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Keep The Stanley Cup Away From Me

I don’t want to see the Stanley Cup. Don’t want to touch it, kiss it, or hold it. Don’t even wanna be near it.

Just get the damn thing away from me.

Since the Blackhawks won the championship, it feels like the Stanley Cup’s been everywhere. I wouldn’t be caught dead at a Jimmy Buffett concert, but if somebody would have dragged my bloody corpse to Northerly Island, it would have seen the Cup (and Patrick Kane) wasting away in Margaritaville. The Cup’s been to most news outlets in the city, seemingly the vast majority of bars, a Bentley dealership, and probably seen a few things we can’t discuss on a family website.

(It’s also been to its fair share of hospitals. I’m cool with that.)

Honestly, I can’t really pinpoint why I’ve developed this antipathy toward seeing the Cup. I have no issues with the cleanliness of the chalice—it’s polished and scrubbed frequently, so germs don’t live on there. Obviously, I have no problem with the Blackhawks winning it. That’s pretty great, actually.

Perhaps one reason is that I’ve actually seen the Cup plenty of times before. My first time with it was Nov. 11, 2000 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. My family and I were on our way to see the Bears play the Bills in Buffalo, and we stopped by the Hall. Our timing was great, because that was the weekend Denis Savard was inducted, and I got a chance to meet Pierre Pilote.

And there was the Cup. Bright and gleaming, standing regally in the middle of the Hall. It was awesome.

Ten years later I saw the Cup twice in two days in deep South Texas. It was there for the 2010 Central Hockey League All-Star Game. All I did was marvel at the trophy before looking for names and teams. I saw where Pilote and his teammates from the 1961 team were, and I staked out where the 2010 Blackhawks would go a few months later.

The next day the trophy was back in my home base of McAllen. It made a stop at my newspaper as part of its tour of the area. I wrote a story about Mike Bolt, the Keeper of the Cup, and saw all the faces of glee when people got their first look at the trophy.

But by the end of the day I was sick of it.

And that’s where I am now.

Another something I’m feeling is that it all feels so clichéd, so forced. We all know it’s the most famous trophy in sports, that hockey players covet the thing from when they’re a year old, and that people’s eyes light up when they get near it.

Whatever. Good for you. Get in line. You’re not unique. You did this three years ago. For some, it almost feels like the ubiquitous trophy has overshadowed the effort to win it.

Not me. Let me reflect how I wish.

I think I’ve found ways to do it since 9:53 p.m. on June 24. I’ve spent more than my fair share of time on YouTube watching and re-watching my favorite moments from the playoffs and the incredible regular season. I’ll do the same when Comcast SportsNet Chicago replays the Blackhawks’ title run later this month, sitting back and relaxing to watch the great hockey, instead of being struck down by the mind-numbing suspense.

That’s how I’ll enjoy this Cup victory.

Just keep the actual trophy as far away from me as possible.

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