We got our new year off to a rousing start as the Gopher football team took to rowing the boat at the Outback Bowl. Rowing the boat is the mantra Coach Fleck brought to the university. In a nutshell, it means never giving up and working hard through adversity. The actual story behind the saying is both inspiring and heart wrenching. You can read about it here.
For Christmas this year, we bought the boys a few small presents. Instead, we focused on getting them each a marquis experience. Consequently, for Goalielocks, it meant a trip to Tampa to see the Gophers end their historic season at the Outback Bowl. The Mayor will be heading to Lake Placid for a special hockey tournament in March.
Going into the game, I knew the stadium would be filled with Gophers. We were everywhere! The Auburn fans, especially in the upper section, sparsely filled seats compared to the Gopher side. Additionally while the fan support is nice, I didn’t think it would be enough to overcome a strong Auburn team that had defeated Alabama.
Getting into the stadium and our seats was super easy. They had no fan shops open on our level, so we headed back to the 100 level. Not surprisingly, the Gopher gear was flying off the shelves. In fact, the first store we stopped at was out of most Gopher items. While the Hubby and Goalielocks waited in line, I went to check our the field. Fortunately, I was able to get video of the Gopher Marching band’s entire pre-game show. They were incredible!
Before the game started, we grabbed some pizza that smelt incredible. Unfortunately, it was probably the worst pizza I had ever tasted. In fact, it was a gross version of the Italian dunkers they used to serve at my high school. Only instead of $1.50, this bastardization of pizza cost $9.00. Honestly, we all hated it.
We took to our seats, which afforded us a great view. I got nervous when the Gophers QB Morgan through a interception on their first possession of the game. As any Minnesota fan knows, this is usually a harbinger of impending disaster. Fortunately, the squad shook it off and went back to rowing the back. As the half ended, good guys led the game 24-17.
The second half moved quite a bit faster than the first. Auburn tied it up, which sucked. I started to worry that the wheels or oars would fall of the boat. Thankfully, they didn’t. The Gophers sealed the deal with a 73 yard pass from Morgan to Tyler Johnson. It was amazeballs. Speaking of amazeballs, Johnson has a career day with 12 receptions for 204 yards and two touchdowns. He was unequivocally the MVP of the game.
Throughout the game, the weather was perfect. You know the Minnesotans we’re enjoying their escape from the frigid north. We were surrounded by Gopher fans, so we had a great game experience. Yeah, the pizza sucked, but we didn’t park next to Chic Fil-A for nothing. In the end, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers rowed their boat to a Outback Bowl victory putting the cherry on top of their historic season.
As we move into 2020, we’ll be rowing our boat into a better future for our family. Last year was a time of great change in many aspects of our lives. 2020 is all about renewal and building our collective future. May your new year be merry, filled with learning and most of all love.
All of my Outback Bowl videos can be found here: Outback Bowl Playlist
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