter and cuter each year doesn’t he?

Adam From Chicago, who apparently gets around, representing with NYR Pride in Tampa Bay.

Adam From Chicago, who apparently gets around (geographically speaking), representing with NYR Pride in Tampa Bay.

SeeeDubbb casually glancing into the camera in front of his impressive mallard collection.

SeeeDubbb casually glancing into the camera in front of his impressive mallard collection.

Latona may not have an avatar but he's definitely got spunk. Go Kermit Go.

Latona may not have an avatar but he’s definitely got spunk. Go Kermit Go.

Manny-O-War is not eligible for a win but he still wants you to know that PUNK IS NOT DEAD

Manny-O-War is not eligible for a win but he still wants you to know that PUNK IS NOT DEAD, at least not in Dubrovnik.

Nasty is a two-time, back-to-back Champ of this here contest. Can you tell?

Nasty is a two-time, back-to-back Champ of this here contest. Can you tell?

Carp. 'Nuff Said.

Carp.The man who makes it all possible.  ‘Nuff Said.

Beard Growing for Ladies

She only had a few months for this to be acceptable so why not cheer for her?

She only has a few months for this to be acceptable so why not cheer for her throughout the playoffs?

It’s important for women to not only be supportive of their men during the playoffs, and thus understanding of the spirituality and cosmic importance of their freshly grown bristles, but some women can even get in on the fun!  While you may joke about drawing one on or purchasing a costume beard at your local Ricky’s, some women are lucky enough to possess the sheer Bickel’s and testosterone to grow their own!

Have at it gal’s…

maud-temple-bearded-lady-circus-sideshow-pitch-card_300521376951

Note the balance between the hair and the chinstrap

Tips and “Rules”

Bonus points for letting the hair go as well!

There are lots of ideas when it comes to growing a playoff beard.  Some people start growing the minute their team clinches a playoff spot.  Some people shave right before the very first game.  Some people begin with a nice base already. Some people shave to the skin.  So here are a few tips (some call them rules) for the growing and maintaining of a playoff beard.

1. There is no prescribed time to begin growing the beard.  Personally, I will make sure I trim my facial blanket before my team (New York Rangers) sets foot on playoff ice.  But you can feel free to shave a few days before or really any time up until puck drop.

Even goalies have to get in on the action. Even under that uncomfortable mask.

2. Commit!  The most important aspect of the playoff beard is the commitment of the individual to that beard.  Make sure you map out the facial hair pattern you will be going for before puck drop.  Because once that puck drops, well, there isn’t any going back.  You can’t trim.  You can’t shape.  Nothing.  Time to ride that decision out.  No cheating just because the cup finals run long and the summer heat arrives early.

Shaving the head, in contrast to growing your hair, really enhances the sheer length of the playoff beard.

3. A playoff beard is precisely that: a BEARD.  It isn’t a mullet, no matter what Patrick Kane thinks.  The key is to have some design of facial hair that shows your commitment to the winning effort of your team.

This is NOT a playoff beard. It’s a stupid, stupid mullet.

And that’s it.  It’s a simple showing of commitment and obsession for your favorite hockey team.  Don’t be afraid to pair the beard with a nice hat of your favorite team.  Most importantly, whenever someone comments on your beard you have to remember to tell them that it’s for your favorite hockey team.  Then explain what hockey is to them.  Then give up explaining hockey and avoid that person in your office forever.

A New Season, A New Contest

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Do you sometimes store an extra mid-game snack inside your helmet? #AskBrodeur

Last night, somewhere in New Jersey (who knows), the  Devils were shut out by the absolutely horrendous Calgary Flames.  That means, Martin Brodeur, who allegedly demanded a trade before the deadline, may have suited up for the Devils for the final time and may have done so to be the backup. Uncle Daddy now rides his heavily laden horse into the sunset.

In somehow even better news, the Devils loss clinched a playoff berth for the New York Rangers. That means that once again, The  Sometimes-Annual Paul Mara Playoff Beard Contest is in full swing.  Boneheads everywhere will flood our e-mail with their entries for the beard contest.  People will vote. Prizes will be awarded and, despite accusations, the contest will not be rigged.

