Tonight the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 4 – 3 in overtime, to win the Stanley Cup.
I wanted the Hawks to win. No, they’re not the team of my heart, they’re not my Dallas Stars, but of the teams that made the final four this year, I liked them best. They’re young and exciting and hadn’t hoisted the Cup in nearly half a century. And, most importantly, Chris Pronger doesn’t play for them.
But I don’t want to talk about the Hawks or the Flyers right now. I want to talk about the Cup. The Stanley Cup is the oldest, most storied and hardest-to-win trophy in sports. Players dream all their lives of lifting it over their heads in victory. Many play their whole careers and never win it, never even have a chance at it, and still find themselves choked with emotion each time it’s presented.
It’s hard to describe what it means to anyone who isn’t a hockey fan. Until you’ve watched these men struggle season after season for this holy grail of hockey, you can’t understand why, once it has been won, the victors, burly men with two-month-old playoff beards who think nothing of sacrificing themselves for their team in a brutal sport, stand tongue-tied and with tears in their eyes when asked to describe what the Cup means to them.
Perhaps THIS says it best.
There are no words.