A SPORTS TRADITION LIKE NO OTHER

This coming week, or possibly tonight, there will be an annual event that never gets old.  The Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins will meet in the Music City tonight for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  With the Penguins holding a 3-2 series lead, it sets up the possibility that the Stanley Cup will be presented this evening.  If the Predators win tonight, the Stanley Cup will be presented on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

You might be wondering what is so magical about the awarding of a championship trophy?

First off, it’s the only championship trophy in professional sports that is a one of a kind.  The Commissioner’s Trophy, Vince Lombardi Trophy, as well as the Larry O’Brien Trophy are all manufactured every year.  These three trophies all wind up in permanent possession of the teams that won them.  The Stanley Cup is the only championship trophy that has been in existence longer than the league that competes for it.

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The Montreal Canadiens have won more Stanley Cup championships than any other team (24).

The presentation of the Stanley Cup is very unique, and to this writer, never gets old regardless of who wins it.  It’s the only trophy that is awarded to the team captain, rather than the team’s owner.  The captain hoists the Cup above his head and sometimes will kiss it.  The winning team then parades the Cup around the rink handing it from player to player.  Coaches, general managers, and injured players have all taken part in this victory lap and have had the honor of hoisting the legendary trophy.

When all is said and done between Nashville and Pittsburgh, players from both teams will have their names inscribed on the Stanley Cup.  The winners names will appear on the outside, the losers on the inside.  The other three trophies will land in the trophy case at the winner’s offices for ever after.  The winners of the Stanley Cup will spend the off-season taking turns with the Stanley Cup itself.  When next year begins it will return to the Professional Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

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The 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks take the Stanley Cup to Wrigley Field.

The Stanley Cup has been all over the world over the years.  It’s been to the White House, and it has been to Russia.  It’s been paraded up New York City’s Canyon of Heroes, and in Hollywood.  The New York Islanders made it a tradition during it’s iconic four-year run to take it out to dinner.

 

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The Great One, Wayne Gretzky drinks champagne from the Stanley Cup.

 

Being that the trophy is a cup, it is a tradition for players to drink the celebratory champagne from the Cup itself.

Will the Stanley Cup reside in Steeltown or in the Music City?  That will play out today and/or Wednesday.  The Canadian capital for country music had their turn with Lord Stanley’s Cup in 1989 when the Calgary Flames won it.  Will Nashville get their turn this year?

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