MANKATO -- Jonathan Donath can rattle off the six most memorable days of his life in a matter of seconds.
His wedding day, the birth of his two children, the day he hit a hole-in-one and “the two days my dad brought me here.”
Here would be Vikings training camp Mankato. Their first visit came in 1998 when Donath was 18, the second trip coming in 2001.
“It was Randy Moss’ rookie year [in ‘98],” he said. “Cris Carter signed my Cris Carter jersey. It was the greatest day of my life. I don’t want to insult my wife by saying that.”
I’m guessing no offense taken since she’s probably used to her husband’s obsession with Twin Cities sports teams.
Donath grew up in St. Louis Park but has lived in New York since 2000. He’s a 36-year-old chiropractor.
When he read that the Vikings will no longer make Mankato their training camp home after this season, Donath made arrangements to bring his 10-year-old son, Eitan, for a visit. Just like his father did for him.
“This was a bucket list,” he said. “I don’t care how much it cost.”
They originally planned to visit camp Thursday but bad weather in New York delayed their flight, causing them to land in the Twin Cities at 4 a.m. They decided to visit Mankato on Friday instead.
Dad wore a Percy Harvin jersey; Eitan wore his Adrian Peterson jersey.
Despite living in New York, Donath says he watches every Vikings game, every Gophers football and basketball game and he bought NBA League Pass so he can watch every Timberwolves game.
He buys tickets every time the Wolves play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, and Donath and his son take a trip every summer to catch a Twins road series.
Donath’s daughter, Talia, was born the night of the Twins Game 163 in 2009. Fifteen minutes after his daughter was born, Donath received a flood of congratulatory text messages.
“I’m like, how do they possibly know I just had a baby?” he said. “I had taped the game and I was like, shoot they told me the Twins had won. It ruined the game for me because I got home from the hospital at two in the morning and watched the whole game even though I knew [the result].”
Donath and his son are scheduled to fly home Sunday night after attending the Twins game. They’re not going back to New York empty-handed.
Eitan scored Sam Bradford’s autograph on Friday.