Ed. note: During Sunday night’s game in Colorado, CSN’s cameras found a Caps fan with a stunning Ovechkin-themed beard. It was surreal. We wrote about it. We asked the man behind the beard what could drives him to turn facial hair into art.
My name is Eric Brooks, a 24-year-old Washington Capitals fan from Rockville, now living in Fort Collins, Colorado. I am the president of the Rocky Mountain Beard and Moustache Club, a national beard and mustache competitor, and an illustrator and assistant brewer at Black Bottle Brewery.
So, about the beard. It all began 2 yeards (beard years) ago. One summer, I was introduced to a TV show called Whisker Wars, which highlighted a group of different individuals who competed in facial hair competitions around the world. This was something I had never heard of before and it really intrigued me. I decided to put down the razor for a while and see if I had any shot at this.
During that year I competed in around eight or nine competitions around the east coast and got a feel for what went on during the events. I also learned how to create what is known as a “freestyle beard.” I started trying out these different styles once I moved out to Colorado. Eventually, I won first place in the Freestyle category at a competition in Boulder, CO. There were big smiles and eyes opening in shock at the styles I created. It was something fantastic that they hadn’t seen before, which delighted me.
This triggered an idea in my head: go to a televised game and try to get a large audience for one of my facial hair sculptures! My father bought my girlfriend and I tickets to Sunday’s Capitals vs. Avalanche game so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase what I can do.
Now comes the hard part. What should I sculpt out of my facial mane? Originally I was set on spelling out “Ovi” with my beard but I was running low on hairspray, the essential ingredient in styling ones beard the way that I do. Instead, I chose to represent Washington and our cap’n by sculpting an 8 with an “O” around it. It ended up turning out a lot better than I had imagined it in my head. I was really excited to show it off to everybody. I also remembered that I had white temporary hair color spray, which I incorporated on the eight, giving it a bit of a duotone and contrast, something I hadn’t done before. Then, I headed out of the door and drove down to the Pepsi center.
I anxiously waited in line where I got a lot of “Wow!”s and “Oh my God, can I take a picture?”s while standing there. I knew it already was a hit! When I entered and walked around the arena, the high fives, smiles, and pictures never stopped coming! Both Capitals and Avalanche fans alike were very intrigued at what they were looking at. My heart was racing because getting this much appreciation and love for my beard. It really was something else.
After a long escalator ride, I found my seats. To my dismay they were all the way up at the top where no cameras would be able to capture my sculpture. However, after the intermission I ran downstairs and tried to get a camera to find me. After a minute I went down to the glass, talked to the usher, and said “I want to be on TV and I want Ovechkin to see my beard!” I’m not sure if any players saw me but the crowd at ice level went crazy. I waved to a camera man who got my mug on CSN for a few short seconds. That was all it took for my beard to be televised. The crowd went wild, I unleashed my fury, and my phone didn’t stop buzzing from all my friends saying they just saw me on TV. Overall, I was a happy Capitals fan knowing that I made some people smile.
Even though we lost, I had such a great time and I think the fans who saw me did too. I will always rock the red no matter what. I love my hockey team and I look forward to their future! C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS!