Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘college football

Birthday Game

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On the occasion of a 50th birthday, many people choose to go big. Our friend, Doobie Kurus, took the number 50 to a wonderful extreme, tying it to the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers’ third football game of the season. He bought 50 tickets for friends and family and hosted a spectacular tailgate party four and a half hours before the game.

Yesterday was a hot September day that carried a possibility of an afternoon thunderstorm. Cyndie and I wavered over preparing for rain or not, ultimately opting to carry rain gear based on the thinking that having protection would likely mean we wouldn’t need it. That was easier than finding Cyndie a maroon shirt to show the spirit of University colors.

I am proud of her ingenuity in crafting the look of the University mascot, Goldy Gopher, on a maroon tee shirt that has an image of Julian’s cat on the front.

Doobie was serenaded with a “Happy Birthday” song by a subset of the marching band that was making its way through the rows and rows of tailgaters. His daughter, Emma, plays saxophone in the band.

For Cyndie and me, much of the activity brought back our pleasant memories as band parents during the years Elysa played one of the big bass drums in the drum line.

I felt compelled to greet a few of the current members of the drum line as the band began gathering for formal inspection before pregame performance.

After the game, which Minnesota won by almost reaching the number fifty against Colorado, 49-7, Doobie arranged for us to get on the field where we milled around before posing on the 50 yard line for a final portrait with the birthday boy.

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While visiting with Doobie, I learned the actual day of his birthday is tomorrow, the nineteenth of September. He’s in good company, as tomorrow is Julian’s birthday and Cyndie’s and my 41st wedding anniversary.

It was quite a day. Felt very celebratory and somewhat exhausting for all that good food, high heat, endless sunshine, walking, standing, and communing with close friends and fellow Big Ten college football fans.

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Written by johnwhays

September 18, 2022 at 10:23 am

Interesting Cloud

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In many ways, the weather around here the last few days has felt rather November-typical and the sky has been a constantly changing mix of cloud types with intermittent moments of blue.

Yesterday, we saw what almost looked like the monster of all contrails.

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Feel free to make up your own scary conspiracy story to explain what “they” are up to that created this spectacle.

It appeared close to the time the Omicron variant showed up in the world… Coincidence?

Um, in case you don’t know me that well yet, I’m poking fun at those who might actually believe the line above.

Regardless, doesn’t hurt (except maybe some people’s pride) to put on a mask if you are near a lot of other people.

Never mind to those of you who stormed the college football fields in Ann Arbor or Minneapolis yesterday. Hopefully, your euphoria will protect you from infections.

Big wins are soooo much fun in sports competitions. Way to go, Gophers!

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Written by johnwhays

November 28, 2021 at 11:03 am

NINE – OH!

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Nothing else matters. The euphoria of a team victory in sports is great. Nine of them in a row, some of which were unlikely, starts to get pretty crazy. Especially when a fan-base, a state, haven’t witnessed such a feat in 115 years, …so, not in our lifetimes.

Way to go, GOPHERS!

 

Hee-hee. Minnesota is partying like its 1904!

I’ve attended a lot of University of Minnesota Gopher football games in my life, starting when I was a kid and my dad would take me to sit on the wooden bench seats of Memorial Stadium in the 1970s. Those season tickets were by the aisle to the press box above us, near where Minnesota Twins baseball great, Bob Allison had seats, so press guys would always pause on their way up to exchange pleasantries.

I suffered through the years when Gopher football games were moved off campus to the echo canyon of the Metrodome, including several when our daughter, Elysa, performed in the drumline of the marching band.

Eventually, the annually increasing expense of four season tickets exceeded our budget and we let them go. I remember how reluctantly the University accepted our decision. They checked thoroughly to confirm our choice to give up our seniority since the seats we held were associated with the original ones my dad first purchased in 1944.

I never even attended a class at the school, but it is the University of MINNESOTA! Our kids learned the words to the school fight song before they knew what it was. The university and its athletes represent the entire state. I am a big fan of all Gopher sports, football most of all.

We’ve endured a lot of coaches and coaching styles in the revolving door that has been Gopher football. P.J. Fleck has brought his boat-rowing meme to town as the latest rendition. So far, so good.

I don’t get to watch many games anymore, because we don’t have cable tv, and historically, Gopher football hasn’t risen to enough significance to earn broadcast on the airwave networks. That made yesterday’s matchup of two undefeated B1G teams (the oldest Division 1 collegiate athletic conference in the United States) extra special for me. From the first interception to the last, and every amazing catch, run, defended pass, or penalty-free play in between, I watched with awestruck amazement.

I’m inordinately proud of the accomplishments of the team this year. We deserve to party like it’s 1904!

Ski-U-Mah!

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Sports Binge

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I went on a day-long TV spectator sports binge yesterday, in large part because, well… I could. At home, the only television signal we have is our antenna for free broadcasts from the Twin Cities. At Cyndie’s parents’ house, there were satellite channels for more sports than I could count.

This allowed me to catch the Golden Gophers college football game and the men’s US Open tennis final that wouldn’t have been available to me at home. Luckily, Fred was wise enough to record the Gopher game, as they were playing at Fresno State on the west coast and the game didn’t start until late Saturday night.

That meant we didn’t watch it until yesterday morning. I had peeked at the result already, so I knew the game was worth seeing. What a fantastic finish with the highlight-reel catch in the deepest possible corner of the endzone on 4th and 13 to tie the game with less than a minute left, and then the surprising interception in the second overtime to claim the win.

We followed that excitement with the NFL Vikings strong win over the Falcons in the opening game of the season. I’ll take it.

Next, there was a quick check of the MLB Twins to find they were trailing Cleveland. That game was usurped by the championship tennis match on ESPN.

Rafael Nadal outlasted a strong challenge from Daniil Medvedev in an epic four-hour-fifty-one-minute 5-set match. Those guys battled for almost five hours, one on one, no substitutions. No wonder Rafa collapsed after the final point.

I was ready to collapse. By the end of the day, I had watched so many athletes exhaust themselves, it wore me out.

Bingeing (I had to check that spelling) is not as easy as one might assume.

It will be good for me to get back home later today after work and return to my (almost) usual routine. This week will be another one spent without Cyndie at home. She is flying to Florida this morning to spend time with Dunia, who will be visiting from Guatemala.

I’ll go back to reading about sports outcomes in the paper, a day after they happen, for my fix of athletic adventures.

It’s kind of a “slow binge” on spectator sports, don’tcha know.

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Written by johnwhays

September 9, 2019 at 6:00 am