Folk Superstition

Folk Superstition

“During hockey playoffs, a lot of guys grow beards for good luck until the end of the season so that their favorite time will win.”

My manager at the Original Pancake House is a huge sports fan, especially when it comes to hockey.  He absolutely loves the Rangers and goes to as many games as possible every season.  He is a very intense fan, and he and his friends do a lot of different things to try to bring their team good luck.

He said that this superstition is really common, especially with hockey fans.  If a favorite team makes it to the playoffs (and some even do this during the whole season, but it is generally based on the playoffs), a lot of the fans will let their facial hair grow, specifically their beards.  They tend to believe that as long as they keep their hair growing, their team won’t lose.  Of course this isn’t necessarily true, but it gives them something to hope for.  One of the reasons this superstition is probably to common is that it encourages fans to be more involved.  By growing their beards out and doing something that seems to contribute to the team’s success, the fans feel more involved.

The specificity of growing a beard is most likely due to men’s desire to come across as being very masculine.  Since men already tend to love sports because it associates them with masculine qualities, this trend seems to emphasize that.  In growing a beard, which is clearly a trait that is unique to men, they are asserting their masculinity and trying to make a statement that they have the male power to control, or contribute, to a sports team’s success during the playoffs.

Furthermore, growing a beard can be symbolic of the teams success (or lack thereof) because of the fact that bears grow and can be cut off.  As the beard is growing, so is the team as they win games during the playoffs.  However, if the team loses, the fans can easily shave off their beards in order not to be reminded of the downfall.  Growing a beard provides an easy and convenient way of showing support for a team without making any huge commitments, and it still makes a bold visual statement.  When people who are aware of this tradition see a man with a beard during the playoffs, it can serve as a sort of advertisement for the team and for the sport in general.  In many senses, this superstition is a convenient and practical way for men to show their support and assert their masculinity during game season.