It’s tough being a Minnesota Sports Fan these days, but there is one bit of entertainment – one little bright spot – that brings me some joy!
by Charlie Leck
You know by now that I try not to get too serious on Sundays. I’ve got a couple of complicated, opinionated and serious blogs waiting in the wings, but this morning I want to write about being a hopeless sports fan. My two favorite activities in life these days are  reading a really good and stimulating book (right now I’m enjoying Bill Bryson’s At Home) and  watching a Minnesota sports team (live or on TV) in competition. And, sadly, Minnesota sports are in the tank right now – we getting killed in professional baseball (Twins), professional hockey (The Wild), professional basketball (Timberwolves), professional football (Vikings) and in virtually all college sports (Gophers).
Charlie Walter’s, a local sports columnist better known as the Shooter, recently recommended we just “pull the shades down” so people can’t look in and see what a mess things are!
But, my dear friends from around America, yesterday made it all worthwhile and the morning sunrise, which is happening just as I write this, is particularly beautiful and the birds have begun to sing and chirp and the air is crisp, clean and clear this Sunday morning. Ah, the wonder of Minnesota in the autumn!
Yesterday, on the campus of the University of Minnesota, something very unlikely took place and I loved viewing every single moment of it. The Minnesota Gophers sent the University of Iowa Hawkeyes home weeping and gnashing their teeth!
It wasn’t a masterful game. The Hawkeyes ran all over the Gophers. The Hawkeyes appeared the better team by a big margin for the first three quarters; however, the team from Iowa kept making mistakes and kept failing to capitalize on advantages. Finally, they left the door open just a crack and the Gophers sneaked through the opening and pounced on the Hawkeyes and totally dominated the fourth quarter of the game.
In that fourth quarter I watched one of the most perfectly executed plays I have ever seen in a football game – ever!
The onside kick in football is almost always a gamble and its outcome is nearly always controlled by pure luck. Rarely is their real execution. Yesterday was the exception and that crazy, strange and dangerous play was the difference in the ball game. If you’re a football fan and understand the on-side kick, you will NOT (I mean NOT, NOT, NOT) want to miss seeing this play two or three times. It is my gift to you this morning. [Click here and then click on the video highlights and report of the game. Then pay special attention to the on-side kick in the fourth quarter. Note that it is executed to absolute perfection; so well, as a matter of fact, that one can only conclude the Gophers deserved to get the ball back!] I kept sliding the play bar back again and again so I could watch the play over and over.
Win or lose, I have enjoyed the Minnesota Gophers' football team this year. It's all about Jerry Kill their wonderful, little coach. He looks about as far removed from the academic atmosphere of a great university as one could possibly be. "They would have ran me out of town if that play didn't work," he said after the game yesterday. It's how he always talks. He works as hard as a human being can work. He's making millions but doesn't care a bit. He buys lunches for all the students who come to the games. He gives huge amounts away to charities. He fights for good pay checks for his assistants. He's as humble and modest as a guy can be. And, he loves his work and thinks he has the best office in the world (the football field). I love Jerry Kill and I hope so much that he is able to succeed here against all the odds that say he won't.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some more serious matters for you to think about!
And, if you don’t know who Floyd of Rosedale is, you’d better do a little research.
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