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Here Are 9 Championship Trophy Mishaps

The Stanley Cup, alongside it's other trophy counterparts are sacred to sports... but that doesn't mean they are safe from accidents!

Hockey easily has the best hardware in sports, and lots of it. The NHL alone awards 14 individual trophies annually in addition to the mother of all championship trophies, the Stanley Cup.

In its 100-plus years, hockey has seen its share of trophy mishaps. So, this week I’m going to show you some of the best hockey trophy fails of all time.

Stanley Cup, 2022
After winning the Stanley Cup in 2022, the Colorado Avalanche’s Nicolas Aube-Kubel stumbled as he made his way to the teams on-ice team championship photo. Fortunately, he was holding the Stanley Cup at the time, and he was able to break his fall with hockey’s Holy Grail. The result was a dent to the Cup’s base ring.

memorial cup, 2008

In 2008, the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs won junior hockey’s top honor, the Memorial Cup. But, after hosting the 93 year-old relic for just a few seconds the trophy fell apart in captain Chris Bruton’s hands as he handed it off to a teammate. The stunned youngsters picked up the pieces and celebrated as best they could.

 

Norris Trophy, 1993

Chris Chelios is one of the greatest d-men of all time, with three Stanley Cups,11 all-star game appearances, and three Norris Trophy wins to his name. But, one Norris nod stands out above the rest.

In 1993, at the NHL Awards ceremony, the lid popped right off the replica Norris that Chelly was holding, complete with a pang sound. Smooth as ever, Honey Nut rolled with it, delivering a quick joke to ease the tension. What a pro!

Clarence campbell bowl, 1994

The Vancouver Canucks were a team on a mission in the 1994 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tearing through the Western Conference bracket en route to their second Stanley Cup Finals appearance.

After the ‘Nucks beat the Leafs in game five of the Western Conference Finals, captain Trevor Linden hoisted the Clarence Campbell Bowl over his head, dumping the lid on the ice.

Have they not realized that hockey players want to host and shake these trophies when they win?

trevor linden holding the clarence campbell trophy

More Trophy Mishaps

Hockey’s not the only game that’s experienced some embarrassing award presentations. Here are some contributions from across the world of sports:

u.s. open of tennis, 2006

When 19 year old Maria Sharapova won the 2006 US Open, she flipped her lid — literally. It was the second Grand Slam win of her young career, and, after receiving the championship trophy, she was so excited, she just couldn’t keep a lid on it.

 

TBD

u.s. open of bowling, 1991

Professional bowler, Pete Weber, best known for the viral video of him animatedly smack-talking nobody, won the US Open of Bowling all the way back in 1991. For his performance, he was awarded the Eagle Trophy. Unfortunately, the trophy simply fell apart in his hands and came crashing to the ground as cameras flashed.

 

grey cup, 2014

2014 was the Calgary Stampeders year as they defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 20–16 to bring the CFL’s championship trophy — the Grey Cup — home to Calgary. Unfortunately, they brought it home in two pieces.

 

grey cup

real madrid, 2011

After waiting 18 years to clinch the Copa del Rey again, Real Madrid showed the league they can’t be trusted with nice things. Sergio Ramos with the first literal example of ‘thrown under the bus’ I’ve ever seen!

 

nba rising stars mvp, 2014

Each year, as part of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, the league puts on the Rising Stars Challenge — an exhibition game featuring all the best young talent the NBA has to offer. The stand-out of the 2014 edition was Andre Drummond, who received the Rising Stars MVP trophy… almost.

 

jerseys are built to last... why not trophies?

The fact is athletes get so excited when they win that championship trophies get damaged a lot. I don’t understand why the caretakers don’t reinforce the trophies and glue those lids on. As a jersey maker, I know to reinforce the shoulders and elbows of pro hockey jerseys, otherwise it’ll fall apart. I would’ve thought the same logic would apply to trophy-making.

But, I guess that’s why I’m not in the trophy-making business.

Hey, if you had as much fun reading this as I did writing, subscribe to the 4 Shots with Keener Newsletter, by signing up below. Every week I send along my latest meditations on hockey jerseys and hockey culture right to your inbox. And the best part? It’s free! So, sign up now, and I’ll see you next week!

 

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