Drinking beer from the championship trophy is a long-standing tradition.

By Mike Pomranz
September 05, 2018
Elsa/Getty Images

The NHL might not be as big as the NFL, MLB, and NBA, but North America’s hockey league does have one huge thing going for it: the Stanley Cup. In the other three leagues, the championship trophy is pretty lame: Win the Super Bowl and you’re awarded a trophy topped with a silver football; win the NBA, and your prize is a trophy topped with a golden basketball. Talk about on the nose! Baseball isn’t much better: It’s just a ring of little flags. But hockey…! The Stanley Cup is a literal cup. And as such, you can literally drink out of it!

Needless to say, the first thing many champions are looking to chug out of any cup is some booze, and drinking everything from beers to champagne out of the Stanley Cup has become common practice. But apparently, the NHL is already looking to put the kibosh on one burgeoning new trend: doing “keg stands” from the bowl of the trophy.

Of course, the Stanley Cup isn’t a keg (though some players would probably be open to that proposal), so we’re not talking about literal “keg” stands. Instead, for a Stanley Cup stand, the cup is placed on the ground and filled with beer, then a player is lifted feet first into the air so they can drink from the cup upside-down. It’s kind of like a keg stand where you lap up the liquid like a dog (in a good way!).

Believe it or not, even though the Stanley Cup has existed since 1893, the first-ever Stanley Cup stand didn’t take place until June 8 of this year when Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin pulled the maneuver off quite successfully with the help of four teammates (as seen in video evidence).

According to The Washington Post, none other than members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, who are in charge of maintaining the trophy, concluded that this was the first ever cup keg stand, and they aren’t pleased with the possible ramifications. After Ovechkin’s initial stunt, others followed suit, and soon, the NHL began to worry that all that weight and stress could potentially damage the trophy. Eventually, officials intervened.

“We ask them politely not to do it,” Philip Pritchard, one of the cup’s three minders who has been on trophy duty for 30 years, told The Post. “We’re trying to preserve the history of the Stanley Cup. We don’t want any unnecessary damage to it or a person, in case they drop the person or he presses too hard or something.”

And now, the NHL is considering a strict Stanley Cup stand ban. “We’ll see what happens as we move forward with the Cup,” Pritchard added. “At the end of September, the Cup is going in to get engraved and updated and cleaned and everything, so we’ll see how it is because we have to take it apart then and everything. We’ll know probably more then, in early October, once it’s back for the home opener. Our biggest thing is respect for it.”

Though preventing hockey players from keg standing from the cup they earned might seem unfair, for the record, the cup that travels the world with victorious players today is, indeed, the same cup that was first constructed 126 years ago. And let’s be honest, no 126-year-old should probably be involved in any keg stands. It’s a young person’s game.

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