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Brent Burns, Joe Thornton, beards dominate ESPN the Mag Body issue

San Jose Sharks teammates Brent Burns and Joe Thornton are known for their shared love of majestic facial hair. Both Thornton and Burns rock delightfully long, unkempt beards (hobo-chic, perhaps?) and it’s arguably the most identifying physical trait for both NHL stars. That may soon change thanks to the Sharks stars insane photo shoot for the upcoming edition of the annual ESPN The Magazine “Body Issue.”

The beards of course take center stage — among other things — for their photo spread, one that obviously included Burns and Thornton appearing in the buff. The cover photo, however, takes their already-incredible beards to a preposterous level thanks to some photo shoot shenanigans.

Alrighty then.

And then there’s this shot of Burns and Thornton engaging in a face-off that is either brilliant, nightmare fuel or some combination of both.

Once again: Alrighty then.

Burns and Thornton took part in a Q&A to celebrate their coverboy status, which is well worth a read. But here are some of the highlights.

BRENT BURNS: You never know what to expect with something like this. They were like, “Boom, let’s go!” We both just dropped our robes and looked up into each other’s eyes and laughed: We’re both naked right now doing a faceoff, so this is kind of interesting. But athletes are pretty comfortable in this state. We’re naked in the dressing room all the time, and we’re comfortable with each other, but usually it’s with teammates, not photographers.

JOE THORNTON: I was like, “Burnsie, if you do it, I’ll do it.” We’re a package deal.

BB: I bet Joe has been training hard for this thing to get his body jacked. Me? I just got back from 10 days at Disney eating funnel cakes and ice cream with my kids.

The two go on to discuss the pitfalls of having such huge beards, including getting food like eggs (Burns) and peanut butter (Thorton) stuck in them. Great stuff.