These are previously unseen photos of Patrick Kane and a pair of fellow Blackhawks celebrating with the Stanley Cup last summer. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating the greatest accomplishment in the sport, and they can't be criticized (except perhaps for drinking Bud Light out of the Stanley Cup with a straw). But while it's fun to look at photos of athletes, or any celebrities, getting drunk and partying, the telling part of these pictures is how we got them.

Snapped via cameraphone, they were uploaded to Facebook by one of Kane's friends, who proceeded to tag him in the photos. (Kane's got a "secret" Facebook account under a not-particularly-creative fake name.) A perfectly normal series of events for a then-21-year-old American kid, and probably the same way many of your least flattering photos have ended up online. But when you're a pro athlete, especially a superstar on a Cup-defending team in a huge hockey city, your drinking photos rarely remain confined to your own social network.


It's not worth debating the interest level for pictures like these; that cow has long left the barn. (Yes, you're going to get asked about stuff like this, if even just the surprisingly incurious Chicago media taking your denials at face value, despite you rocking a puffy coat in "photos from the summer" or a second person posting timestamped photos of you on their Facebook the same drunken Sunday.)

This has been going on for long enough that athletes should no longer be surprised when the photos they pose for in bars end up online, nor should anyone be surprised when people want to see them. The only options are A) to confiscate all cameras when you're out, which makes you look like a dick. Kaner's just a friendly guy, and I can't imaging he'd want to do that. Or B) go back in time to some mystical 1940s land when writers traveled with the players and they ate steak dinners together at Toots Shoor's every night. With cameraphones, Facebook and Twitter reaching critical mass, and a plethora of sites willing to publish the results, drunken athlete photos won't just be a nice little bonus every once in a while; they'll be the norm. Consider young Patrick Kane a trendsetter.