My Cup tour? Stanley could handle it
With nearly a week between the confirmation of the finals matchup and the beginning of the series in Anaheim, the Stanley Cup -- among many involved -- will have had considerable time to kill before the puck is dropped again in earnest.
I'm wondering whether the Cup might have other acting jobs and promotional appearances lined up after its recent co-starring role with William Shatner on "Boston Legal."
It could start with some promotional commercials for the upcoming Cup finals telecasts, in some cases taking advantage of Orange County's proximity to Hollywood and the other television and movie hotbeds.
In various versions, the Cup could join:
• Liberal Party of Canada Sen. Frank Mahovlich and former fictional Ducks coach Emilio Estevez. Mahovlich could point to his own name on the Cup. Estevez, the writer and director of "Bobby," could briefly plug the recent DVD release of the film, which is tied to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and did tepid box-office business. Estevez could say that if he had to do it over again, he would have had Kings winger Bill "Cowboy" Flett passing through the downtown Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel on that day in 1968.
• Ducks Scott and Rob Niedermayer, plus actor Mark Metcalf, who played Doug Neidermeyer in "Animal House." The Niedermayers would have to respect protocol, but Metcalf could raise the Cup overhead and proclaim: "Any way you spell it, Neidermeyers not dead!"
• Randy Newman, for a ride in a convertible down Harbor Boulevard for a brief remake of the classic video, although the adjusted lyrics -- "I love Anaheim" -- just wouldn't have the same ring.
It doesn't have to stop there. The Cup can be a bon vivant, not just making department store or other routine appearances during the finals.
• Appear in another MasterCard commercial, with the Cup keepers taking Stanley along for comparative visits for burgers at Harvey's on Baseline Road in Ottawa and In-N-Out on Brookhurst Street in Anaheim. (Priceless!)
• Accompany Jay Leno during a "Jaywalking" segment on "The Tonight Show," during which 22 of 23 of those interviewed would have no idea what the Stanley Cup is. Some will take that as an insult to hockey or further evidence of U.S. ignorance of the sport, but cooler heads will point out that those interviewed for any given "Jaywalking" segment typically could not identify the man pictured on the dollar bill.
• Inspire the CBC to bring back the cast of what many friends have told me is one of the greatest satirical sitcoms ever, "The Newsroom," for another reunion episode to act as the lead-in to the Game 4 national telecast in Canada. (Confession: I have the DVD of the first season and haven't gotten around to seeing it.) But the plot could center on Eddie Shack, who appeared on the original series, bringing the Cup into the Toronto newsroom and the staff arguing about who will get to use the station's two credentials at the games in Ottawa. Anchor Jim Walcott would claim them, leaving the sportscaster steaming.
• Be a central figure in the taping of an upcoming episode of "O.C.," perhaps one in which Marissa Cooper wears a "Getzlaf" jersey to the mall, encounters the Cup and talks the Cohens into letting her and Ryan use the law firm's Game 1 tickets. Why? Because it would be better for a real fan to use them than some wine-sipping phony attorney who didn't want the tickets all season and suddenly is on the bandwagon and is looking forward to rooting for Paul Kariya again.
• Wedge in a guest appearance as a member of the group on TSN's "Off the Record," getting respectful treatment from the usually sharp-tongued and always clever Michael Landsberg. (And Argonauts coach "Pinball" Clemons also must be on the show that day, if only because anybody called "Pinball" should be on the show every day.) If Americans are able to watch it on the dish or while visiting, they will notice a rarity -- all the panelists on a sports show actually knowing what the Stanley Cup is.
• Make one of those touching and nostalgic visits to a famous place in its past, perhaps for a between-periods feature on one of the telecasts. The Cup could return to the spot on the Rideau Canal where, in 1905, it suffered the indignity of being drop-kicked by a likely inebriated member of the Cup-winning Ottawa Silver Seven and left behind on the ice overnight. The next day, sanity and sobriety prevailed and the Cup was retrieved.
That would be a grueling schedule, but the Cup would be up to it.
Terry Frei is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. He is the author of "Third Down and a War to Go" and "Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming."
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