In a world...
Where the cool guy with the Stanley Cup shows up at my door and tosses a few knuckles on it. I answer and know exactly what’s going down. It’s my day with the Cup. Get the adult diapers and loose fitting pants ready, right? Nah.
The euphoria of the victory in the Finals hasn’t worn off yet, and while I am tired and still sore from the extended season and never-ending party that followed, it’s time to get serious with my shiny piece of history. Luckily, I have prepared the body for this splurge. I ate a bunch of bland green salad particles and disgusting protein shakes for a whole four days. A warning to the body that a large amount of naughty food will be delivered soon.
I’ve been dreaming about this day ever since I was kid, following my dad up and down the famous streets of the legendary St. Louis neighborhood, The Hill. Yogi lived over there, a hundred grandmothers governed over here, and what not. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am going to take Lord Stanley, and its keeper, on a tour of my town.
No, I won’t make spaghetti or meatballs in it. I won’t pour margaritas in it, even if that’s a wonderful idea, Lady Bozak. I won’t aim for a pool a few floors below and miss, hitting concrete. It won’t head over to the East Side with me to Mississippi Avenue. The Stanley Cup will not ride the Mechanical Bull at Ballpark Village, nor will it be stuffed with toasted ravioli or a dozen quarts of Ted Drewes.
I’d take it every spot I went to as a kid, where the first thought of playing for and winning The Stanley Cup originated in my head. I’d let the people at these places see it, touch it, or give it a big hug.
First stop would be Vitale’s Bakery on the Hill. Okay, I would go in the back and rub some flour on The Cup as I shoved the best canolis in town into my mouth and grabbed two bags of those delicious small cookies. I’d go up the street to Shaw’s Coffee for a Macchiato, letting all the old men sitting in front touch the Cup and get their fingerprints on history. Next, we’d hit Zia’s for a bowl of pasta and red wine.
Next, we’d head over to Brentwood Rec Center, where I played high school hockey. You walk in and smell all the odors that scared you as a kid but comes off as Bed, Bath, and Beyond these days. I’d let the young players see it and touch, a full circle moment for me as well as the chance of the next homegrown player setting his future in motion.
After that, we’d head downtown to the Broadway Oyster Bar. A place where everybody smiles, drinks, and dances to music. I’d place that Cup on the stage and tell the singer to drop a heavy riff as I crack open a beer and devour their delicious oysters.
From there, we’d walk up Market Street with it. Sure, the parade was here a few weeks ago, but this one is just me and the Cup doing an encore. Oh, Brett Hull would show up too, appearing literally of thin air ready to party. Random people would run over, get a picture, and spread the word. Stanley was in town and hanging out. I’d be armed with a 12 pack of beers wrapped around my waist like a gunslinger from the Wild West. They’d be slammed before I got to Tucker.
I’d take the Cup up to the Enterprise Center and literally sit down next to the statues and drink with Hull and Stanley. We’d sit there, talk about the old times, new times, and why alcohol takes away the troubles of life for a few hours. Low key and great. After all, Hull was the reason I wanted to be a hockey player.
Finally, I’d stop over on Oakland. There’s a bunch of retail stores there, but once upon a time, there was a place called the Old Barn. I’d track down the exact spot I ate McDonald’s cheeseburgers with my dad and brother, and plop down there with Stanley.
When it was all said and done, I’d retire to the parents home in Richmond Heights, where cigars would be lit, bourbon would be poured, and good times would roll.
Stanley wouldn’t be harmed, stained, or fucked with. All respect to the ones who did whatever, but I would just cart that lovely thing around town, showing it off and letting people in on history.
What would you do?