Which is the best trophy in American professional team sports?

Leading Off: NHL's Lord Stanley Cup runneth over the rest

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2014 - 9:00 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Jun. 12, 2014 - 2:18 pm

The World Cup begins today in Brazil, where in a month one national futbol team will stand on a stage and hoist soccer’s most coveted trophy – the FIFA World Cup.

But the smallish gold trophy with two figures holding up the globe isn’t exactly a cup, is it?

You can’t drink beer or champagne from it.

You can’t put popcorn or pretzels in it to eat while watching movies.

You can’t baptize a baby or feed a horse oats from it.

Only the Stanley Cup can do all that, and more.

While the Lombardi Trophy, awarded to the Super Bowl winner, may be the most coveted trophy in American professional team sports, no trophy is quite like the NHL’s Lord Stanley Cup. The name of every team and player to win the Cup is engraved on the trophy.

Not to diminish the significance of championship trophies, but most are only a symbol of accomplishment. The Spurs or the Heat will soon take the Larry O’Brien Trophy, kiss and hug it like a baby and pass it from player to player. When the celebration stops, it’s placed on a shelf for safekeeping.

But the Los Angeles Kings or New York Rangers won’t put the Stanley Cup – first awarded to an amateur hockey team in Canada in 1893 – on a shelf. Players will take the trophy home, drink beer from it, take pictures with it at the top of the Empire State Building or at the Grand Canyon. Food and drink often is placed inside; a picture shows 1994 Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin eating or drinking from the Cup before the Belmont Stakes.

What other trophy has more tradition and more fun?

– Victor Contreras


Today’s poll

Which is the best trophy in American professional team sports ?

• Commissioner’s Trophy (MLB)

• Lombardi Trophy (NFL)

• O’Brien Trophy (NBA)

• Stanley Cup (NHL)

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Tuesday’s results

Why did you watch the Belmont Stakes ?

• California Chrome: 56%

• Always watch Triple Crown races: 24%

• Made a bet: 0%

• Didn’t watch: 20%

Total votes: 223

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Read more articles by Victor Contreras

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