Why the Stanley Cup is the Greatest Trophy in Sports

Stanley-CupThe Stanley Cup Finals begin tonight, and although my dearly loved New York Rangers will not be part of the contest this time, the Cup itself is still majestic and magnificent — and simply the best trophy in all of sports.

The 1993-'94 Rangers' names on the Cup

The 1993-’94 Rangers’ names on the Cup

It is a thing of beauty (unlike that… object that gets foisted on the winner of the World Cup) and simplicity (unlike the Commissioner’s Trophy in Major League Baseball), and everybody who wins it gets his name engraved on it forever. It’s not just a hunk of metal that gets passed around each year (unlike the NFL’s Lombardi Trophy). It’s a prize that is imbued with the spirit of the victors; every player becomes part of the Cup, literally and figuratively.

It’s the hardest prize to win, but unquestionably worth it.

Click on the link to see a brilliant cartoon infographic from The Nib that distills the Stanley Cup’s riveting history into pictures.

You can watch the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning begin the best-of-seven series tonight.

Happy Anniversary, New York Rangers!

It was on this date in 1994, a mere 18 years ago, that the Blueshirts ended a 54-year drought quest and brought the Stanley Cup back to New York at last. This feat was accomplished by the Messiah, Mark Messier, whose leadership of the Rangers crowned one of the most incredible careers in NHL history.

But the Captain didn’t quite do it alone; he had help from the Rangers other stars, Brian Leetch and Adam Graves — who scored the other two goals in the 3-2 victory — and all-world goalie Mike Richter. And let’s not forget the contributions of role players like Steve Larmer — who took so many crucial faceoffs in the final moments of the game. I can remember watching this at home with my brother and our good friend Brian, agonizing over those final ticks of the clock! And then… jubilation! I’ll never forget that win. As the sign said, “Now I Can Die in Peace.”
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