Over the next few days I will bump up some posts with rules and tips.  For now, get those faces ready, water the follicles freely and prepare for another round of intense competition!

WINNERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even brothers grow beards.

Even brothers grow beards.

Another season of hockey has come and gone.  The Rangers once again made the Playoffs, defeated the Capitals to advance and then “collapsed slowly like a flan in the cupboard.”  You, as fans, supported them from the first puck drop.  Intensely watched each game.  Each period.  Each minute.  Threw things at the wall.  Broke furniture.  Cried.  Forgot to shower.  Called out sick.  Ruined friendships in favor of hockey.  Ruined relationships in favor of hockey.  But ultimately, you grew a big, stinky beard to support the team you love.  And that team let you down, once again, by losing in almost embarrassing fashion.

The results are in, and although the contest appears to have been RIGGED by Nasty, it was yet another successful endeavor in the world of Boneheads growing beards.  Much thanks to Carp for putting up with all this.  Much thanks to Sally for letting me temporarily take over her duties as Lord of the Beard.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out the beard contest pictures, both before and after, you can do so here.

This year, in my role as Temporary/Provisional Acting Lord of the Beard I chose to hand out three awards to three separate Boneheads.  While all the entries brought me to tears (the good kind) with their beauty and dedication to the cause, I don’t have enough money/time to award everyone at the level which they deserve.

WINNER of the The 4th Sometimes-Annual, 2012-2013, Lockout Shortened, Paul Mara Playoff Beard Contest is, NastyHe may not have had the best beard.  He may not have had the best entry.  He may not have even made the best effort.  But Nasty understands American Capitalism at its best.  He used his devastating good looks to get people (presumably women) to come to the website and vote for him.  Which they did.  In droves.   As CCCP would say, he RIGGED the contest.  So, for the second straight year, Nasty is your champion.  All Boneheads must now bow down to his follicle eliteness.

The Second prize, devised entirely for this contest, is Grossest Entry Ever.  I don’t think many people looked at this entry without hurling the bits of their most recently eaten meal (hard to tell which meal with people like Fat Guy) all over their computer, iPhone, iPad, Palm Pilot or other technologically superior device.  So, the winner of Grossest Entry Ever is, without a doubt, Gravy.

The Third prize, also devised by me in my role as Temporary/Provisional Acting Lord of the Beard will henceforth be known as The Sally.  This award is given out to the Bonehead that I choose based on no other factor than who I currently like a lot.  This award is not Rigged but it is completely unfair, biased and random.  This year, I choose to do a barrel roll and fire the award to the one and only, Latona (a/k/a Llatona, Llatonaardvark).

Summary for the Lazy Boneheads

Winner: Nasty

Grossest Entry Ever: Gravy

“The Sally” (award randomly awarded to a Bonehead of my choosing whom I just like): Latona/Llatona/Llatonaardvark

If you see your name above, well, Cogratulations, Mazel Tov, Felicitaciones, Gong Xi, Gelukwens, Mubarak Ho, Badhai Ho and Glückwünsche you won a prize.  Please e-mail me your personal information (Name, DOB, Social Security Number, Address, Measurements and list of current illnesses) at the official contest e-mail: paulmaraplayoffbeard@gmail.com

Special “shoutouts” to everyone who competed: Carp (who showed his true colors), NYR-Fan (Vibin’ forever), LW3H (the sun never sets on his internet empire), Wicky (please don’t shoot me), CCCP (please don’t beat me up), Sioux-Per-Man (kick butt at the WSOP, brother!),  Ilb (blog captain and resident medical expert),  Paul (CCCP’s nephew who we know nothing about), Doodie (who is a large, large man), Papa Bear (who is smooth as a baby’s bottom), Sally (who essentially threw in the towel much like the Rangers) and @hockeyandthefam and Fun Dad, who I don’t think post often or ever but hung out nonetheless.

Official Contest comment thread can be found here.