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Thursday, May 13, 2004
Why Would Anybody Want To Win This?
Okay, I’ve been taking a break. A lot has happened. Torture, beheadings, train explosions in North Korea. Yes, a lot of reason to be alarmed and/or outraged. But what finally tipped the scales and got me to begin posting again was this (via TSN).
TORONTO - The World Cup of Hockey 2004 Organizing Committee unveiled the new WCH 2004 Championship Trophy on Wednesday. Designer Frank Gehry presented it to WCH 2004 Organizing Committee members Ted Saskin and Ken Yaffe at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Gehry, a Toronto native and life-long hockey fan, was approached by the WCH Organizing Committee last year to create a new trophy for the upcoming tournament that would reflect the global spirit of the game. The trophy will be awarded to the winning team September 14.
"I was raised with it (hockey)," Gehry explained. "We were a poor family so the only thing I could do was listen to Foster Hewitt on Saturday night. It is because of my interest in hockey that I was even interested in designing the trophy. I think my understanding of the game and what trophies mean to players, and to the fans, made it a very important assignment."
The trophy is comprised of four components: a base, pedestal, cup and shell. It's made from a composite alloy of copper and nickel as well as solid cast urethane. The pedestal and base provide support or a "stage" for the shell and cup. The cup sits inside the trophy and is removable from the top of the shell for engraving and display purposes. The shell is made of an array of twisted rectangular shapes sitting on end that are reminiscent of skate marks in the ice.
Water-clear urethane was used to give the trophy an "ice-like" appearance and Stereo Lithography Apparatus (SLA) was used to precisely shape the components into a multi-dimensional puzzle.
"I've seen all of the (NHL) trophies," he said. "They are all very traditional. I think the one thing about the first World Cup of Hockey trophy is that it broke from tradition and it opened the door for us to do a new one."
My first reaction upon seeing this monstrosity was to wonder whether it had actually been purchased at Ikea. Is it a spitoon? A planter? An umbrella holder? Would any self-respecting hockey player actually take pleasure at carrying this thing around the ice in a victory ceremony? It would be like being a parent who was presented with their child’s first efforts at ceramic art. Exactly how are you supposed to react to the misshapen lump of pottery that is possibly an ashtray, possibly a bowl, possibly a doorstop or paperweight? You repress the urge to vomit in your own mouth, and tell them how much you love it and are glad that they gave it to you. But you manage to, over time, shift it from it’s prominent position in the living room, onto shelves that are further and further away from the judgmental eyes of visitors. You can’t come right out and say what’s all too obvious; that it’s an incredibly ugly piece of crap that you’d prefer not to have to look at ever again.
Similarly with this contribution from Mr. Gehry. He may be (according to critics, who of course are never wrong) one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, but I do know that this is possibly the worst trophy I have ever seen. I wouldn’t be surprised to see teams in the upcoming World Cup intentionally throwing games in order to avoid having to be associated with it in any way.