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Jim Teigen, Ventura, Calif., Published December 26 2013

Letter: Thanks to Bison for the healing

An open letter to Coach Craig Bohl and the Bison team:

Thank you for the healing. In the 40-plus years since I left North Dakota State University, I have become less defensive, less sensitive about criticism and condescension when the Bison are mentioned. The poor performance of teams in the 1950s and ’60s was a painful memory, when, as a youngster, I would watch games in a small, disheartened crowd as the narcissists from Grand Forks, and elsewhere, humiliated the Bison year after year. The humiliation only intensified when I attended NDSU.

After graduation, I worked with University of North Dakota graduates who were merciless in their ridicule. I feared I was permanently scarred. I moved to New Orleans in 1964, and the Bison began to win. Upon returning, I enjoyed season tickets from ’66 through ’68, and though I’ve lived away from Fargo since, I’ve attended a number of homecoming games, as well as the recent win over the University of Northern Iowa. My California friends have stopped scoffing and joined me for games on TV and have become enthusiastic supporters.

My insecurity has given way to a sense of confidence. Absolutely therapeutic. Thank you and your remarkable team. But now, I’ll probably resort to condescension when talking to those folks from UND. They’ll have to find their own coach/therapist.

Teigen is a member of the NDSU Class of 1963.