The latest picture of Brett Keisel's beard--taken at today's press conference--is enough to make Grizzly Adam's incredibly jealous.

For years, growing a playoff beard has been a sacred tradition reserved for hockey. The eight puck enthusiasts reading this blog are well aware of the fact that all razors, shavers, and other clipping accessories are locked away with the key buried once the calendar hits mid-April.

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is bringing this unhealthy hair growth to football, and he has the always powerful support of social media on his side. In fairness to those hardcore hockey facial hair heroes, the rodent growing on Keisel’s face isn’t a true playoff beard. Football’s post-season is obviously much shorter than hockey’s, and an NHL player who makes the Stanley Cup Final has nearly two months to show his facial prowess.

The NFL playoffs officially kicked off on Jan. 8, nearly three weeks ago, and if Keisel grew this monstrosity in that short time span he’s clearly some kind of failed genetic experiment. Keisel started growing his beard back in June, and at first inexplicably–or perhaps out of laziness–simply neglected to pick up a shaver. So the legend grew, and grew to the point that now he’s deserving of a pass on official playoff beard status because he’s refusing to shave it until the post-season is over for Pittsburgh.

From ESPN’s Elizabeth Merrill:

He’s going for a third ring, which he said would look good on his pinkie. He’s keeping the beard, which isn’t good news for his wife.

She reportedly bought him a razor for Christmas, which is collecting dust. Keisel has been growing the beard out since June, and he can’t get rid of it now. Not with the AFC Championship looming. Not when the defence is playing so well.

Keisel’s beard has grown far beyond the boundaries of his face, spawning both a Facebook group with 9,653 fans, and its own Twitter account with 905 followers. But Keisel isn’t tweeting; it’s strictly his beard punching the keys.

Don’t believe me? Just read the account’s bio:

Keisel is the player #99 Im just tweeting funnies from his face I’m big…and full…you know you love me…

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