I have been a casual fan of the Anaheim Ducks since day one. I went to their very first game back in 1995, as well as a few other games over the years and watched games occasionally on T.V., but did not really follow the team, until 2006. I could not have picked a better season to watch, because for the first time in franchise history, the Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup.
The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy in professional sports in North America and is a bit of a celebrity in its own right. It has appeared in television shows, beer commercials and has several handlers that accompany it everywhere it goes all around the world.
One of the perks of winning the Stanley Cup is that each member of the winning team gets to have the trophy for one day. Usually, this time involves taking the Cup to their home town, celebrating with family, friends and the community as a whole and, of course, lots of photographs.
The team owners, Henry and Susan Samueli, shared part of their day with the Cup with the members of their temple, and I was fortunate to be invited to photograph. In about two hours, over two hundred people posed with, hugged, kissed and even licked it. It was a crazy experience and I could not have done it without the help of my friend, and fellow photographer, Erika.
Though there was not much time to think, let alone talk with anyone, I did get to hear the story of one boy who came with an 8x10 photograph of his grandfather posing in the locker room with the Stanley Cup just after winning the championship. And then there was this little charmer, who won the hearts of everyone there.
The Ducks play their first game of the 2008 playoffs tomorrow night. Go Ducks!