Wednesday, July 20, 2011

There Is No Trophy Like A Hockey Trophy

From kids leagues to adult leagues, professional to amateur, players compete for trophies. Big, small, old and new, trophies come in all different shapes and sizes. Teams win trophies, individuals win trophies. Trophies have given the world of sports its competitive edge, and nothing makes a player forget the pain and agony they felt and endured playing for that championship like lifting the trophy they won, in victory.

Which brings me to the topic of this post. Across the wide spectrum of professional sports, organizations spend millions of dollars employing players in hopes they will help bring a championship to the club. Those championships are all represented by a trophy, a symbol that represents that the teams have made it and can be called champions.

However, some trophies don't quite match up to there solid silver or gold cousins. Below are the championship trophies for the major sports leagues, across the world. I'll list some fun facts about the trophy and do something that has never been done before, give the trophy a trophy based on its appearance, history, past winners, size, stuff like that.

Lets start things off with the National Football League's Vince Lombardi Trophy 
    • First Awarded: 1967
    • Current Champions: the Green Bay Packers
    • Stands 22 inches tall, weighs 7 pounds
    • Team with most championships: The Pittsburgh Steelers (6)
    • A new trophy is made every year, and is inscribed with the participating teams and final score of the Super Bowl after the game.
    • Fun fact: At every Super Bowl two Vince Lombardi Trophies are present just in case one gets "destroyed" in the celebration
    • Fun fact: Original design was drawn on a cocktail napkin
    • Trohpy: THE WE PARTY HARD TROPHY, any trophy that needs a stunt double because the celebrating could get to out of control is okay in my book.

Next is the Major League Baseball's The Commissioner's Trophy
    • First Awarded in 1967 to the St. Louis Cardinals
    • Current Champions: The San Francisco Giants
    • Stands 24 inches tall, weighs 30 pounds
    • Team with most Championships: the New York Yankees (27)
    • The trophy has 30 gold plated flags, one for each major league team, that surround a silver baseball with latitude and longitude lines that represent the world.
    • Fun fact: Unlike the Stanley Cup and Lombardi Trophy the Commissioner's Trophy is not named after an individual (lame).
    • Trophy: The I'm Not Physically Fit But Can Still Be a Professional Athlete Trophy, out of all the major sports leagues in the world, baseball probably requires the least amount of physical fitness. You sprint for about 30 seconds at a time if your lucky enough to even get a hit. Do I even have to get started on some of the doughnuts people call pitchers.

Now is the National Basketball Association's Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.
    • First Awarded in 1977 as the Walter A. Brown Trophy
    • Current Champions: the Dallas Mavericks
    • Stands 2 feet tall, weighs 14.5 pounds
    • Team with most Championships: Los Angeles Lakers (8)
    • Fun Fact: After the Detroit Pistons won the Championship in 2004 the Larry O' Brien Trophy embarked on its first tour of the state of the winning team.
    • Fun Fact: The ball at the top of the trophy is about the same size as an actual regulation ball, 9 inches in diameter.
    • Trophy: Can We Get A Bigger Trophy Trophy, seriously in a league where the average player is around seven feet tall you're going to give them a trophy that's just 2 feet tall! These guys should have a monster of a trophy, not a 15 pound book end.

Up next is the National Hockey League's Lord Stanley's Cup

    • First awarded to the Montreal Hockey Club in 1893
    • Current Champions: The Boston Bruins
    • Team With the most championships: the Montreal Canadiens (24)
    • Stands 3 feet tall, weighs 35 pounds
    • Winners of the Cup often drink, eat, and do other activities in the bowl of the cup, some have eaten cereal out of it. Sean O' Donnell's dog has even ate a meal out of the Holy Grail
    • Fun Fact: Between 1893 and 1914 the Cup was a Challenge Trophy, where other Champion Teams could challenge the current Champion for the Cup.
    • Trophy: The Will Always Have The Manliest Championship Pictures Trophy, due to a phobia that keeps hockey players from shaving during the course of the playoffs, in fear of losing, the winning team always sports the manliest of playoff beards when they are taking celebratory pictures.
Now the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup
    • First Awarded in 1909 to Univeristy of Toronto Varsity Blues
    • Current Champions: the Montreal Alouettes
    • Team with the most championships: Toronto Argonauts (15)
    • Originally the Grey Cup was awarded to the top Rugby team, but over time the league became the Canadian Football league and amateur teams ceased competing for the Cup.
    • Fun Fact: The widest margin of victory was 54-0.
    • Trophy: The You Look Very Similar To The Stanley Cup Trophy, originating in Canada it is no surprise that this trophy is very similar to the Stanley Cup. I think the Stanley Cup gets more points because it has other trophies jocking its swag. They even engrave the winners on the trophy like Lord Stanley.
Here's the English Premier League Trophy
    • First awarded to: Manchester United in 1992
    • Current champions: Manchester United
    • Team with most championships: Manchester United (11)
    • 30 inches tall, weighs 56 pounds
    • The name of the winning clubs are listed around the circumfrence of the trophy.
    • Fun Fact: There is three crowns on the trophy, one on each lion above the handles, and one on top of the trophy which is supposed to be seen as the captain of the winning team's when he raise the trophy after winning it. 
    • Trophy: The Why The Hell Is This Thing So Heavy Trophy, 56 pounds! Are you kidding me! I mean these are soccer players, they don't have the most upper body strength. What are they going to do, squat the damn thing!

And last but not least, The Kontinental Hockey League's Gagarin Cup.
    • First awarded to AK Bars Kazan in 2008
    • Current champions: Salavat Yulaev Ufa
    • Team with most championships: AK Bars Kazan
    • Weighs 40 pounds
    • Although the league is only three years old the KHL has lured some of the most talented hockey players in the world away from the NHL, and has claimed to be the best hockey league in the world.
    • Fun Fact: It is named after the first human in space.
    • Trophy: The Slow Down Young Grasshopper Trophy, for a league that is only three years old to claim to be the best hockey league in the world is a bit of a jump, a quick jump at that. The KHL has a ways to go to rival the NHL and the Stanley Cup.

Needless to say they are all great trophies. However some are better than others. History wise, the Stanley cup takes the cake, sure the Commissioner's Trophy, once again, lame, has been around for a long time but a new trophy is made every year. The same Stanley Cup has been lifted by every winner that has ever won the trophy, that's history. 

In terms of looks I would say its a tie between the Gagarin Cup and the English Premier League's trophy. Both look great, they have gold tops and silver bases, both have their own personal flair as well. The Gagarin Cup has a row of hockey puck around the trophy, and the Premier League Trophy has tons of colorful ribbons added to it. Pretty!

The trophies that are the least appealing are those of the sports that have the biggest followings, the Lombardi and O' Brien trophy. They are small, and not too appealing to look at. There is a new trophy made every year so there is no special value added to the trophy itself. But hey, everybody loves the NFL and NBA right?

Oh and then there is the Grey Cup, or should I say Stanley Cup Junior. Although it looks good I cant help but think, stop trying to be like Lord Stanley when I look at it. Which in my eyes adds to the reasons the Stanley Cup should have the title of world's best trophy. Of course I may be a little biased. Sound off below.

1 comment:

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