The dads were out and about over the weekend, hoping to catch up on some family time, community and, of course, football.
It’s definitely an interesting event, Dad’s Weekend. Tailgates are finally complemented with people who can actually cook and parents are present at parties and in the student section during the game in a most charming mixture.
Although University of Idaho’s Dad’s Weekend is built around Saturday’s football game, supposedly the focal point of the visits, most fathers explained that the game took a back seat, not only to their family members but also to the childrens’ friends.
Steve Trotto, the father of a sophomore in the Greek system, hung out at the tailgate with his wife, son and several of his fraternity brothers and their families even after the game had started. Steve said he enjoys coming to Moscow mostly to interact with the community his son is so accustomed to.
A large number of fathers surprisingly did not graduate from UI, but their sons and daughters have made them appreciate the university, town and its amenities.
One father, Robert Campbell, was visibly excited for the game, as it was his first opportunity to be a live spectator at a football game higher than the high school level. Campbell said he is a die-hard sports fan, so the opportunity to add another favorite is welcomed.
As for the alumni, Mike LaFountaine graduated from Idaho in 1999. He said, even though he generally cannot find the games on television, he’s still a fan, but what really struck him were the improvements upon athletic facilities and persistence of campus traditions.
“The football team was always pretty good when I was a student, I’ve always been a fan,” LaFountaine said. “The team seems pretty good now, but what I’m glad to see is the Vandal spirit still going strong around campus.”
LaFountaine added that he is excited for the Big Sky to return, as he remembers watching those matchups in his youth.
Another alumnus, Bob White, graduated in 1991 and said he loves to see the community his son is now a part of. White explained his excitement when the Vandals moved up to Division I-A,but he said he has mixed feelings about the drop.
Saturday gave the visiting dads the best possible outcome they could hope for — an Idaho win. Although the stands looked fairly bare, given that most students and their parents remained in the tailgate lots celebrating the occasion, an exciting contest was given to those present.
It’s a pleasant sight — dads standing and cheering on the Vandals in jubilation surrounded by their children who they do not have abundant opportunities to visit. The football team is still a split subject, regarding fandom and the move to the Big Sky, but every father could agree on their love for Idaho.
Colton Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @coltonclark95