Remembering your first
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 15:08
Game day. The one day of the week that doesn’t make you second guess why you decided to come to college in lil’ ole Fargo. Just the thought of it gives you that ball of nervous energy in the pit of your stomach. Well folks, that day is almost here.
I would be willing to bet most of you remember your first Bison football game. Whether you were a little kid, walking bright-eyed into the FargoDome for the first time or an overly, energetic freshman stumbling into your seat in student section, you never forget when you first caught Bison fever. A lot of you were born with it. Growing up in rural towns around the area with no Division I football program for miles, you were brought up in the Bison family. Some of you are like me, tracing your roots back to the “cities” plagued with a horrendous football program residing in Minneapolis. Deprived of a good college football upbringing, we less fortunate were raised without a sense of “Our Team.” That is until we caught our first glimpse of the Thundering Herd.
Mine was two years ago. I was a freshman spinning my wheels at a technical school in North St. Paul, worrying too much about baseball and women to gain the importance of academics and where it might take me.
To my luck, I had arrived in Fargo at an interesting time. The Bison were a sputtering team with no sense of direction coming into the game with a 4-3 record, sitting the bottom of the Missouri Valley Conference which they had joined just two years prior.
The Bison were set to square off against conference opponent Indiana State. I didn’t know what to expect as I walked through the gates, entering the FargoDome for the first time. Immediately, the sea of gold that filled the Dome took me off-guard. The rabid chants coming from the student section, the pure, raw sense of school pride. It was something I have never felt before.
After finding my seat in a crowded student section, it took me approximately 2.7 seconds to join my, for at least that day, fellow Bison family root on our boys we admired so dearly.
The fact that I fell for this team during the Mohler-era would have been a miracle in itself. But what really caught me off guard was the feeling I had exiting the stadium. The bond I had created with the Bison program in those three short hours had surprisingly stuck with me. Long after the game was sealed by a Daniel Eaves pick-six, I felt the urgency to want more.
More is what I got transferring to NDSU last fall riding alongside the team as they were crowned FCS champions for the first time, and it was truly a special moment for me.
Coincidentally, the Indiana State game sent the Bison on a tear for the rest of the season as they got their first taste of FCS playoff action. Realistically, I know it had little to do with me attending the “turn-around” game, but I couldn’t help but feel I was a part of something that unseasonably warm Saturday in late October. It was just one of those perfect days. A day you only experience living in lil’ ole Fargo.