Wednesday night it’s The Late Show With Lord Stanley’s Cup
BY MITCH DUDEK, STEFANO ESPOSITO AND LAURAN BERTA Staff Reporters June 25, 2013 7:18AM
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Updated: July 27, 2013 6:21AM
Accustomed to the company of large gap-toothed men, the Stanley Cup will feel right at home tomorrow on David Letterman’s desk in New York City.
The fluffy mullet of Blackhawk Patrick Kane will be seated next to the 35-pound trophy for the taping of Letterman’s “Late Show,” which will air several hours later.
The TV appearance will be a rare landmark in a flurry of otherwise unscheduled Cup cameos leading up to the parade and rally here on Friday.
Fans looking for any scrap of intelligence on the Cup’s whereabouts have been turning to Twitter for real-time scuttlebutt.
A few lucky fans spotted Blackhawk Jonathan Toews carry the Cup into The Scout bar in the South Loop before most people had left for work Tuesday morning. Within an hour, the group of about 10 fans who greeted bleary-eyed players with high-fives swelled to hundreds as the area around the bar at 1301 S. Wabash jammed with black limousines and SUVs. Onlookers craned their necks to glimpse past the bar’s papered-over windows.
Around 7:30 a.m., a huge cheer went up as defenseman Johnny Oduya emerged from the bar, apparently ready to call it a night. The Cup itself left in a black SUV about 7:45 a.m., but most of the team continued its private celebration inside, joined for at least a little while by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who slipped in through a side door.
Mike Bolt, the white-gloved guardian of the Cup, said Tuesday that fans seem even more energized than they were three years ago.
“It feels almost like its a little bigger than 2010, like the fan base is even bigger, which is awesome,” said Bolt, whose says he’s seen people cry, shake and faint from coming in contact with the Cup. “I’ve been doing this for 14 years. I’ve seen everything.”
Bolt, 44, who works for the Hockey Hall of Fame, goes wherever the Cup goes. He was catching his breath Tuesday afternoon before heading out for another night of barhopping with the Cup. “We’ll be on a bus later with the players, but we’re not going to tell you where we’re going, word will get out quick enough,” he said.
The Cup, a crowd magnet, has also been escorted by team security and Chicago police.
“It hasn’t been dropped yet, but it’s only Day One,” he joked.
Rabid Hawks fan Emily Diebold, 35, set her alarm for 3:45 a.m., so she could begin stalking the Cup early. Her ambitious plan was wrecked by a snooze button. But Diebold and her firefighter husband, Jay, caught up with the Cup at the United Center, where they peeped at it through a window.
“Then we heard someone in the crowd say it was on the move to Stefani’s [restaurant] and I was like, ‘We’re going.’ I don’t even care. We paid $14 dollars for parking,” said Diebold as she nursed a beer Tuesday afternoon at Tavern on Rush, another possible Cup destination.
“Every time a black SUV rolls by I think it’s the one carrying the Cup,” said Diebold, who works with at-risk teens in Cicero. “I’m checking the ‘WheresTheCup’ Twitter feed like every three seconds. I just want to hug it.”
The famous silver chalice did later make an afternoon appearance at Stefani’s where Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz thanked supporters. It also sat silently through a local talk radio appearance.
Out in the western suburb of Hinsdale, meanwhile, reams of toilet paper hung from the trees outside the home of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.
A neighbor who didn’t want to give her name said neighborhood kids were behind the prank, and local high school boys are already assigned to the “clean-up crew.”
She said the toilet paper began to fly “immediately after the last puck went in.”
The house was also toilet papered in 2010, when Quenneville, wearing a bemused grin, was spotted cleaning up the mess.
This year, thousands of fans paid homage to the Cup by wearing Blackhawk red.
A vendor at Union Station said he sold out of large Stanley Cup T-Shirts in five minutes Tuesday morning.
One Burr Ridge Hawks diehard said Tuesday she’s hoping to get as close to the Cup as she did a rogue puck that made her the series’ most famous fan.
Dr. Patricia Higgins, 55, who was hit in the face with a puck while attending Game 1 at the United Center, said she’s keeping a special cold beverage in her fridge in case she gets a chance to sip from hockey’sHoly Grail.
Higgins, who suffered bruises, migraines and the temporarily loss of her ability to smell and taste, said the pain ceased when the Hawks won the Cup Monday.
“It all went away. Then I had a sip of champagne and got super dizzy, but it was just incredible.”
Contributing: Jon Seidel, Nausheen Husain, Meenakshi Dalal, Kara Spak