My family and I were heading down to Illinois from our home in central Wisconsin on August 18th to attend a wedding. When we learned that Adam Burish would have the Stanley Cup on display in Madison on that day, it was a gift from heaven. After all, we drive right by Madison whenever we head to Illinois.
I became a bit concerned, though, when I heard that the Cup would be on display at the Kohl Center from 10 to noon, and people were allowed to line up beginning at 8am. I have 4 young children and a very pregnant wife. Getting there early enough to be assured of a good spot in line would mean leaving my house ridiculously early, driving for 2 hours to Madison, and then waiting in line for a few more hours. The aforementioned family was NOT so thrilled with this idea.
So we decided to stay at a hotel the night before, one that was in downtown Madison, close enough to the Kohl Center so I could walk there early and wait in line, and then the wife and kids could join me later. So that's what we did.
I arrived at the Kohl Center a little before 7am and found that there were 20 people in front of me. I had bought a new lawn chair just for this occasion (for the wife to sit in) and plopped down and waited. The line began to grow as the hours wore on.
Toward the back of the line
The front of the line
Soon, various film crews were going around and doing interviews. (I tried to get on--"great human interest story here, pregnant wife and family of little ones all waiting for the Cup"--but I'm apparently too ugly for TV.) At around 9, a cheer went up from the back of the line. Apparently, Burish had arrived with the Cup and was entering the building through another door.
Then it happened: the doors were opened and we were beckoned in. We went in and lined up along the wall. Then I saw it. The Cup! My breath actually caught in my chest. Here is my first view.
I must have been so excited that I lost track of time because the line seemed to be moving really fast. Next thing I knew, there was Adam Burish.
I told him "Congratulations!" and he thanked me. I then told him that he had the best line of the playoffs. He sort of rolled his eyes a bit and said, "Oh, yeah..." apparently thinking I meant the Pronger comment. I said, "I mean the one when Carcillo took out Carter, and you told him it was his first good hit of the season." He laughed pretty good at that. I said that I wished he were still with "us" and he thanked me.
And then there was the Cup! It really shines! The next thing I knew a man was taking my camera and handing it to a woman and telling me to get my family next to the Cup and she would take our picture. He was practically pushing us along. We moved to the Cup and the woman snapped a picture before we were even looking at her and while my 3-year-old was fighting with me about being in the picture. The man tried to move us along, but I said to take another one when we were actually looking at the camera and she obliged.
Note the pregnant wife with the lawn chair. My 3-year-old is lying on the floor behind the table. My 7-year-old son refused to touch the Cup because he plays hockey. I'm the ugly one.
My Family with the Stanley Cup
And then we were told to move along. I really wanted a shot with me and the Cup alone, but the guy practically shoved us away. I stood off to the side taking more pictures and then I was told to leave the area. My watch read 10:06. We had gotten in a minute or two before 10. I had been in the building maybe 7 total minutes. The line WAS moving fast!
So, I paid almost $200 for a hotel room, bought a new lawn chair, waited in line over 3 hours, and altered my family trip all so I could see the Stanley Cup for 20 seconds.
Was it all worth it? What do you think?
The Stanley Cup, currently in possession of the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks