Gopher pride flows freely at Homecoming game

Robyn Repya

Students, University alumni and families packed the Metrodome on Saturday to cheer on the Gophers football team.

The University marching band and cheerleaders were also on hand to rally fans and cheer on the Gophers.

The annual Homecoming football game attracts both young and old Gophers fans to a day full of tailgating, cheering, drinking and eating.

Charlie Robinson, civil engineering senior, cheered on the Gophers from a front-row seat.

Robinson said he’d been preparing for the game all day.

“I started drinking at 7:30 a.m.,” he said.

Robinson, wearing a season ticket-holder’s T-shirt, cheered wildly while waving a yellow inflatable hand.

“Charlie Robinson is the biggest fan of Gopher football,” Charlie Robinson said.

Robinson said Homecoming is special because many alumni come to the game and they all like to party.

LeRoy and Audrey Christenson, University alumni, have attended Gophers games since they were students in the 1940s.

“We used to sit out in the snow in Memorial Stadium and watch the game,” LeRoy said.

LeRoy said they used to drink brandy at the stadium to warm up.

The Christensons donned maroon and gold attire to show their enthusiasm for the Homecoming game.

But Mitch Burfeind, an agriculture business senior, decided to dress in a more revealing manner for the outing.

He, along with nine other Alpha Gamma Rho members, went shirtless. Each painted a letter on their bare chests spelling out – GO GOPHERS.

Burfeind went as the “E.”

“You have to do something crazy,” he said.

He said Homecoming is a bigger deal than a normal game, warranting extra enthusiasm with the floats and other activities around campus.

In a hoarse voice, Burfeind said he had been celebrating all week, cheering for every University Homecoming event.

“It’s bad when the voice is gone before the game even starts,” he said.

Ryan Wolf, a material science freshman, said he was excited to attend his first University Homecoming game.

Wolf blended into the sea of gold in the student section, wearing the T-shirt he received for purchasing season tickets.

He said he looks forward to watching the Gophers play on Saturdays and always has a good time.

“It’s a new experience – Big Ten college football,” Wolf said.