I jumped out of bed at 4am Friday with excitement knowing that I would be inside U.S. Bank Stadium broadcasting a state football game in a couple of hours. I am a morning person, so getting up that early doesn’t bother me. I felt like a little kid getting up on Christmas morning I was so excited.
I have been broadcasting high school sports for KLQP radio going on 30 years. You would think I would be tired and not get excited about doing state broadcasts. It still excites me driving to the cities and broadcasting in the big arenas. I have been really blessed over the years to do this with different schools and teams just about every year. I have a blast spending time with the fans and other media people at state. It’s still fun and so Friday morning I backed out of my garage at 4:29am heading to Minneapolis to cover the Minneota Vikings football team.
That early in the morning it is still dark, so I was on the lookout for deer. I did not meet one car from Madison to Montevideo, I had the road to myself. The only thing I was worried about was hitting a deer. I had my coffee and was listening to my favorite Christian radio station KTIS. It was a perfect morning drive. Highway 7 is a good road and it was really quiet. When I arrived in the metro area the freeways on this Saturday morning were basically empty. I arrived at U.S. Bank Stadium at 7:50am went through security and found my way to the press box.
The press box area at the stadium is really impressive. It’s really big and has a large cafeteria area for the press. Lots of photographs of former Vikings teams and players on the walls. I started setting up my equipment and visiting with other radio guys and just taking in the experience. The only downfall is that the press box is really far away from the playing field, so it is hard to see numbers on the players clearly. I noticed that most of the radio broadcasters brought binoculars with them. I didn’t.
The Minneota Vikings football team is playing their best football of the season. After doing my homework on Rushford-Peterson I thought it would be a very tough game for the Vikings. Coming into the game the Trojans put up some Madden like numbers offensively. So my guess was that the Minneota defense was going to be put to the test. The Minneota defense destroyed the Rushford-Peterson offense, they held them to minus 8 yards rushing! The last three playoff games for Minneota is probably the best defensive performance I have ever seen. It’s incredible how they have dominated all season defensively.
The Vikings won 28 to 8 and will play the day after Thanksgiving in the Prep Bowl for the state championship! After all these years I still get really excited about broadcasting a state game. I probably won’t sleep much this week thinking about the fun I will be having next Friday. I will once again need to get up early and make the three hour drive to Minneapolis. It’s all worth it!