There are all kinds of rumors of nefarious things happening to the Stanley Cup once it falls in the clutches of its victors. (Kevin Allen even wrote a book titled “Why is the Stanley Cup in Mario Lemieux’s Swimming Pool?” which, by the way, is probably one of the tamest tales about the silver chalice.)
With all of those stories flying around, it’s understandable if the Howard Hughes-types of the world really allow their germophobe imaginations to run wild when they see the Cup. Sam Roe of the Chicago Tribune shares a startling discovery, though: the Cup isn’t as dirty as you might think.
Roe and the Tribune staff apparently swabbed the Cup for germs.
We sent the samples to the Chicago lab EMSL Analytical, which found very little general bacteria and no signs of staph, salmonella or E. coli.
“It’s surprisingly clean,” lab manager Nancy McDonald said.
Just 400 counts of general bacteria were found, she said. By comparison, a desk in an office typically has more than 10,000.
“I think that’s great,” said a somewhat relieved Philip Pritchard, keeper of the Cup and curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
According to Pritchard in the story, the Cup is touched and/or kissed by about 5,000 people per day (cue “Stanley’s been around” jokes). The fact that it’s maintained to such a point that it’s far, far less bacteria-laced than a typical office desk is a nice accomplishment, then.
It’s impossible to imagine avoiding taking a drink from the Cup, so now it’s good to know you won’t need a tetanus shot afterward. I’ll leave you with this time lapse video the newspaper posted in that story. It’ll give you an idea of a typical day in the life of Lord Stanley’s Cup … and just how many people come into contact with the coolest trophy in sports.