Parents follow the Stanley Cup Finals from Africa
When Matt Greene grabbed the Stanley Cup, lifted it over his head and let out a big yell, his parents had no clue what was happening. Literally. In fact, Jim and Darcy Greene weren't able to watch any of the Stanley Cup Finals as they were on a n...
When Matt Greene grabbed the Stanley Cup, lifted it over his head and let out a big yell, his parents had no clue what was happening.
In fact, Jim and Darcy Greene weren't able to watch any of the Stanley Cup Finals as they were on a nearly four-week research trip in Benin -- a small country in West Africa.
"The trip was planned several months earlier, not knowing at all that Matt would be on this amazing run," Jim said. "We were in a small town in West Africa, trying to keep up with scores after the fact at an internet café."
The Greenes would take a 10-minute walk to the internet café to try to check scores. Sometimes, the place didn't have power. Other times, there was no connectivity there.
"We would just hopefully get to the Los Angeles Kings' website, to the homepage, to at least see the score," Jim said. "That's basically what we did."
The Greenes were en route home during the clinching Game 6. They arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris several hours after it had ended. Darcy said she couldn't wait until they got home to find out the result, so she called up their daughter and woke her up at 6:30 a.m.
She answered the phone and said "We won!"
"The flight from Paris to Detroit was really a happy one," said Jim, who later found out that Matt scored a goal in the clincher. "Even though we weren't there, we knew Matt had the Cup."
Once they got back to their hometown of Grand Ledge, Mich., they watched a recording of Game 6.
The Greenes were able to catch some of Los Angeles' earlier playoff games. They saw all of the series against the St. Louis Blues and they were in the Scottrade Center when Matt scored his shorthanded, game-winning goal.
Darcy, a journalism professor at Michigan State, planned the research trip to rediscover and re-photograph work done by a French photo journalist years ago. Having been Peace Corps volunteers in Benin during 1969-70, the Greenes were familiar with the area.
"We were very, very busy the whole time," Jim said. "Our minds were occupied. If we would have had more free time, we would have been a lot more antsy (about the Cup finals)."
The Kings are still trying to work out which days each player will get their 24 hours with the Cup. Greene will bring it to Grand Ledge. Though he told his parents he also wanted to bring it to Grand Forks, it appears he will only get one day with it.
"Matt's really happy and much of what he's been able to accomplish in his career is because of UND," Jim said. "It's a special place for him and our family and it always will be. We all look back at that and it's one of the best decisions our family has ever been a part of.
"I remember when Matt said he liked UND and wanted to go there, we were thinking about how it's 16 hours away and we weren't sure. But wow, what a great decision."
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to email@example.com .