A beard often grown by male college students during either finals week or a time period with a high amount of mid-term exams. Usually grown for good luck or as a result of a lack of time.
Doug: Mark you don't normally grow out much facial hair.
Mark: Well it is finals week this week...
Doug: Ah, gotta love the playoff beard.
The hairy result of a superstition turned tradition in the National Hockey League (NHL) by which players of a given team refuse to shave their beards upon making it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In recent years, this tradition has extended from players to fans, making an unkempt beard during playoff season acceptably insofar as one's team of choice is still working toward Lord Stanley's Cup. The beard can only be shaven off under two conditions: (1) The team of choice has won Lord Stanley's Cup and hoist it high as the National Champions; (2) The team of choice has lost the playoffs and must shave themselves to begin preparing for next season.
Mark: Whoa, that's some unruly facial hair you've got going there.
Ian: Yep! The Red Wings made it to the Finals. You know I can't shave my playoff beard until they win...
Mark: Too true.
When one's sports team makes it to the playoffs. Team members stop shaving their facial hair thus growing a 'playoff beard.' As long as that team is in the playoffs, the beard stays. When the team loses and gets removed from the playoffs, or ends up winning the championship; then, the beard can be shaved.
"Hey John, I heard your team lost your semi-finals game yesterday."
"Yeah we did, it's a shame. I gotta' shave the old playoff beard off tonight."
1. When a man feigns a serious interest in sports, to make it appear as if he is more masculine (i.e.-heterosexual)
Bruce: The Cubs are on a serious roll, they've won six in a row!
Conscientous Objector: Can you name 3 players on the team?
Bruce: Um... Sammy Sosa?
Conscientous Objector: Time to shave that playoff beard buddy!