The Moment Our Kids Became Golden Gopher Fans For Life

When it comes to my family, there are some things I am super passionate about. I’ve mentioned in previous posts my devotion to weekly date nights with my husband. I love the power of our family meetings to reinforce our values, align on how we spend our time and recognize what is happening within our family. This post is about something else I really bake into our calendar: tradition.

Gopher Game ElevatorsWe’ve been having a standard movie night on Fridays for the past three years. Watching one movie with all four kids happens at least once each weekend. (Will is too cool for more than one these days).

One of our other traditions has been to watch Golden Gopher Basketball. Yesterday, fate brought our entire family to the Gopher game against the number one team in the country; the Indiana Hoosiers. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Fate Steps In

Kids in Car Gopher GameWe weren’t all supposed to go to the game. The tickets were from a business associate and Phil was to bring only one guest. As the game day drew closer, other guests backed out and soon there were enough tickets for our entire family to attend.

Even leaving home at 4:30, traffic was crazy. We inched our way through Dinkytown and managed to get one o the last parking spots on the top of a parking ramp. Phil and I thought we’d leave the game early to avoid hassles getting out of the ramp after the game. That way, the kids wouldn’t be out too late on a school night.

Williams ArenaWilliams Arena was packed!

We showed the kids where we used to sit when we were students (100 years ago).

Emma and Me Gopher Game

Emma and I grabbed some popcorn and pop for everyone.

The Boys at the Gopher GameThe Gophers managed to stay close to Hoosiers during the first half. 

Could they sustain that throughout the game? I don’t think anyone expected them to.

PJ John Cheer at Gopher Game

After half-time, we were thinking Indiana would take over. But, within a few minutes, the Gophers tied the game.

With each minute, we could feel the place begin to hope for a victory. (Check out the serious fans seated directly behind us!)

Elliot Eliason

We always show the boys how the really big players, like Eliason and Mbakwe, use their bodies when they play.

Elliot Eliason caught fire.

We could feel the tide begin to turn in favor of the Gophers.

Phil pointing at scoreboard golden gophersWith two and a half minutes to go, the Gophers were ahead by 7 points.

Everyone was pointing at the scoreboard.

By this time, I’m holding Johnny so he can see above the crowd.

Pj john and will tense watching golden gophersThe kids started praying.

We were singing the rouser after every single play.

fans on court golden gophersThey made one last free throw that Phil said would seal the deal for us.

And then, in a blink, they won and fans surrounded the players on the court.

PJ John and Gopher Fans

We were in shock and disbelief.

The kids were stunned and they sang the rouser one last time with all their heart. 

I think that was the moment our kids became golden gopher fans for life.

Still growing...

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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