The Stanley Cup is the greatest trophy in all of sports, and if you disagree, you’re wrong. It’s just a fact, you’re not allowed to have an opinion on this.
Part of what creates this aura around the Cup is that when you win it, you don’t keep it. You borrow it for awhile, and if you want to hang on to it, you have to win it again. As a player, you only get one day to hang out on your own with the Cup, so you better make it worth it.
One day doesn’t seem like a ton of time, because it isn’t. But I started thinking about this after the Blackhawks won the other night (third Cup in six years, dynasty, etc. etc. etc.). There are like, seven guys on that roster who have been around for all three. How do they keep coming up with things to do with the Cup? There is only so much you can do with a 35-pound trophy, only so many things you can eat out of the bowl on top, does it ever get boring? (The answer is obviously no, winning the Stanley Cup is never boring, it is always the most awesome thing to ever happen, STUPID question).
Anyway, sometimes my brain goes rogue post-lunch hour, so I started thinking about what I would do if I had a day with the Cup. (This will obviously never happen because I’m a girl [Editor’s Note: Twelve women have their names inscribed on Cup rings, for executive and staff positions. Don’t give up hope, Jill] [Author’s Note: Thanks for encouraging my dreams, Rory], I haven’t been on skates since I was about 12, I can barely walk without hurting myself, let alone skate at high speeds while handling a hockey puck and putting it in the net. Also, I’m a baby and hate getting hit. This entire post could be on reasons I’ll never win the Stanley Cup, if you wanted).
But this is the Internet, not real life, and on the Internet I’m allowed to pretend that I get to spend a day with the Cup. Real hockey players do a lot of different things and bring it to a lot of different places, but as a fake hockey player, my schedule would probably look something like this:
10:00 AM: Wake up, hungover, obviously, because when you win the Cup I think you’re supposed to be either drunk or hungover continuously until training camp starts. Drink a couple bottles of Gatorade out of it. Today, I refuse to drink any liquid out of anything that’s not the Stanley Cup. I earned this shit, and I don’t care what a pain in the ass it is to drink out of a 35-pound chalice all day. Fuck the haters.
10:30 AM: Kinda just stare at it for awhile. I mean, it’s the goddamn Stanley Cup. I imagine it’s pretty awe-inspiring. I wouldn’t know, because I’ve never seen it in person (despite the fact that in 2011 my ENTIRE family attended a private Stanley Cup viewing party, hosted by a distant neighbor who worked for TD Garden. No one invited me or even told me it was happening. I just randomly received a picture of my dad with the Cup one Wednesday evening while I was away at school. But I’m definitely not bitter about it. Not at all. Not even a little).
11:00 AM: Hangover’s starting to wear off a little bit, which means it’s time to drink more champagne out of the Cup. Dom Perignon only. Should probably eat something too, so let’s get some Honey Bunches of Oats and milk in that bad boy after. Or, holy crap, let’s make French toast and fill the Cup with maple syrup. Is that gross? Maybe, but it’s also so fucking Canadian, and I’m not even Canadian. Has anyone filled the Cup with maple syrup before? That has to have happened, right?
11:30 AM: Where can we get puppies? I want to fill the Cup with puppies. How cute would that be? The greatest trophy in all of sports just filled with a bunch of little, happy, adorable puppies. I don’t care how long it takes, we’re finding puppies, and we’re putting them in the Cup. I’ll keep them afterwards, don’t worry. People on Instagram will love these pictures.
1:00 PM: It’s lunchtime, so I’m taking the Cup to Chipotle, and they are making my goddamn burrito bowl in it. I want extra guac, and I know it costs more, but today it should be free because I am a fucking Stanley Cup Champion (Don’t be gross. I washed it in between the puppies and the burrito bowl. Ew, guys).
2:00 PM: Let’s head to church and baptize some babies. This isn’t weird at all and is totally a thing that players do; look it up. I don’t have any babies of my own, and I don’t plan to anytime soon, so I’m going to share the wealth with family, friends, random strangers who really love hockey.
5:00 PM: Happy hour with the Cup, obvi. We’ll mix drinks in it. Jungle juice or something. We can all pretend we’re still in college for a minute.
7:00 PM: I’m taking the Cup to a Taylor Swift concert with me. Even if I have to buy it its own ticket. But can you imagine anything more fun than shake, shake, shaking it off with the Stanley Cup? Also, I don’t know about you, but the Cup is feeling 122. This is the best concert ever.
12:00 AM: I guess it’s time for bed, since I’m pretty sure the Cup has a midnight curfew. Can I sleep with it? I get to keep it until morning, right? Of course I’ll give it back! I just want to cuddle with the big shiny metal trophy, which I’m sure is super comfortable. I’ll give it back in the morning, promise.
All in all, it seems like the Stanley Cup would be a pretty good date, don’t you think? In reality, players do much nicer things with it, like bring it home to their tiny little hockey towns in middle-of-nowhere Canada, or to visit wounded soldiers, or to march in gay pride parades. Sometimes they throw it into pools, or their kids pee in it, or their dogs eat out of it. It’s been dented about five billion times. It’s been locked in cars and forgotten on the side of the road.
I would say I don’t envy the responsibility of Phil Pritchard, a.k.a. the Keeper of the Cup, except that I kind of do. He has maybe the best job in the entire world. It’s a big one, but someone’s gotta do it, and I imagine during the summer, when it’s traveling (literally) around the globe with players, being thrown into the aforementioned pools and dented by fans in bars, he spends a lot of time rolling his eyes and sighing like a long-suffering dad whose children just broke something and/or made a mess. But all of this is why it’s the greatest goddamn trophy in the history of the world. I know I’ll never win it, but maybe next time it’s in town someone in my family will actually be considerate enough to invite me to the damn party (come on, guys).
(Sick Photoshop, I know)