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Louise and I got to Chase Field for the Guarantee Rate Bowl almost 3 hours before the kick-off at 8:15 pm. Just about everywhere you looked you saw Gopher fans in maroon and gold! The stadium was not even open yet so we stopped by one of the sports bars next to the stadium. It was fun just talking to other Gopher fans before the game. Chase Field is the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. It was a great stadium to watch the Minnesota Gophers beat the West Virginia Mountaineers.

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It has been cold (not Minnesota cold though) cloudy and it has rained almost every day we have been here so we were pleased when we found out Chase Field had a retractable roof that was closed. During the pregame all of a sudden it felt much cooler. They had retracted the roof! The reason was four paratroopers were going to land on the football field.

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It was amazing to watch them maneuver, drop down through the open roof and land on the field. They set up a football on a tee like it was an extra point. The last jumper came in and kicked the football. He kicked the football but did not get enough lift to get it over the crossbar though, so it was no good but sure fun to watch!

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The Minnesota Gophers marching band put on quite a show, pregame, halftime and during the game too! It appeared they had 3 to 4 times as many members as the Mountaineers! I was a little concerned when the Gophers on their first possession missed a field goal, and the second fumbled on the 8 yard line. But, it appeared they had more talent and eventually took control with their running game!

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Friday morning at 1:15 am we are scheduled to fly back to cold and snowy Minnesota. I think you could call that the "red eye" flight? At least at this point it has not been cancelled!

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