The Bear Cave

August 9, 2009 10:07 AM

Crosby's Days with Stanley Cup Draw Thousands

Every summer, each member of the Stanley Cup championship winning team gets to spend one or two days with the trophy in their possession. Most players like to bring the Stanley Cup home to show their families, while some will take it around their hometowns to show it off to their friends from the area. On Friday, the cup made its way to Sidney Crosby, for one of the most amazing individual receptions it has ever seen.

The majority of the players tend to have their agendas planned out, as they are fully aware of when their special day will be. As I mentioned above, most of the families are involved in some way, shape, or form. The most historic family story comes from the early 1990s, when the Stanley Cup landed in Mario Lemieux's swimming pool.

After enjoying some time with the family, players typically bring the trophy around town. Youth hockey rinks tend to be the first popular locations on the lists, as the champions are always extremely appreciative of those that helped them reach their ultimate goal. Following the rink, it's off to landmarks in the area that have some special significance to the athlete. For some, that destination can be as simple as an ice cream parlor, as one of the 2008 Detroit Red Wings enjoyed a full ice cream sundae inside of the cup itself. For others, that destination might be a barber shop, a supermarket, or any other location that the player enjoyed spending time at while growing up. When the Stanley Cup arrives at those locations, it also allows fans in the area to get their own piece of the action, as the players are generally accepting of those that want to check out hockey's ultimate prize. In the grand scheme of things, these trips serve as chances for the players to say thank you. Once the trip is completed, the award typically returns to the players' homes for barbecues, dinners, and some more quality time to remember all of the hard work that it took to earn that special day.

For Sidney Crosby, the days with the cup were far from ordinary. Because he is the team captain, Crosby got to enjoy Lord Stanley's Cup for two days. Of course, the first day that he picked was August 7th - his 22nd birthday.

Simply put, Crosby's days with the trophy were absolutely packed with events. The first day began bright and early at 8:20 in the morning, as the Stanley Cup arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The first stop on the tour was at a local naval ship. While Crosby was spending quality time with the military members, fans began to crowd around the water, patiently awaiting the chance to see the face of the game. The first of many singings of "Happy Birthday" took place at around 10:00, as the Pittsburgh captain raised the trophy for fans on the docks of the ships. One of the neat aspects from that part of the day was that Crosby received two military coins, with the intention that he put one at center ice in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics. A hospital visit was next on the agenda, followed by the shooting of a cannon and a parade.

From reading about the events on the internet, the parade was what blew my mind the most. Reports said that over 50,000 people attended Cole Harbour Place. As a New England native, the first visual that went through my head was the 2004 Boston Red Sox parade. That likely had quite a few more people in attendance, and rightfully so, as the Red Sox were a team that had gone 86 years without winning a championship. That being said, there were 50,000 people in attendance for one person on Friday. That's incredible! On a personal note, I would be curious to find out how many people attended the parade in Pittsburgh. If anything, it would be a neat comparison between one player and a whole team.

Crosby's parade was the highlight of the afternoon, while also having a holiday all to himself. August 7th in Cole Harbour will know be known as "Sidney Crosby Day." After the parade, number 87 played a game of street hockey with a few friends, finishing the day with a bang, as his side took home a 7-3 victory. The street hockey tilt drew another remarkable crowd, as over 3,000 spectators watched the former Hart Trophy winner lace up his roller blades. Friday night finished with a private cruise, as Sidney Crosby had a chance to spend some time with his family, friends, and the Stanley Cup.

Saturday was a little bit slower, but still full of excitement for Sid the Kid. The morning started shortly after 7:00, as the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame put together an entire section for their native son. Crosby's infamous dryer got some attention during this part of the day, as the Stanley Cup made its way on top of the former target. The afternoon served as the majority of his private time, as Sidney got to enjoy the trophy at his house. The highlight from the Crosby residence was when the Penguins' forward decided to was the trophy with soap and a hose. Shortly before 8:00 on Saturday, Sidney Crosby returned to the hotel, dropping the cup off for his next teammate.

When I first read all of this, I was amazed. The events during the day were pretty typical, but the crowds were above and beyond. It really shows just how special of a player Sidney Crosby is, as well as what hockey means to those in Halifax, Cole Harbour, and throughout Canada. For those attempting to draw comparisons, it's challenging. In terms of individual celebrations, this is the best ever. In terms of celebrations in general, Crosby's days likely rank right up there with championship teams. For this story, I leave you with this thought - imagine what it would be like if the greatest athlete in a particular sport won a championship and celebrated it in your hometown. How would it compare to Crosby's time in Nova Scotia?

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