About trophies and traditions

I’m a little bored with all that “the stanley cup is the best trophy in all sports”, “the stanley cup is the hardest trophy to win”, “the handshake is the best/classiest tradition in all sports” rhetoric.

Seriously. I love the playoffs, the handshakes, and the Stanley Cup as much as any other hockey fanatic. Yes, the Stanley Cup kicks ass, and it’s indeed a very special trophy. It has a unique shape, a great history filled with funny anecdotes. Yes the traditions associated with it (the names engraving, the fact that the players get to spend a day with it) are really cool. It’s true that it “works” as a trophy, because it’s big and shiny, and yet it  looks great when it’s  triumphantly raised above the head. But why do we need to call it the best in all sports? Are we really this insecure?

What are the criterions to make such a claim? Is it the uniqueness of its shape? Well, some other sports have pretty unique trophies too:

CB107791I hate boxing, but the belt concept is pimp.

america's cupAmerica’s cup: a nice little pitcher.

bouclier brennusFrench rugby championship trophy : le Bouclier de Brennus.

I don’t even think the Stanley Cup is the most revered trophy in sports. It’s not the most famous either. Maybe that’s because I’m European, but I think the most famous trophy in sports is easily the football world cup.

coupe du monde

Bling bling

Does this make the world cup trophy the best trophy in all sports? No. It doesn’t either. There just isn’t a BEST trophy. Obviously the Stanley Cup means a lot to us hockey fans, and it’s logical we like it better than other trophies. But the “best trophy in all sports” thing is unnecessary really.

As for the handshake, it’s hardly the only great fair play tradition in sports. In rugby, at the end of a game, the winning teams forms a corridor and applauds the losing teams as it passes to retreat to its dressing room. I think that’s pretty cool too.

And speaking of rugby, how about the haka? Isn’t it an amazing tradition too?

I think hockey fans can be proud of the cool traditions of their sport. But there is no need to claim every single year that hockey has the best trophy and the best traditions all around. These claims make no sense, because this is completely subjective.


Ok, let’s call this for what it is: the blog is in a little hiatus right now.

I just don’t feel like writing these days. I’m under some stress because of my work. I’m writing a PhD thesis, and I’m currently planning a crucial trip to Canada. I’m supposed to go there for about a month, in September, and this is crucial because that’s how I plan to conduct most of the interviews I need to do for my thesis. So I’m worrying about all sorts of things right now, but none of it has anything to do with hockey. Where am I going to stay in Montreal? Will I get my freaking new passport in time? How am I going to pay for this trip? Will I actually meet the people I have to meet?  What do I have to ask them? This is a little unnerving…

Of course, this is also very exciting to know that I’m about to finally come back to Montreal for a while. I can’t wait to be there, but at the same time, I really wish I had more time to plan for this trip!

By the way, this is a little random, but I have a question for the people reading this from Montreal: Do you have any tips regarding housing? I can’t afford to stay in a hotel, or even a youth hostel for a complete month (especially since I’ll still have to pay my rent in France). I have a few friends living in Montreal but I don’t really feel comfortable sleeping in someone’s living room for a month… So, do you have any suggestion? For instance, do you know if it’s possible to find a room in a shared appartment for only a month? If you have ANY tip, please leave it in the comments, or send me an email!

Anyway, I’m not sure this was really interesting, but I just felt I needed to explain a little bit what was going on, and why I’m not updating the blog (or writing on twitter) very often.


Posted June 23, 2009 by Grrrreg in Uncategorized

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