As the Stanley Cup wraps up its summer tour, it made a big appearance Wednesday in Millennium Park.
The Cup was on public display from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage. Eager fans wearing jerseys arrived as early as 5 a.m. to join the line. By mid-morning, the crowd snaked around the pavilion yard, covering it in red.
Tom O'Shea and his friend Pat Crost were two of the many early risers. Crost said he appreciated the experience because no other sport gives fans the chance to see and feel the team's success.
"Best trophy in sports," O'Shea added.
Danny Ross was equally starstruck by the experience. After more than three hours of waiting, he was able to say he saw--and kissed--Lord Stanley.
"It was a culmination of 40 years of being a Blackhawks fan," he said.
The Cup will return to Toronto's Hockey Hall of Fame in a few weeks. It paraded around Chicago all summer, but Wednesday's showing offered mass accessiblity like never before.
Meanwhile, the team on Tuesday night started their season the way they ended the last -- with a victory. The Blackhawks topped the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 in their first preseason game.