Fans line up in the Loop to touch the Stanley Cup

June 29, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Tuesday, the Cup was trotted out in the city's main square to give people a chance to get a close look at what the NHL likes to say is the people's trophy.

You walk down to Daley Plaza and there it is -- a nearly 4-foot-high piece of silver hardware every hockey player would love to hoist. The Blackhawks get to the keep the Cup over the summer and essentially do with it what they will -- within reason. So Tuesday they offered it to the fans.

They came to Daley Plaza to make their own memories with the symbol of hockey supremacy, with the smiles and gestures only championship-winning fans get to make.

In line for about an hour, both the senior and junior Bill Lunn anticipated what their moment would feel like -- and how this came to pass.

"It is history -- I am part of that generation that has gotten to see the Stanley Cup, the World Series with the Sox, the election of a black president. What else can I ask for?" said Lori Delarosa, Chicago.

Well, one fan carried a sign asking for the Bulls to sign LeBron James.

For the keeper of the Cup, the excitement and delight in Chicago with his travelling companion surpasses anything he has seen in 11 years of hanging out with an inanimate object. Yet the enforcement of Cup protocol is vigilant.

"The fans are allowed to touch it, kiss it, but if they want to lift it they got to win it like the players," said Mike Bolt, who works for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

And as the day gets longer, so does the line. Some folks had to wait at least 75 minutes before getting their moment with Stanley.

"Whatever it takes. This is once in a lifetime. You might never get this opportunity again, so we are going to grab it when we can," said Jennifer Arabshian, Chicago.

The Cup goes to members of the winning team for a day each through the summer, starting this Thursday.

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