Perhaps unlike most sports fans in America, my sports fandom comes almost entirely from my mother who is a passionate Minnesota fan in all sports. My father was not born in America and has never been an ardent fan of any sport other than tennis. Nonetheless, my father does care deeply about the success or failure of the Gophers because wins and losses often determine the mood of the rest of the family. He dutifully serves as the chauffeur to TCF Bank Stadium, and I believe also finds Wisconsin fans insufferable.
Growing up, my father often had to work during my games when they were scheduled during the week. As a result, some of my fondest memories were of realizing that he had been able to come watch me play. Sadly for him, they rarely corresponded to my finest performances.
Sports are not a privileged domain for fathers and sons, and the sooner that we move past that artificial barrier the better for all of us. But sports do often provide a forum for fathers and sons to interact, a way to pass down history, wisdom, and passion over certain colors of laundry. During drives to and from sporting events, I learned far too many facts about Bjorn Borg. Outside of sports, I also learned all about San Francisco bands of the 60s, the inedible nature of cheap fish, and the joy of ham and cheese sandwiches. Most importantly I learned how to conduct myself as a man.
The Daily Gopher wishes a Happy Father’s Day to all those who step into the role of father figures in our personal and larger communities.