Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lord Stanley down!


How many Newfoundlanders does it take to damage the Stanley Cup? Two, apparently: one to win the Cup and bring it to Newfoundland, and the other to build a crappy table not strong enough to support the 35 pound trophy.
Hockey's Holy Grail sustained minor damage yesterday when Michael Ryder placed it on table that subsequently collapsed in Bonavista, Newfoundland, where Ryder was exercising a unique tradition that allows each reigning Stanley Cup champion to take sole possession of the vaunted hardware for a day. As Stanley Cup misadventures go, it was relatively minor. According to popular legend, the Cup has been dropped into a bonfire, left on the side of a road, drop-kicked into the Rideau Canal, spent the night at the bottom of at least two swimming pools and visited numerous strip joints, because that's where hockey players go when they're not playing hockey. It's been used as a dog food bowl, potato chip dish, champagne cup, flower pot, baptismal chalice and for other functions that are best left unmentioned.
The uninitiated might consider that ample evidence that the Cup should be kept under lock and key and out of the clutches of hard-partying hockey players, but its colorful history is a big part of what makes it professional sports' most celebrated trophy. Ultimately, in the annals of Stanley Cup lore, Ryder won't even be on the radar, unless he can get it back long enough to use it as a lobster trap or a still for homemade Newfoundland screech.

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