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The Colorado Avalanche are Stanley Cup champions for the first time since 2001, and the celebrations are in full swing for the players, their families and friends, and... team reporters?
Longtime Avalanche beat reporter Mike Chambers of the Denver Post shared photos of his own celebrations with the Cup on Twitter on Monday.
— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) June 27, 2022
Chambers posed with the Cup over his head with a cigar in his mouth and a stained button-up shirt, before getting a picture with Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog and the trophy.
Many fans and fellow media members took exception to Chambers' celebrations, reminding the reporter of the impartiality and objectivity that the press are traditionally expected to adhere to.
Are you a journalist...or a jock groupie?
— George Diaz (@georgediaz) June 28, 2022
I guess we don't have to worry about maintaining objectivity in journalism anymore. Just do whatever you want. Be a part of the team you cover. https://t.co/EaypPgLcwC
— (((Leif Skodnick))) (@LeifSkodnick) June 28, 2022
Others, like retired NHL referee Dave Jackson, defended Chambers, unconvinced by the argument that beat reporters can't enjoy their team's success.
Mike, anyone who knows you and reads your work (or has worked with you) realizes how professional you are. You criticize as often as you compliment and I believe the players know that you’re fair and objective. You’ve always been fair with the officials too. Season’s over, enjoy.
— Dave Jackson (@ESPNRefNHL) June 28, 2022
This is awesome
— Rachel Tos (@RachRichlinski) June 27, 2022
From the journalists and broadcasters who I know, many who never talk to the players/coaches because they’re behind the scenes, they all do this. So do the “common folk” who attend the parties.
— Brad scott (@DarbTtocs) June 28, 2022
Of course, as with anything that goes viral on Twitter, memes began to surface making light of the polarizing celebrations.
Chambers did reply to the comments, maintaining that he has been a professional since he began covering the team and that Landeskog insisted he take part in the fun.
"I've been a real stickler about that for 25 years," Chambers wrote on Twitter. "For context, I wasn't the only journalist at the event but I might have been the only one Gabe Landeskog handed the Cup to and said, 'Hold it up.' Gabe and I go way back. Human exchange between two men who share respect for the game."
The Avalanche's press pool is no stranger to controversy, as it was only a year ago that veteran reporter Adrian Dater bewildered star forward Nathan MacKinnon with a bizarre question after the team's elimination in Game 6 of the 2021 conference finals at the hands of Vegas Golden Knights.
MacKinnon's curt "no," followed by a confused shake of the head is a very relatable reaction to that puzzling and profane tirade/question.
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