Lord Stanley’s Cup Comes to Holy Cross
Published: Friday, October 7, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 12:10
The Stanley Cup, the trophy which is awarded to the National Hockey League Champions, made its way to Holy Cross this past Saturday, marking The Cup's first trip to Worcester. Named after Lord Stanley of Preston, sixth Governor General of Canada, the Stanley Cup is arguably the most coveted trophy in all of sports.
Winners of Lord Stanley's Cup include all-time great hockey players such as Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Bobby Orr, and Mario Lemieux. The 2010-2011 season was the first one in which the Boston Bruins have won the Stanley Cup Finals since 1972. One of the original six founding members of the National Hockey League, a list which also includes the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, and Toronto Maple Leafs, this championship marks the franchise's sixth.
Of course, winning the Stanley Cup is an enormous honor in and of itself; however, what adds to the mystique of this prized trophy is that not only the players, but every member of the organization is allowed 24 hours with the cup to do with it whatever he or she pleases.
Holy Cross was fortunate enough to have the Cup for the day last Saturday because alumnus Matt Chmura, Class of ‘03, is the Director of Communications for the Bruins.
"The big part of it for me is sharing it with the three places that I find really influential to me," Chmura told The Crusader. A native of Taunton, MA, Matt began his 24 hours with the Cup there in his hometown, after which he brought it to Holy Cross. During his visit back to campus, the Stanley Cup was brought before the men's and women's hockey teams, and children from the Nativity School, located in Worcester.
Chmura also brought the Cup on a tour of campus, which most notably included a trip to Wheeler Hall, where he lived on the third floor during his first two years at Holy Cross. During his junior and senior years, Matt lived at 29 Crompton Street with six roommates, all of whom returned to The Hill to join in celebrating Matt's day with the Cup.
While at Holy Cross, Matt was a sportswriter for The Crusader and eventually became the sports editor. He also ran the College's radio station, WCHC. During his summers, he had internships with the New England Revolution, New England Patriots, and Tennessee Titans. A week after graduation, Chmura took a position with the New York/New Jersey Metro Stars, now the New York Red Bulls, of Major League Soccer, where he remained until the Fall of 2006, after which he took his position with the Bruins.
Matt also offered a piece of advice to his fellow Crusaders: "I think it's important that you decide what you want to do and then focus and put a lot of your energy into it. I think Holy Cross really teaches you how to think and that's such a valuable asset to you when you go out into the real world. As far as sports go, you'll be able to gain the knowledge and the intricacies of sports later as you get into the workforce as you get internships and your first jobs after Holy Cross, but remembering how the College taught you how to think is so important."
On what it is like to be the Director of Communications, Chmura says, "There's not a normal day, but it's pretty great. You're involved in every facet of the organization, it's awesome."
Winning the Stanley Cup with the Bruins was a rewarding experience for him, as he has been a Bruins fan since his youth: "I grew up in Taunton, MA so I certainly grew up a fan of the Bruins and this is pretty special."
Sometimes when people enter the sports business as fans, their perception of sports tends to change after seeing what goes on behind the scenes. Matt, however, is not one of those people: "It doesn't change how you view sports, but it's just different, it's your work; you're still passionate about it, if you're not passionate about working in sports then you're not going to be very successful. This is my passion."