The glorious play-off beard of San Jose Shark alternate team captain Joe Thornton is quickly becoming the stuff of legend. Even though the Sharks suffered a loss last night in the first round, it’s only the first round. Since he stopped trimming his beard in December, Thornton has scored 64 points in 53 regular season games – the second most in the NHL this year.
Whether the Sharks’ journey to post season has anything to do with the play-off beard or not, Jumbo Joe’s beard is nothing short of a majestic beast – the red screams ferocity while the the strip of grey belies exactly what you’d want to see in a leader. His teammate Brent Burns calls it “the ‘ol Dodge racing stripe.”
Jumbo Joe Explains His Beard
It takes a village to grow a beard like that. For Thornton, inspiration came from his brother, and also from his teammate Brent Burns.
“My brother John always had a huge beard, so I kind of follow in his and Burnsie’s footsteps – I got two mentors that have a bigger one than me.”
It’s true – Burns’ beard is nothing to scoff at.
“Burnsie helps me,” Joe says of his beard routine. “He gets me all the oils, the combs. In the morning you get up and oil it and comb it. And then at night, you have to oil it a little bit and comb it. It looks pretty, but it’s hard work.”
Although he admits it “looks pretty,” he’s not a very big fan of the look – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t those out there who disagree. As Thornton explains, “We got a new cat recently and she keeps putting her paws in it. Other than that I don’t think it’s very nice, personally.”
Come on, Joe, it’s better than nice.
Even so, it seems like the beard’s days may be numbered. “It’s day by day,” Joe explains. “I could come tomorrow and it’s gone. Or you could see me ten years from now and I’ll still have it.”
We’re still left with one important question about the beard: does it help the Sharks win? I suppose only the remaining playoff games will tell.