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Above the Glass

I wonder if they’ll let us touch it?

Whilst we wait out the final days of the off-season, Portland hockey fans will get a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and greet the Stanley Cup. Next Wednesday, August 17, courtesy of former Portland Buckaroo and Boston Bruins’ scout Tom McVie, the Cup is making an appearance in Pioneer Square. Fans will get to view it, have their photo taken with it and partake of some family-friendly festivities. I’m pretty sure they won’t let us touch it, but I can guarantee that if they do, I will avail. It also got me to thinking about “The Day With The Cup” that the players get, during which they can pretty much do anything with it except drive over it with their cars. What if fans got their own day with the Cup? What would we do?

What haven’t they done with it?: The Pittsburgh Penguins have taken it swimming in Mario Lemieux’s pool. Sidney Crosby has put it on parade and even washed it when all was said and done. Players have consumed champagne out of it and held it aloft over Niagara Falls. There’s virtually nothing they haven’t done with it.

I keep thinking I’m imagining it: The one and only Stanley Cup, the one that has gone for a swim and been a giant champagne glass, is going to be within arm’s reach next week. I now understand why all those junior players use the word “surreal” when talking about draft day.  But as I’ve told Ryan Johansen many times over: it is real, enjoy the ride.  I will do my very best to follow my own advice.  And if real included doing more than viewing it through glass or being photographed next to it, here’s a few ideas for enjoying the ride:

Things to do with the Stanley Cup when you are but a humble peon/fan: 

Show it the love and attention it deserves: It’s used to being worshipped, admired, held aloft and shown off in parades and what not. I would follow the precedent and do the same.

Keep it shiny: I’m a bit of a neat freak, so I would keep it sparkly and clean at all times. Plus, if Sidney Crosby was willing to wash it, then there’s no excuse for the rest of us not to.

Share with friends: The one thing players have never done is keep it all to themselves. Show it off at a barbecue (keep away from flames and pools), put it in the backseat with you whilst you cruise about in your convertible and the like. Just don’t sit home alone with it.

Let’s do lunch: Go to Portland City Grill and tell the hostess it will be two people and a large object. Be sure there are enough seats to hold the large object. Then plunk it down and sit back and enjoy the martini and the view while waiting for people to come over and ask if they can touch it. Residents of other cities can substitute the five-star restaurant of their choosing.

If you have a parade, they will come: It works for players, although in their cases, they are as much the star attraction as the Cup. Therefore, pre-event marketing is key to hosting a successful parade, so as to generate the maximum amount of interest from other humble peons.

Host a party in its honor: A must. What better way to show that you’ve arrived than with a little soiree? On the “do” list: photos, Tweets, texts, frequent touching to be sure it’s real, and occasionally lifting it above your head to simulate the hockey player experience. But while partaking of cool refreshing beverages and barbecued meat is a-ok for partygoers, definitely don’t do this: 

Don’t feed it snacks: I hear tell one of the Saint John Sea Dogs’ players ate a bit of cereal out of the junior hockey version of the Stanley Cup as part of this summer’s festivities. Dudes, it’s not a cereal bowl. Treat it accordingly.

Leave it the way you found it: ‘Tis true, the Stanley Cup has handlers to ensure you don’t totally destroy it or incinerate it, but any respectful fan treats it accordingly. Give it a bath, pet it one last time, take a few more photos, whatever. Just be sure at the end of the day it goes out the way it came in.




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I don’t know what they will let you do with the Cup next week, but when it visited here about 3yrs ago, we got to touch it and some people even picked it up.  Also got to meet Phil, the Cup Keeper (or one of the Keepers).  It was an awesome day!
Also, lots of different foods have been eaten out of the Cup.  Clark Gilles even fed his dog out of it. I’m sure cereal has been eaten out of before.  One of the Red Wings had a giant ice cream sundae made in it, if I remember correctly. 
I have a photo of my family with the Cup on my desk at work.  Very few people recognize it, and sadly, even fewer women.

Posted by smeek1958 from Tulsa, OK on 08/09/11 at 05:59 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

Draper let his daughter poop in it.

I can’t really top that….unless I first taped a picture of Bettman in the bottom.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 08/09/11 at 06:48 PM ET

UMFan's avatar

I got to see it when I was a graduate student when Carolina won it. Someone associated with team management was a UNC graduate and a bunch of people lined up to get their picture with it. Got to touch it but was told by the keeper that only players were allowed to pick it up. He then picked it up and gave it to some guy with a cast on his leg in a wheel chair to lift up. What I wouldn’t have given to have a broken leg at that time.

What I’d like to do with it? Street hockey game with the guys I grew up with. Winner gets the cup. I think Brodeur did something like that one of the times he won it.

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 08/09/11 at 07:19 PM ET


Hi all, thanks for reading.  Clearly, I need another tip for this one: don’t poop where you eat grin.

Posted by Samantha from Portland, Oregon on 08/09/11 at 07:53 PM ET

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About Above the Glass

Welcome to Above the Glass, a definitive anti-expert’s guide to hockey. I started blogging in 2009 as part of an effort to learn all 87 rules in the NHL Rulebook in 107 days before the 2010 Olympics, 30 years after I discovered the sport. You can peruse the archival results here. Growing up in Arizona, I didn’t even know hockey existed until February 22, 1980, when the USA played Russia in the Olympics. And just like that, the game of the century changed my life. I still don’t quite understand the icing rule or which faceoff circle goes with what offense, but I do know that every aspect of hockey has something to teach us about life. That’s what you’ll find here, along with my unadulterated passion for the game.

I live in Portland, Oregon, home of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. I invite anyone who wants to know more about hockey in the Rose City to visit here, where I blog exclusively about the Winterhawks. I’ll post an occasional musing about the Hawks, the WHL and junior hockey here as well.

Follow me on Twitter: @AbovetheGlass

Email: samantha@kuklaskorner.com