I’ve noticed a recent trend in my life that has proven to be disturbing for me. But first, here’s the required backstory:
For probably about a decade or so, I’ve been doing the whole “playoff beard” thing when the NHL playoffs start. That in and of itself isn’t terribly strange – it’s a fairly common practice for people that like hockey. It’s probably a bit strange in central Indiana where I don’t seem to interact with a large quantity of people that like hockey. In fact, this should really hammer that point home – assuming you don’t yet realize this, Jagermeister is the “official shot” of the NHL so they’re really focused on branding and advertising with all things hockey. Once that partnership happened, I was hopeful that I could somehow score swag or tickets or anything from our local Jagermeister representative (I work in the industry) but initially I was told no since we don’t technically have an NHL team in Indiana and the Blackhawks don’t count since that’s one state over. But luckily, the 2019 Winter Classic was held in South Bend, which meant Jager was able to get tickets, majority of which were given out as incentives to our sales team. Once the incentive ended, the vast majority of people that had earned the tickets turned them down because they weren’t hockey fans.
Free tickets + free transportation/parking + free food + free drinks and they were turned down. That’s how relatively unpopular hockey is here.
So back to the story – the playoff beard has been going on for about a decade, but sometime in the last handful of years I decided to go one additional step and include the addition of “hockey hair” (mullet) for the playoffs. My process typically involves getting a relatively nice, short haircut on the first game of the season and then, assuming one of my teams (Hawks / Stars) make it into the playoffs, I get my hair cut into a mullet on the last game of the season and keep that going for as long as my team survives. It makes me look horrible, but it’s relatively good, clean fun for everyone.
But here’s the odd part – people at work, people who obviously don’t know me very well at all (not even remotely, apparently) have started calling me “80’s man” because the consensus seems to be that I’m doing this to try and bring back what was possibly the pinnacle of fashion and style in the 1980’s. If you actually know me, you know there’s not a lot of interpersonal conversation with me. If you work with me, you probably know I have a wife and a daughter, ummm, I play video games, I like hockey (I keep the Hawks and the Stars play schedules up on my wall every season), I ride bikes, and that’s pretty much it. But to make such an egregious assumption about me that is so wrong tells me that I’m doing something wrong in life.