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Folks cram downtown bar to see The Cup



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The crowd around the Stanley Cup was large and constant. (click for larger version)
August 24, 2011 - In the religion of hockey, it's considered the Holy Grail. Only the purest of heart and most skilled on the ice get to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup in the air as National Hockey League champions.

On Tuesday night, the 119-year-old trophy visited the 24th Street Sports Tavern in downtown Oxford.

Folks jam-packed the bar and lined the street to catch a glimpse of the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America.

When the Cup, currently held by the Boston Bruins, finally arrived nearly two hours later than scheduled, the crowd wildly cheered. Before it entered the bar, members of the Oxford Village Police and Oxford Fire Department posed for photos with it.

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After that, the public got its chance to pose for photos with it, free of charge.

Among those excited to see, touch and pose with the Stanley Cup was the Kutler family, of Oxford, which included Brad, Jen and their 5-month-old son, Mason.

They were all decked out in their best Detroit Red Wings apparel.

"We absolutely love hockey," said Brad, who's a 1998 graduate of Oxford High School. "We're hockey fans from birth, so we just had to come see the Cup."

To be able to touch the Cup was "a lifelong dream" for Brad.

Tiny Mason actually got to sit inside it.

"He was baptized only a week ago, so this is perfect," Jen said.

"This is the hockey baptism," Brad added.

Even though he wasn't too pleased about the experience, there's no doubt that one day, Mason will look back and realize how fortunate he was to touch a valuable piece of history at such a very young age.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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