New TCF Gopher stadium highlights.

First Gopher Game in new stadium

First Gopher Game in new stadium

I wanted to share with you my high lights from this past weekends opening game for the Gophers in their new 289 million dollar on campus open air stadium against the Falcons of Air Force. 

Giant scoreboard

Giant scoreboard

 

All former Gophers were invited back and 450 showed up for a picnic and 20 minute inspiring spech from Joel Maturi the athletic director.  They are very excited about the future of Gopher football and have high expectations for the program on and off the field.  I was glad to hear him reach out to former players and ask us to get involved and help support the program just not financially. 

Victory march

Victory march

We walked down to the stadium and waited for the victory walk which is a new tradition they want to start.  The players, coaches and cheerleaders walked through an estimated 35,000 people as they entered the stadium for the first time.  It was truly emotional and exilirating.  I saw so many people with tears in their eyes.  Wow!! 

Current team greeting former Gophers

Current team greeting former Gophers

We got to go on the field for warmups and you could feel the electricity.  Former players Todd Hallstrom and Kent Penovich were soaking wet from the 85 degree  humind weather and I was laughing watching them look like they wanted to get the pads on one more time and put the smackdown on someone. 

Paul Rogind being carried off the field by Kent Penovich

Paul Rogind being carried off the field by Kent Penovich

Seeing former players was the best part for me.  Bob Stroup looks great.  We each have bad backs, but I bet most of the guys do now.  We just keep moving forward.  chester Cooper a great receiver when I played looked great.  Coop is a sweet guy who is a retired sheriff.  Andre “Horse” Gilbert had a big white outfit on and looked like he was going to a disco.  He is all heart and hasn’t changed a bit.  Some of the other guys I saw were Dewayne McMullen, Keith Gerhke, Mike Laliberte,  Adam kelley, Shane strain, many others and Dick Mass. 

Former Gopher greats Chester Cooper and Mike Stensrud

Former Gopher greats Chester Cooper and Mike Stensrud

Let me tell you about Dick Mass.  Here was a guy who came out of St. Louis Park as a walk on.  We was on Tony Dungy’s scout team and his position coach Pat Morris was absolutely brutal to him.  Dick did everything as he was the varsity linemans punishing boy.  I admired him how he kept coming bavk everyday getting his but whipped and punished each days by guys who were obviously more talented.  He had the greatest attitude ever.   I knew this guy was a special person and a great teammate.  

When I saw Dick I immediately knew who it was and he knew me.  29 years later and it was right back  in the locker room.  He said his last 2 years at the U were great since he switched to defense and although he never got a scholarship he did get a letter and never gave up.  Truly amazing to go through what he did.  He is now a physical therapist in Springfield Missouri and I bet he’s the best at his profession.

Great stadium

Great stadium

What can I say about the stadium that hasn;t been said.  Truly amazing.  Not a bad seat in the house.   Treat yourself to a game you’ll be glad you did.  Check out the photos, and next week back to inspiring you to be your healthieast!!

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