It was a couple of years ago now that I drove down to LaCrescent, Minnesota to attend a fall birding expedition along the Mississippi. It was free, led by a famous birder, and on a Sunday morning. Seemed perfect. Arriving to the meeting place in a Kwik Trip parking lot, I saw about a dozen people standing around. "Morning folks" was my opening remark. "Morning. Beautiful day for birding" was the friendly reply.
A little chit chat soon revealed they were ALL from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, across the river from where we stood. I was already feeling a little outnumbered when one gentlemen wearing Wisconsin Badger outfitting and looking at my Gopher hat and jacket asked "so how did the Gophers do yesterday." Surely they all knew that the Badgers had crushed the Gophers once again in the final game of the Big Ten season. This question, of course, was a set up so I just sadly shook my head. Another "birder" then asked "when was the last time your team was in the Rose Bowl". Taking my hat off to reveal a seriously graying head, placing it over my heart, I owned up to the fact that I had been a freshmen at the University when it last happened. They began to shake their heads in faux amazement until I boldly added it was time to go birding.
Thus it was, last Sunday, after the Michigan Wolverines had handed my Gophers a 58 to 0 shellacking (their worst Big Ten loss ever), that I found myself shovel in hand, calling for Mrs. T to join me in the garden. "Will you sing a Church Song," I asked her while handing over my Gopher hat and jacket. This line harkens back to the time, when during a burial ceremony for our first pet dog, our four year old had made a similar request of his mother. Smirking broadly, she headed off in another direction my hat and jacket still in hand.
Patience is a virtue they say. I’m not feeling very virtuous these days, although my empathy for the long suffering Chicago Cubs fans has grown immeasurably over the years.
The "Little Brown Jug" symbolic of one of college football oldest rivalries going back to the late 1800's. The Gophers have lost 27 of the last 30 games against Michigan. Ouch!