Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

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Family keeps Gray grounded as season's end nears

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Gopher quarterbacks Updated: November 16, 2012 - 11:22 AM

 

MarZell, left, and MarShawn Gray, 1-year-old sons of Gopher senior MarQueis Gray

MarZell, left, and MarShawn Gray, 1-year-old sons of Gopher senior MarQueis Gray

     Chip Scoggins wrote a nice column this week about the admirable way MarQueis Gray has handled the end of his quarterbacking dream, how he has remained a leader and a role model even though he's not calling the signals anymore.
     I was reminded of that while chatting with Gray this week. It's not hard to see one important reason why he doesn't sit around and pout about his injury and his position switch: Football isn't the only thing in his life.
     Gray, now 23 and a potential NFL prospect, was enthused to talk about the Gophers' bowl eligibility, and characteristically mentioned that he's most happy for the freshmen, because the experience will help the program get better once he's gone. "The new guys coming in, it's great for them to know what going to a bowl game feels like, so they have that taste in their mouth for years to come," Gray said. "They can go again."
     He also talked about the importance of not losing whatever momentum the Gophers have gained from winning two of their last three games, and not thinking that they can coast now that their No. 1 goal for the season has been accomplished. "I would like to hope that nobody on our team has that mentality," the senior from Indianapolis said. "The mentality that's going around in the locker room is, we're trying to win out. The more games we win, the better bowl we go to. Anything is possible in college football, especially in the Big Ten."
     But Gray really lit up when he talked about the real highlight of last weekend. Not the 17-3 victory over Illinois, but the birthday party he and his fiancee threw for his 1-year-old twin sons, MarShawn and MarZell.
     "We went to Chuck E. Cheese. They sat in their little high chairs, watched Chuck E. for a liittle bit, saw all the lights," he said. "We had a couple of friends come play with them, so they had a good time."
     Sounded like he did, too. Especially because -- talk about a revelation -- he likes the food there. "It's the best pizza," Gray said. "I love their pizza."
     Gopher football and his family life will intersect once more next month -- or so he hopes. Once the Gophers accept a bowl invitation, they are allowed to schedule 15 additional practices in December. Which would be great, except Gray and his longtime girlfriend Alley Behr are planning to get married in four weeks -- on 12/12/12. (The symmetry matches their sons' birthdate of 11/11/11.)
     So what if practice conflicts with the wedding? Has he worked that out yet with Coach Jerry Kill?
     "I don't know. I have no idea," Gray said. "Hopefully something can be done."
     What about it, Coach? Does he have your blessing?
     "He hasn't said anything to me about it yet," Kill said with smile. "He's probably scared to."

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Kansas City 2 Top 6th Inning
San Francisco 0
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
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Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
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Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
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Orlando 92
New York 78 4th Qtr 1:04
Toronto 79
San Antonio 62 4th Qtr
Houston 76
Miami 84 4th Qtr
Memphis 71
Minnesota 88 4th Qtr 8:59
Chicago 98
Phoenix 33 2nd Qtr 5:27
Utah 40
Sacramento 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Denver 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Dallas 2 3rd Prd 3:32
New Jersey 2
Tampa Bay 4 3rd Prd
Winnipeg 1
Vancouver 2 2nd Prd
Colorado 1
Carolina 0 1st Prd 12:11
Edmonton 0
Columbus 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 10 4th Qtr 14:02
Cincinnati 27
Troy 6 3rd Qtr 5:09
South Alabama 24
BYU 0 2nd Qtr 14:35
Boise State 13
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 1 2nd Half 20:00
Chicago 1
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 0 10:21
Calgary 1
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal

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