Stanley’s Overshare

by Ryan

I can’t speak for everyone on this, but then again I’m a fairly awkward individual. Maybe this is just something I don’t understand, and so that’s why I’m asking. Here’s my story:

I was at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Saturday. If you’ve ever been before you know what the big deal is at the HOF: the Stanley Cup. In fact, for most people that’s the only deal when you get there, and that bank vault and showroom is one of the cooler buildings in the world for that reason.

So I’m standing there watching people look at the Cup and I thought to myself: “I wonder who’s going to touch it.”


Now I’m a fairly superstitious guy, so there was no chance I’m touching it. Sure, I got pretty close and checked out the new names, but there was no way my hands were even getting near it. The Cup is seen as something deserved by the players, and I clearly didn’t win anything, so it’s not mine to touch.

Besides, it’s just bad luck. Whether you’re a player or a fan or anyone, if your team hasn’t won a Cup you’re not supposed to even sniff it. Those are just the rules. I was pretty sure most people knew this, and for the people I was with it didn’t need to be said.

Still, a lot of people touched that trophy. Better yet, they were all over it. Two hands, hugs, grabbing it from the top and tipping it down towards them. One guy even got up on top of a step stool and used the bowl to support himself as he looked at engravings on the inside of the Cup. These people were all up on that thing, and I have to admit I was a bit thrown by that.

So I have to ask you guys: what’s the rule as fans with the Stanley Cup? I think we all know that, like Sabretooth, there are two Stanley Cups; and so perhaps different rules apply for each? Is it okay for the HOF Cup to get molested because that’s not the trophy the players get?

Does it depend on what team you root for? Can Red Wing fans touch the cup while Sabres fans need to hold off until the apocalypse? For example, Captain Step Stool was a Blue Jackets fan. Completely uncalled for, or true visionary?

Like I said I’m an awkward individual, so maybe I just don’t know how to act around a pretty statue. Maybe someone can fill me in here.


  1. I think only the die hard dedicated hockey fans stay away from touching the cup for superstitious reasons.

    It’s there for people to be able to get up close and personal and touch it if they want, to live the dream.

    That being said I had some one on one time with the real cup at the AHL All-Star game and when my eyes saw “Dallas Stars 1999” I almost kicked it over.

  2. The real Cup stays at the HHOF, and the “decoy” is on display only when the Cup goes on tours for promotions and such. But you can see the real deal at the HHOF when Stanley is not on the road.

    You know, something that’s always endeared me about the Cup is how hands-on the fans can get with it. It’s surprising, because whenever you’re at a museam type of atmosphere, everything is always behind glass or velvet ropes, for viewers only to admire at a distance, but with the Cup, you’re allowed to almost anything to it and I think that’s been embraced by fans young and old throughout its history. Fans like touching of all the engraved names, and they like being able to see all the legends who have won the Cup up close. I think it gives fans a sense of excitment, knowing how much history is behind the Cup and they get to sort of be apart of it, even if it’s only by touching it. It’s also exciting for them to know that they’re touching something that has also been touched by many hockey legends dating back to the early 20th century.

    I think the fact that the Cup is so tangible with fans is special, and it creates a bigger bond for fans to the sport that they cherish so much.

    I’ve been to the HHOF many times, and I admit that I have touched the Cup. I first touched it when I was a kid. And when I have visited it recently, I still like grazing my fingers over the engraved names of the all the players who have won it. I’m not that superstitious, and to be honest I’m not sure if the rules of not touching the Cup before you win it applies to the fans. I think that’s reserved just for the players, as they’re the ones who are actually playing for it. They will pratically let you do anything to the Cup, although one thing they don’t let you do is hold it. One time some guy had a huge duffel bag with him and he picked up the Cup until the guard standing there said, “Not going to happen, man.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure he was trying to steal it.

  3. I think you are supposed to lick it…

  4. I’m terrified of the Cup.

  5. I think I would stare at amazement for quite sometime… touch it I don’t know. I don’t feel I am privileged enough to. I didn’t shed blood, sweat and tears for that trophy that every boy and man strives to get who plays the game. It’s not a superstition thing… I think it’s a respect thing. The more and more I get into the game… the more respect I have for the men who step out on to that ice every day and do what they do. It’s what they do off the ice as well. I couldn’t imagine putting yourself through all that. It’s pure dedication. I’m not worthy enough to even touch it…

    I definitely would take lots of pics of it… with it… my daughter with it.

  6. Ogre39666

    For me The Cup is hands-off. Unless that is your team has won it, then I’d say it’s not terrible to touch it, especially if your at the parade or some event where a player is showing it off. But at the HHOF, touching (for those who are fans of teams that have won it) should be limited to maybe moving a finger over the engraved names or other things like that; no groping, licking, hugging, kissing, ect. For me it’s all about respecting what it takes to win it and those who have.

  7. Eff superstition. I’d lift the thing over my head and tote it around if they’d let me.

  8. dani

    Ryan Miller touched the Cup and we haven’t made the playoffs since…! That is just craziness. But really, I think you are safe.

  9. Amy

    I do think it would be alright to run your fingers lightly over the area where a famous player’s name appears. That’s showing respect for history and the fact that someday your guys could be on there. Hugging the Cup or doing what Ms. Pannetierre is doing are definitely out of the question.

    dani, I’ve heard the Miller and the Cup story, but to be fair to Ryan, his brother accidentally touched him with it. It’s not like Ryan grabbed a hold of the thing and carried it around. I think he’s just superstitious enough to not intentionally touch the Cup until he’s won it.