In its 120-year history the Stanley Cup has been tossed into a lake, accidentally left on the side of the road, filled with dog food, planted with geraniums, dented, scratched, pounded, slept on, drunk from, hoisted, toasted and dropped in a celebratory bonfire.
But it had never accepted the challenge of appearing in the annual Biskupic Groundhog Card.
Painstakingly and firmly orchestrated by Vince, the operation relied on precision, hospitality, and a carefully designed playbook that maximized our 57 seconds with hockey’s holy grail.
Our patriarch took no chances; he cobbled a rag tag bunch of blinkers and slouchers and turned us into a photogenic machine.
He hepped us up on caffeine and sugar and ran us through our paces in front of amused onlookers at Starbucks on the second floor of a bustling Barnes and Noble. At first the goal seemed unattainable: a family photo, a Groundhog picture, and an acceptable gravatar for Molly B and Me.
We sweated a little under our Blackhawks jerseys and some of us even voiced our doubts.
But our coach wouldn’t hear of it.
“Line up!” he said.
And we assumed our positions.
“Now, Laura and I drop out and the four kids jump forward.”
“Molly and Laura grab your props and go!”
We grabbed our gear and sprinted to our stand-in trophy — an empty Starbuck’s Iced-Tea cup.
He put us through our paces again in our extraordinarily kind host Tom Beardsley’s office.
Finally, he pronounced us ready and we got in line.
We quickly assembled around the trophy when it was our turn.
“Touch it!” said the photographers and for a moment we froze.
Then, under the blinding flash of cameras, our training kicked in and we performed as our coach had instructed.
You’ll have to wait until February to see our official Groundhog Card. But, for a taste of the historic photo shoot, enjoy these snap shots.