For a lifelong hockey fan like Command Master Chief Gregg Snaza, it was a visit to the sport’s Holy Grail. But he didn’t have to travel far. On Feb. 25, the famous Stanley Cup was brought to his “doorstep” — the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, undergoing a planned incremental availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va. Here’s the proof:
The 34.5-pound silver-and-nickel alloy trophy — there’s only one, although its shape and size have evolved since it was first awarded in 1894 — annually goes to the National Hockey League championship team, whose members drink champagne out of the topside bowl. Since there’s only one Cup, teams don’t get to keep the trophy, although the team’s name is engraved along with those of other champions. So it’s a sporting icon and for hockey fans, truly something special.
“I’ve played and watched hockey my entire life, but this was the first time I’ve ever had the chance to see the Stanley Cup,” said Snaza. “How very cool … this opportunity was an once-in-a-lifetime chance to get up close and personal with one of the most cherished prizes in all of sports!”
More than 200 sailors and shipyard civilian workers had their photos taken with the Cup. Pretty safe to assume Snaza was one of them.