BOSTON (CBS) — Tampa Bay is starting to refer to itself as “Champa Bay.” With two world championships in the span of six months, that title is well-earned.
And with the celebrations that accompany those championships, the Tampa Bay athletes are continuing the time-honored tradition of partying rather hard. Unfortunately, Lord Stanley’s Cup seemed to suffer the consequences of those actions on Monday.
With the Lightning partying on the water before a massive storm hit the area, the Cup seems to have taken a significant bump along the way. A photo of the actual cup atop the iconic trophy appeared to be quite dented.
See for yourself:
— Bolts Jolts (@BoltsJolts) July 12, 2021
While images on the internet can often be manipulated or flat-out faked, this one appears to be real. ESPN reported that the “Keepers of the Cup” covered the hallowed trophy in a blanket while removing it from the celebration, and that it will now be taken back to Canada for “repairs.”
As for exactly which player might have been responsible for the damage, that much remains a mystery. ESPN reported “there’s no word on how the Cup was damaged.”
The moment marks the second perilous moment for iconic sports trophies in Tampa this year, as Tom Brady’s toss of the Lombardi Trophy from one boat to another in February was slightly risky for the humans and trophy involved. Fortunately, Cameron Brate caught that toss, saving the dive team from having to recover the hardware from the bottom of the bay.
Here in Boston, where local teams have celebrated 12 championships since 2001, we’ve certainly witnessed some damaging blows to championship trophies. A rumor circulated way back after that first Super Bowl victory of an accidental fumble leaving the tip of the Lombardi dented. A more concrete example came after Super Bowl LIII, when Rob Gronkowski used the trophy as a baseball bat while bunting a pitch in the batting cage at Fenway Park.
.@RobGronkowski left a mark on this organization.
And on the sixth Lombardi. pic.twitter.com/t5IVTyCXcA
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 17, 2019
However the Stanley Cup, against all odds, managed to avoid damage during the Bruins’ summer-long celebration back in 2011.