Last night we went to the Minnesota Gophers football game, their first home game in the new stadium right on campus. The University has been using the Metrodome - a sorry dome - for their home games for the past I don't know how many years. When football, both college and pro, went inside a dome, it killed the atmosphere of the game in my opinion. It certainly wasn't full of enthusiastic football fans. It was more like half full of half fans.
Last night we were running late and missed most of the Gopher pre-game festivities because my son's own football game had gone late. (He had a great 60 yard run, by the way, which set up a touch down on the next play.) We rondezvoued with my sister to drop the kids off, met Darrell and took a shuttle bus to the game.
The bus dropped us off by the student entrance, a sea of golden t-shirts funnelling into the gate. I'd never seen so many students at the dome. The game started in twenty minutes and with that many students, we would never get in on time to see the players take the field for the first time. Relieved that we weren't going in that entrance, we continued around the stadium. Then we saw the sea of maroon and gold filing into the other entrance, with the line winding around the parking lot and our hopes for a quick entry were dashed. It was fun to see such a large crowd for a Gopher football game, everyone -- EVERYONE -- dressed in marroon and gold. The excitement was tangible. College football is best outside. It's just unnatural to be in an antiseptic dome.
Just experiencing the electricity was fun, but on top of that, the Golden Gophers won the game. Welcome back to campus, Gopher football!
This is the view from our seats:
Tami and me: