Happy Seventh Stanley Cup-aversary!

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images, http://www.foxsportswest.com/story/ducks-classics-to-air-on-prime-ticket?blockID=805301

Destiny is Heart, Sacrifice and Passion (reposting from last year)

Six Seven years ago today the Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup.

It's still kind of surreal. I'm not sure where to start. I could recap the game a bit, but I'm not going to for three reasons:

1) There are plenty of box scores and recaps and whatever for that. (Also shhhhh, don't tell anyone, but the entire game is on Youtube. Fair warning, if you get to 1:35:10, you might want some tissues handy.)

2) From a purely objective and neutral standpoint it was not a good game. The game winner was an own goal for Teemu's sake.

3) That's not really what this day is about.

So, I guess I'll just say I'm going to be continuing the tradition that Adam Brady started last year by having a toast to that INCREDIBLE team at 7:35 pm PT. I was one of the lucky 17,372 to be at The Pond that night and the mere fact that the game ended that early is somewhat unbelievable for me. I know it was a 5 o'clock start, but the night just seemed to go on forever, in the best way possible.

Maybe it's because I refused to sit down for the entire third period, or that I stayed in the building for what seemed like hours staring at the Cup sitting on the ice with everyone celebrating around it. Could be that for the entire ride home I looped "We Are The Champions" on my iPod, or that I got home and immediately watched hours upon hours of post game footage, interviews, reactions and celebrations. How about going to class the next day dressed in a Ducks t-shirt, sweatshirt, jersey, hat and a makeshift scarf formed by tying like five fowl towels together? (not safe for bike riding, by the way)

While all that stuff is great, I think the real reason is because it wasn't just about that game, or that night or even that season. It was the culmination of 14 years, not 45, I know... but still literally 2/3 of my life at the time, immersing myself in the team and the game physically, temporally, economically, intellectually (at times) and most of all emotionally to a level that can best be described as unhealthy.

I usually try to avoid using the word "we" when talking about the Ducks. I don't score any of the goals or make any saves or run any practices or anything of the sort, but days like today remind me why it's ok. I'm 2728-years-old and I've been following the Ducks for nearly two full decades now. The only thing I can think of that's been in my life for longer is my immediate family, and they're intertwined as well.

I fell in love with the sport by watching the Mighty Ducks movie on VHS with my sister. I went to my first game (and so many others) with my dad. I was at the Stanley Cup game (and even more others) with my mom. As the celebration died down I went downstairs to share the moment with the woman who would become my wife. And I'm somewhat ashamed to admit how excited I was when I found out that my son would be born actually in the City of Anaheim proper.

I could go on and on, but I've gotten corny enough already, so here's the cherry on top: I may not officially part of this team, but it's part of me. To be clear, I don't say that to be elitist or a hipster that liked the team before it was cool (it's still not, by the way). It doesn't matter if you became a fan in '93, '03, '07 or yesterday. If you feel the pride that your team WON THE STANLEY F***ING CUP, if you feel that sense of community, that you're part of something else, bigger than yourself; it's your cup too.

So why not celebrate by sharing your thoughts and memories here in the comments and having a drink for the people who gave us this day?


Photo Credit: Bruce Benett/Getty Images, proicehockey.about.com

Don't forget all the folks at Disney and Bryan Murray while you're at it... and a little thank you to the New Jersey Devils for winning Game 4 last year two years ago so we don't have to share today with a team who shall not be named.

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