For me, yesterday was a tough day. One of those days where you find yourself simply hoping to survive and one that can’t end fast enough even though you really need more time for everything you’re dealing with. And then I took a break, checked Twitter, and saw this...
Help us give ELITE support to our men's gymnastics team as they head to Big Ten Championships this week! RTB! The "HOW!! #SkiUMah pic.twitter.com/qx0v5EoKCF— P.J. Fleck (@Coach_Fleck) April 4, 2017
Which was followed soon after by this...
What does @Coach_Fleck do after speaking with @GopherMGym today? Play badminton with a lucky student of course. #Gophers #SkiUMah #RTB pic.twitter.com/po57rv00PH— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) April 4, 2017
And suddenly, my day wasn’t so bad anymore.
I’ve never bought into the idea that P.J. Fleck is simply another Tim Brewster. The comparison doesn’t make any sense, unless you’re trying to say that style is the only thing that matters and that you don’t care about the substance behind it. That foolish argument aside, I know (just as Fleck knows) that his style isn’t for everyone. But I also know that it’s totally for me.
Watching sports is supposed to be fun. For some people, only winning is fun. For me (a die-hard supporter of a team that has well known struggles with winning consistently) I find things beyond winning to fill in the gaps of the fun. One way I do that is writing, a process I enjoy both for it’s cathartic properties and for the conversations I have with the TDG staff on Slack and with all of you in the comments. On gameday, I find it through tailgating and spending time with friends. No matter how the Gophers do, gopherguy05 and I make sure we never lose the tailgate. And now that we’re in the Coach Fleck era I’ve added enjoying his unique approach to everything he does to my list of fun because I’m loving everything about it.
I simply love everything about yesterday.
- He’s taking time from his day to support another Minnesota Golden Gophers program, both through his interest and with some publicity.
- He’s taking time to meet students.
- Most importantly, he’s doing both in a fun way because he can and because it’s who he is. As a self-professed goofball and lover of fun I really can’t ask for anything else.
RandBall had a fun blog post about the badminton match this morning (please give it a read) and at at the end he said the following:
I can only hope this becomes a thing whereby Fleck randomly challenges students around campus to various athletic feats.
Maybe we could call it the Fleckathlon or the Elite Olympics. I’m completely serious about this, especially if it means I could play, too.
All I can say is, YES PLEASE. For me, Coach Fleck being who he is every day is something to enjoy. With any luck we’ll get to watch him make some elite Ultimate Frisbee plays and literally row the boat with the crew team in the near future.