There is no more revered piece of sports tradition. Not the Masters’ green jacket, not the Lombardi Trophy, not the milk at the Indy 500, not whatever corporate-sponsored crystal goes to the NCAA football champion, and damn sure not the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
The Stanley Cup has taken on a life of its own. It is, in fact, itself a celebrity. It tours the world as adoring fans seek to get a glimpse, a picture, or, the one thing no hockey player would dare attempt until he earned the right, a caress and a kiss of the sweetest prize on earth.
It’s a living, breathing archive of hockey greatness, with 60 seasons of winners’ names etched onto it as a glorious memorial to excellence. The NBA’s trophy is a gold ball that you can’t even drink beer out of.