A family from Alabama had come to Minneapolis to have a chance to ice skate, but when they arrived, read a front page story about the thousands of fans coming to town to cheer for the North Dakota State University basketball team playing in their first NCAA tournament, so they changed their plans and came to the pregame party. Their little daughter got an NDSU T-shirt, they posed for pictures and clapped along with the pep band. They wanted to be part of this great spirit of good people. Who can blame them.
The pure, easy joy of celebrating a basket is a thing to savor. Where else can you jump up and down, whoop and whistle, high five the guy next to you with total abandon. Some scoff at the sports fan's fun; critics accuse us of merely reveling in the achievements of others. I say those critics are missing the beauty of sport. Not only is it a thing of wonder to watch an agile, strong, dedicated human do unreal things, it is a welcome escape to a place of joy.
I had hopes of running a headline Holy Buckets! to announce our win. And though we were deflated by having come that close - within three points six times in the second half - we couldn't be prouder of our guys and our coaches and our fans. Holy Buckets it is.
The skill and dedication and poise of our student athletes completely stun me. I've spent the last few months in awe of these qualities in so many of our students in so many settings. The BisonArts singers, a small group of music majors who perform at various events, are amazing. One of the members this year also happens to be a football player. You gotta love a noseguard who, when they do their rendition of Johnny Cash's Daddy Sang Bass, can and will sing falsetto to the line "Mama sang tenor." The student president can speak with ease to huge groups of alumni as well as a small room full of important legislators. The students from all over the world put in thousands of back breaking hours to help fight the flood that rose so quickly this spring.
We have our challenges, but we have an amazing spirit of community. Life is good here.
Thank you for reading.