‘Keeper of the Cup’ Howie Borrow Reveals the Drinks, Foods—and Babies!—That Have Been in the Stanley Cup (Exclusive)

'There's been $15,000 worth of caviar put in the bowl,' Borrow tells PEOPLE

<p>Lizzie Hyman</p>

Lizzie Hyman

It is the trophy known across the world, and it's been pretty much everywhere on the map too.

The Stanley Cup has climbed the Great Wall of China. It has paid a visit to Afghanistan to meet troops and has stopped by over 30 different countries.

A feat even for us mere mortals, the NHL championship trophy admittedly could not make it without the help of its four keepers, tasked with making sure the cup gets to and from locations safely while being adored by fans.

“It’s a good companion,” Howie Borrow tells PEOPLE. As a Keeper of the Cup, Barrow spends roughly 150 days each year with the trophy. “It goes to bed when I tell it to and lets me wash it each day to take off the fingerprints and the lipstick marks.”

Borrow first became acquainted with the cup when he started as a volunteer at the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. “I just wanted to talk hockey with other fans,” he says. After proving his dedication over five years, Borrow was promoted to Keeper of the Cup in 2009. “It's been a real privilege and honor to be able to travel with what's considered the world's greatest professional sports trophy and most revered,” Borrow says. “Everywhere it goes, there are happy faces.”

In his 15 years with the cup, here is what Borrow has learned.

<p>Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty</p>

Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty

Related: The NHL's First Official Woman 'Cup Keeper' Talks Journey to Her Job at the Hockey Hall of Fame (Exclusive)

Where is the coolest place you have traveled with the cup?

In September, my boss and I were able to go to Australia with the Stanley Cup. The LA Kings and Arizona Coyotes were playing some exhibition games, and it was the first time ever that the cup has been south of the equator. It's a privilege to go and visit some of these places that I never probably would've gone on my own, but because the cup brings me there, it's pretty cool to see these places.

What is the strangest food or drink that has been in the cup?

I mean, the players drink just about anything you can imagine. I’ve seen margaritas drunk out of it. Lesson learned, though: they used salt around the rim to make it an official margarita, but the salt turned the silver black, so we can't do that anymore. As far as food, you name it, it’s been in there. Cereal, ice cream, pierogis, chicken wings, spaghetti, goulash, anything weird. There's been $15,000 worth of caviar put in the bowl.

Anything interesting that has been placed in the bowl outside of food or drinks?

Babies! Players have christened their babies in the bowl. I was witness to two: Jack Johnson’s baby a couple of years ago and Dennis Seidenberg. I have also been witness to the youngest baby in the bowl, that happened twice for me. The record at one point stood at six hours old. But in Chicago in 2010, one of the team’s executives got his baby in the bowl at 97 minutes. We thought, ‘That’s never going to be beaten,’ but then in 2019, we had a baby in the bowl at 20 minutes old.

Related: Jason Kelce Shares Adorable Photo of Daughter, 3 Months, Inside Stanley Cup: 'I'll Cherish Forever'

Have there been any major mishaps with the trophy?

The cup is handled a lot by the players — they will take it golfing, take it fishing, they’ll put their catch inside - and occasionally there are a few mishaps. It gets bumped around here and there, so we try to keep it in great shape. But it's 132 years old now, bits and parts of it, and it's on the road 300 days a year. It's bound to happen. But for the most part, we try to encourage the players to remember that it's not just a trophy, it's a historical artifact and we want to keep it around for another hundred years or more.

How does the cup stay so shiny at 132 years old?

It's just soap and water every day. We also have a silversmith and an engraver that does all the work and keeps it looking as good as it can. A couple of days ago, it was silver polished, so it's all ready for presentation. That usually gets done maybe twice a year.

Who are some of the celebrities you have met while traveling with the cup? 

I’ve met Vince Vaughn, the Jonas Brothers and Adam Sandler. I was thrilled to meet Don Mattingly and get a photo with him. We got to go backstage at a Rush concert and hang out with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, which being from Toronto, was amazing. David Beckham — he picked up the cup because bystanders were telling him to, and then me trying to do my job, I had to go over and explain to him that he's not allowed to do that, because only members of the winning team can pick it up. But it's just all part of the moment and excitement.

What part of a team winning the cup never gets old?

The parades. My very first one in 2010 was in Chicago, and over 2 million people were on the Magnificent Mile. I had never witnessed a parade that large and it was truly amazing. The fans are super excited, the players are too. It's just something that the city itself or the players, the organization, something they've all been striving for. Everybody's always just so happy.

<p>Scott Levy/Getty </p>

Scott Levy/Getty

Related: John Travolta and Son Benjamin, 10, Enjoy Night Out at Stanley Cup Playoffs — Watch the Cute Clip!

What is your advice for people who hope to be future Keepers of the Cup?

If you want to do something, set your dreams and go for it.  If you love the game, you want to work at the Hockey Hall of Fame, get some experience, come in, work part-time hours and get your name out there. It's not a job that comes around very often, so just be persistent and patient.

Looking back on your time as Keeper thus far, are you glad you chose to do it?

The cup is exciting, but it's a tough job. We hear that all the time, ‘Oh my God, you’ve got the greatest job in the world.’ Well, the other day I woke up at 2 a.m. so I could fly here to get stuff done. But I think it’s worth it. I've been doing it a long time now. I still love the job. I wish I was younger so I could keep going, but I will go as long as I can until someone kicks me out.

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