Last week saw the St. Paul Saints final home game of the season. Seeing as they don't appear to be playoff bound this year, it also means the book is closing on another year for Mini Fan.
Mini and Super, side by side. Brothers from another mother. Revving up the crowds. Stirring up Saints' Fever across the stadium and into the extended general admission seating bleachers.
From the "Na na na na, na naaaa…CHARGEs!" to the stadium wide roller coasters ending with Mini pretending to lose his lunch in the garbage can, those two make quite a pair.
There was a kid at the game, roughly Cole's age, who was hanging out behind the dugout seats, asking Cole repeatedly, then asking me, "How do you get to do what he does? I wanna do that!"
I didn't have a clear path to share with that kid. I mean, telling him the truth, that Cole just started dressing up like Super Fan and was somehow taken into the brotherhood of Saints' ushertainers, well… that doesn't necessarily translate to an "if-then" type of scenario.
I know I'm biased. He IS my kid. But here's the rub: the kid's got chutzpah; the right stuff; the secret formula; the X factor, if you will, to pull something like that off.
And I could not be any prouder of him than I already am.
Cole's motto has been and always will be "total immersion." During the "Inning of Chaos" he sold whatever the hell he was selling with all the conviction any 11-year-old could possibly possess.
The fact that I don't even understand what the Inning of Chaos is even about doesn't matter. Even if there was a full grown man wearing a diaper, and a giant sumo wrestler with a tiny pig's head mask.
Cole is Total Immersion Boy. And even though me and Dan physically made him, it's Cole's amazing and wholly unique life force that makes the magic.
A special thanks to Super Fan (aka Jamie Zuel) who makes the trek down from Fargo, N.D., just to play his awesome role at Saints games. He's been an amazing mentor to our son over these past few years that they've been doing this gig. He really gets Cole, and he really likes working with him. And we love him for that. He's also expecting a little mini of his own soon, and I'm certain he'll add a new title (Super Dad) to his repertoire.