Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Commissioner, The Stanley Cup & The Islanders

It's late so I'll make this quick. With the presentation of the Stanley Cup yesterday and the official end of the 2009-2010 season, today Commissioner Bettman made his media rounds as well as emceeing his weekly XM radio show for the last time this season.

You can check all the podcasts if you are interested in hearing what he had to say about the increased viewership numbers, (the best in 36 years for a single game) the increase in sponsorship (up 50% over the last two years) the situation in Glendale (the ball is in their court) and how the league views "The Great One." ("He is the embodyment of everything that is good about our game.")

But the one little tidbit of information that perked my ears up was about the Stanley Cup. It is the most revered prize in sports. It has the richest history and is the most difficult to attain. It is the stuff dreams are made of and can bring strong men to tears. (Poor JR)

It is also (supposedly) the only trophy that is presented in front of the fans. Mr. Bettman recanted the story of the first time he ever saw the Stanley Cup. As a Long Island native, he was actually a spectator in the stands at the Coliseum when the Islanders won it. He said it was something he always remembered.

The first time he was to present the Stanley Cup as Commissioner of the NHL he spent some time with it alone first to become more acquainted with what would become a prize it is his pleasure to present every year.

Last night so many more people became acquainted with it on the ice in Philadelphia. Surely it would have made for better photo ops had the Hawks won it at home, but that didn't dampen the spirits of those who lifted it, kissed it, touched it or just marveled at it. It is spectacular.

It's not the 35 lbs of silver that make it so priceless but what it takes to get it and what those who came before had done to have their names etched into it's memory.

While I watched the celebration, I had a brief vision of what it would look like on the ice at the Coliseum. It was a quick glimpse of euphoria. And while it may have just been wishful thinking, it may also be a premonition. Perhaps one day I'll look out over the ice and see players in Islanders jerseys carrying that silver chalice around the ice, passing it from player to player, coach to GM to Owner, and I'll say "Hey! Where did I see THIS before

Hey... It'll happen. Mark my words. It will

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