Five Tips on Meeting the Stanley Cup

Ian FroeseCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2008

For some hockey fans, the chance of their team winning the Stanley Cup in their lifetime is slim to none (*cough, cough* Toronto Maple Leafs).

Therefore, the next best chance to see the Cup is when a local boy brings it home. Here in Winnipeg, Detroit Red Wings players Derek Meech and Darren Helm spent their day with the Cup this summer.

I witnessed the shininess of the Stanley Cup for the first time when hundreds of anxious fans waited in line for Meech.

It was a long wait. Most fans waited between 90 to 120 minutes. I, on the other hand, received VIP treatment—my brothers are in a training program that Meech was once a part of—giving me early access for a picture with Lord Stanley’s Cup, and allowing myself to avoid the huge line.

Now, in the longstanding journalistic tradition of analyzing something that you weren’t a part of, I have five tips on meeting the Cup—considering you are seeing it in a public gathering of a few hundred people.


1. Time management: get to the destination either early or late

Both are viable options. Getting there early permits a spot near the front of the line. But at the same time, arriving near the end of the allotted time slot means the lineup will be short, or even nonexistent.

For example, within the final ten minutes, a father and son showed up, and got their picture within minutes. They didn’t get to speak to Meech—nevertheless, they had no line to wait for.


2. Bring something to do

Sure, it doesn’t come anywhere near hospital wait times, but you will have to hang around for awhile. To kill time, I suggest bringing an mp3 player or a Nintendo DS. Yeah, you might look pathetic, but at least you’re not socializing with strangers, or even family.


3. Be knowledgeable

I’m putting my money on the chance that a superstar isn’t bringing the Cup when you go see it. Thus, being well-informed on the athlete could give you some small talk to discuss with the player when the picture is taken.


4. Look at the Cup

Obviously, you want to smile for the camera. But before you do that, make sure you take a glance at the Cup. That was my regret which was why I returned near the end of Meech’s public showing, to take a closer look. There’s a lot of history to behold, so give yourself the chance to smell the roses.


5. If you can, follow the athlete

Since I had already seen the Cup (VIP!) I was able to follow Meech around with the Cup when he winded his way through the crowd. I got to take some great photos, as hundreds of others had to stay put in their line. In fact, I was on the cover of local newspaper, the Winnipeg Sun—but the picture was blurry, so I didn't use it for the article.


Well, there you have it. While meeting the Stanley Cup isn’t a cakewalk, this is something that I think all sports fans should try and check out.