January 9, 2013


Hail the Bison! Hail the Bison! I’m sure everyone is aware of NDSU (that’s North Dakota State University to Harding County readers) winning its second consecutive National Championship! And doing it in convincing fashion, although the commentators seemed to think it was all luck.
But to me, the real test of championship blood is this morning. Monday morning. The reading of the roll at work for those Bison nation fans.
I know that road to Frisco, Texas. As a hotshot driver, I went through Frisco. And I know it is a long way from here. And that was just driving 11 hours per day. Getting a good nights rest in motels along the way. Eating right. And not imbibing in the consumption of adult beverages.
Friends were sending me pictures of the tailgate party the night before the game. After a 20-plus hour drive from the snow clad prairies of the north. Thousand upon thousands of fans. The tailgate party lasted long into the night. And knowing my friends began a couple of hours before game time on Saturday. Which is fine and dandy. Been there. Done that. You see, I too, attended the cow college on the Red.
You didn’t know that? That I was a Bison? For a while. A short while. But I attended the games. But, alas, I forgot to attend the classes! And about Christmas time, the season of giving, they gave me a slip and asked me not to return to Fargo. But that is another story that I probably won’t delve into.
The fans of the Bison drove 20-plus hours to Frisco. Then they held a pep rally that lasted many more hours. Then they tailgated before the game. Then they retired to various venues to watch Green Bay demolish the Vikings. And they celebrated Packer and Bison victories, and Viking losses. The Nordic bred fans of the Dakotas are used to losing playoff games and celebrate those because next year will be different.
But then on Sunday morning, the tide once again turns north, like the Red River of the North, and begins its journey towards Lake Winnipeg. And planes and buses and pickups and cars begin the trek. And the songs of victory fade, as heads lean against windows. And arguments of whose turn to drive begin. And big fat guys on airplanes wish they weighed 150 instead of 300 (trust me, I know this feeling). And like little children, they start wondering, “How much farther is it?”
It’s far my fans, it’s far. It is much farther home than it was to Texas. And now on Monday morning, the test of a true champion begins. That eight o’clock class, or that six o’clock wake up for work.
Hail the Bison! And book tickets for next year.