Just prior to kickoff on Saturday between Northwestern and Central Michigan, those in the crowd were treated to a special Ryan Field guest: the Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawks won the Lord Stanley’s Mug in June after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final. Today, the Cup was part of a pregame ceremony honoring two members of the Blackhawks organization with connections to Northwestern.
Blackhawks Chairman Ricky Wirtz (Comm ’75) and Blackhawks President John McDonough, who has lectured at Northwestern, were honored in the ceremony.
Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald was able to catch a view of the Stanley Cup before kickoff.
“I’m a huge ‘Hawks fan,” he said. “That was awesome, [the Blackhawks] earned it, and they deserved it.
“As a Chicagoan,” he went on to say, “that might have been the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
However, with Lord Stanley on display right before kickoff, his players were not able to enjoy the Cup’s presence at Ryan Field. Quarterback Dan Persa, running back Mike Trumpy, wide receiver Jeremy Ebert, linebacker Quentin Davie, and running back Jacob Schmidt, all instrumental in the Wildcats’ 30-25 victory, did not catch a glimpse of the trophy.
The Stanley Cup was not the only ceremony during the first NU home game of the school year. In honor of “Evanston Day,” Evanston officials, including Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, were recognized during a presentation between quarters. It was a continuation of this week’s festivities, which began Thursday at the “Paint Evanston Purple” pep rally.
Free from Stanley Cup and Evanston distractions, Northwestern improved to 4-0 this season with the win over the Chippewas.
Additional reporting by Katie Tang.