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Golden Nugz 04.16.12

Gary Tinsley's funeral was held over the weekend in Florida. Memories of his smile and sense of humor dominated the day.

"His smile could light up a room, his smile could save lives, his smile did a number to the team," Minnesota defensive tackle Brandon Kirksey said. "As you can see, there’s a lot of people out here. He really impacted everybody around him. He was a shining light. If you was having a bad day, you could count on coming in to the locker room and seeing GT to brighten up your day ... and make your practice a little smoother."

An estimated 1,800 people were in attendance to honor Tinsley's memory. Of that 1,800 included the entire Gopher football team that was chartered down to Florida on Saturday morning.

Former Gopher Coach, Tim Brewster was also in attendance and recalled Tinsley's ability to make people laugh.

"That was right up GT’s alley; after he saw "Coming to the Stage" a couple of times, he pulled me aside and said, Coach Brew, I want to come to the stage," Brewster said. "And you know what, there was nothing like GT on the stage. Boy, he danced. He danced, he sang. He put a smile on everybody’s face."

Coach Kill also spoke,

"The thing that we’ll always remember is that million dollar smile," said current Minnesota coach Jerry Kill. "In his game day [mode] and he’s got number 51 down those cheeks and he’s coming out of that tunnel ... the guy just had what you’d call, it. There’s no definition in the dictionary for it; he had it."

Situations like this remind me that these guys are just kids who have family and friends just like every other student on campus. For me it is also a reminder that these guys work incredibly hard and their shared goals, shared triumphs and shared challenges help them to form bonds and life-long friendships. We love our Gophers, we love watching them compete on the gridiron, we feel it is our right to criticize but we often forget that they are regular kids who just happen to be extremely gifted athletically.

moving on...