Tonight Joshua and I will take my Dad to see the Golden Gophers play the Indiana Hoosiers. We are looking forward to the game very much.
Both teams are having good seasons, and it should be an excellent game. Williams Arena, old and decrepit, is a wonderful venue for college basketball, one of the best in the nation.
When I was a kid, I always loved going to Williams Arena to see the Golden Gophers. For years, I went with my Dad and both of my brothers to the games. After my older brother went away to college, I went to the games with my Dad and my middle brother. After both of my brothers were in college, I went to the games with my Dad alone.
The first season my Dad and I went to the games by ourselves was the 1996-1997 season, the miraculous season that saw the Golden Gophers win the Big Ten Championship and make their only Final Four appearance in the modern era. That was a thrilling season for my Dad and me, and I shall never forget it. I was sixteen years old at the time, and I lived and breathed Minnesota basketball that season.
The Minnesota program has not enjoyed comparable success since that 1996-1997 season, and I hope that Tubby Smith restores the Gophers to the glory years that occurred, with some frequency, in the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s.
We have an additional reason to enjoy tonight’s game. The Indiana coach, Kelvin Sampson, coached the Oklahoma Sooners until two years ago. Sampson was the major coach of Josh’s growing-up years, and Josh looks forward to seeing Sampson again. It should be a fun night out for all of us.
This coming weekend, Josh and I will have a houseguest: one of my former law school classmates and roommates. Taking advantage of the three-day holiday weekend, Paul will be visiting Minnesota for the first time.
On Sunday afternoon, Josh and I will take Paul to Williams Arena to see the Golden Gophers host the Michigan State Spartans. That game, I believe, will prove to be the major event of our weekend.
Josh and I will take Paul around to see the highlights of the Twin Cities during his stay, but I am not sure how much serious exploration we will be able to do, and this is because of the extreme cold.
Paul arrives Friday night. We’ll take him out to dinner on Friday night.
On Saturday, Josh and I will take Paul into downtown Minneapolis and show him the main buildings, and let him decide what attractions he wants to visit that day. On Saturday night, we may go to the movies, since the current offerings at the Guthrie Theater—Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt” and Tanya Barfield’s “Blue Door”, which opens tonight (the third theater is currently dark, undergoing rehearsals for Wendy Wasserstein’s final play, scheduled to open next month)—do not appeal to any of us.
On Sunday morning, we will go into downtown Saint Paul and show Paul the main buildings there. On Sunday afternoon, we will go to the Minnesota-Michigan State game, and on Sunday evening we will go over to my parents’ house for dinner. Paul has already met my parents, and he likes them very much, and he will be able to visit the family home in which I grew up.
On Monday, we may end up going to the Mall Of America, just to have something to do. Everyone who visits Minneapolis seems to want to go there, and it is worth exploring for an hour or two when the weather makes outside activity unattractive.
Josh and I will insure Paul has a good visit, no matter what we end up doing—and we have a comprehensive array of exotic and delectable Norwegian eel dishes planned for Paul to eat while he is with us!