The man pictured to the right, Todd Keebler, claims to be the person responsible for designing and building the oversized replica of Lord Stanley's Cup. As far as Cup replicas go, it's the Dark Helmet of Stanley Cups (that's a compliment) with that novelty-sized chalice on top.
Keebler says that he was not an active participant in the "protest," but passed along his process for constructing the replica, along with the materials used.
"I used plastic pots from Lowes, some nuts and bolts, and spray paint," said Keebler via e-mail. "I assembled the cup first, starting from the top and going down. I then sprayed it with a plastic primer, followed by metallic silver, then a few layers of clear coat to protect it from chipping. It held up pretty good, and when I got it back around 1 AM Thursday night, after having it carried all around the city and drank from by many, it had some battle scars. But all and all it held up pretty well."
Amazing. But what about the guy parading around town in the middle of the chaos, actually hoisting the Cup?
That would be Pittsburgh native Marco Gruelle, who was one of six people taking part in the hilarious counter-protest. Gruelle said it was his friend, Daniel Mross, who was responsible for coming up with the idea to turn the G-20 into a re-make of the Stanley Cup celebration from this past June.
"We were very afraid it (the G-20) was going to put Pittsburgh in a bad light," said Gruelle. "Everybody was walking around on eggshells for the past two weeks with all the police, and protesters, and military, and this and that, and we were afraid some schmucks were going to come in and put a bad face on Pittsburgh and, well, we weren't going to let that happen. We figured the best way to do that, and the most effective way that's going to get our point across and still make people laugh, was to, you know ... well ... Let's Go Pens."
When the Cup made its first appearance on live TV, it appeared to leave protesters confused, and, for a brief moment, somewhat disoriented. News reporters and policemen dressed as stormtroopers struggled to keep a straight face and did everything they could not to laugh.
"The reaction we got from everybody was great," said Gruelle. "When we were walking up the street every single person beeped their horn and had a great time with it."
"The protesters didn't know what to do at first. You know, sometimes when you do something like that they might get angry. There were some blocks where people were happy and just hanging out, there might have been some other blocks that had people getting angry and starting to throw stones. On those blocks we kind of actually defused the situation. Basically, we showed Pittsburgh what we are: the City of Champions."
Below are more pictures from the "protest" -- and the post-protest -- they sent along to us in all of their blurry glory.