Monday (The Grand Forks chronicles: Who is Brett Favre?) edition: Wha' Happened?

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • December 6, 2010 - 10:32 AM

We just got back from a trip home to Grand Forks a couple hours ago. We took the overnight train Thursday late/Friday earl and again overnight last night. We had never taken the train to and from Grand Forks, and there are definite pluses and minuses for those who are curious. The pluses: You don't have to worry about driving in the winter; you can maximize your time (at leasts with this particular trip) because you are traveling overnight both ways. The minuses: Any notion of old-time romanticism over "ridin' the rails!" quickly dissipates when you realize the train station is a fairly depressing place and the train itself is full of people who just want to sleep. Also, sleeping -- while possible -- is not exactly restful.

Overall, though, we were glad we did it and we would do it again -- particularly if traveling alone, which we were in this case. With the RandBall Better Half (and the pug), we'd drive. Then again, we hate driving to Grand Forks in December-February. So this was good.


Friday night in Grand Forks, we were in the lobby of a hotel where our dad's band was playing. We turned around, looked over by the door, and saw two familiar faces: DeLaSalle head football coach Sean McMenomy and star running back Reggie Gandy. It turns out Gandy -- who rushed for more than 3,000 yards this season -- was on an official recruiting visit to UND. Work had followed us to North Dakota. Gandy was gearing up to meet some prospective new teammates; Saturday was set to bring a tour of the campus and facilities, as well as a jaunt over to the St. Cloud State/UND hockey game that night. We shook Gandy's hand and assured him we were not there just to see him. After he left, we grabbed a beverage with McMenomy. Strange sighting, but good times.


Sunday morning, we were over at our dad's house. After playing a ton of Wii, we were looking through football cards with our little brother, Ben, who is 10 and has decided to extend his collection beyond mere baseball cards. He has his cards divided into two binders filled with plastic sheets. One is for AFC teams, the other is for NFC teams. He asks us to keep naming teams that we want to see player cards for, and we oblige. We get to the Vikings, and Ben -- who by the way is wearing a Percy Harvin jersey -- assures us that Sidney Rice is having "a very good season." We protest. He insists. Rice, who has of course been injured for much of the season and done little else since coming back to that point, goes out and makes two spectacular TD grabs and tops 100 yards that day. Maybe Ben was onto something? Maybe he's back from the future? We're keeping an eye on him.


Sunday night, we are watching SportsCenter with our mom. She is not the world's biggest sports fan. A snippet of a post-game press conference featuring Brett Favre comes on. She blurts out, "Oh my goodness. That isn't a player, right? That's a coach." Our mom doesn't know Brett Favre by sight. We assure her it's a player. Don't let the grey hair fool you. "Well what position does he play?" We tell her he's a quarterback and that he's 41. She's astounded.


Those are the sporting highlights of the trip. What did we miss around here?

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