The Oviraptors spokesperson was still riding high on the joy of winning the Stanley Cup several weeks previously, and answered the call from the NHL’s PR person cheerfully.
“Listen,” the PR person said, “we’ve got a problem with the Oviraptors fans.”
“What kind of problem?” the spokesperson asked blithely, little knowing what was coming.
“They’re saying they won the Stanley Cup.”
A cold, creeping horror struck the spokesperson. They had won, hadn’t they? The winning goal, the cheering, the champagne from the trophy, the weeks of celebration, were those a fever dream? Or no, a ghastly thought arose, had it all been a mistake?
“Did someone contest the ref’s call?” the spokesperson asked, numbly.
“What? No, the Oviraptors won fair and square. But the fans are saying they won.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Here, I’ll read you this tweet. Someone called PuckerUp wrote, “I can’t believe we won the Stanley Cup! I’m so excited you guys!” And there’s more like that. They really think they won it. So we want you to tell them that it was the Oviraptors team that won, not them. They can say they supported the actual winners.”
“Uh, are you sh—“ the spokesperson quickly changed course mid-sentence. “Are you sure someone saying “we won” instead of “my favorite team won” is a problem? I think everyone knows it was the athletes who actually won…”
“It dilutes what winning the Stanley Cup means, if just anyone can go around saying they won it. I mean, listen to this: HockeyLuvver63 tweeted, “Oviraptors won because I was the MVP and saved Darcy from rolling off the couch.” And then there’s a picture of this woman catching a Boston Terrier in a puck costume as it slides off a sofa. If people keep saying things like that, other people might start thinking the real winners and MVPs are just making it up too, and sneer at them for it.”
“I believe,” the spokesperson said carefully, “that that may have been a joke.”
“Joking,” the PR person replied frostily, “about the Stanley Cup harms its reputation. We don’t want Oviraptors fans making a mockery of it.”
“I don’t think the joke is at the Stanley Cup’s expense. If anything, it’s at the expense of the the person making the joke. You know, laughing about the idea of something silly, like catching a little dog dressed up like a hockey puck.”
“This isn’t funny, it’s a serious matter. And we want you to try to put a stop to it.”
“Um. Okay, then. So you want me to write a press release telling our fans that the NHL wants us to…”
“Make sure they know what the Stanley Cup represents. Remind them that it’s the team who won the Stanley Cup, not the fans themselves, so they shouldn’t mistakenly call themselves Stanley Cup winners.”
“Right. Right, okay. I will… get right on that.”
The spokesperson stared at the blank document and blinking cursor for a moment after the PR person ended the call, as if staring down over a cliff edge that the PR person wanted to be pushed over on a toboggan.
We’re as excited as you are about the Oviraptors’s Stanley Cup win, and we are shouting it to the rafters! the spokesperson typed. We are grateful to the NHL for recognizing the Oviraptors with the award…