Guest Writer Chris White:
For myself and my family, baseball is a way to keep the memory and spirit of my father in law alive. My father in law, Brad Porter, had on either a Twins or Vikings shirt nearly every day that I saw him. At the time I was floating around as far as who I supported team wise. I supported the Mariners because they were the local team, but I got tired of losing, so I started being a Giants fan.
Brad always tried to convert me and I always told him no way. I would talk trash all the time and tell him things like, “Hey man I have already been rooting for the losing teams, why do I need to pick up some more?” And we would laugh about it, but he always told me that someday I would see things his way. And like always, he ended up being right.
In April of 2013, Brad had a heart attack and passed. One of the last conversations that I had with him was about the Vikings. He said that he and his brother were going to get Tattoos if the Vikings win this Super bowl that year, to which I replied, “So you guys aren’t getting tattoos then?” He and his brother laughed and before I went home I noticed that his brother had brought a Vikings license plate holder and I thought this was something that Brad was going to put on one of his vehicles. Well after Brad passed I learned that he was actually going to sneak the license plate holder onto my car in hopes I wouldn’t notice.
The day of his funeral, I began writing what I wanted to say about him. He was such a great person all around and I consider him to be a role model of mine, even in the short amount of time that we knew each other. He was just someone that I wanted to be like as far as how he was as a person. I just couldn’t see myself not speaking about him at his funeral. After all, he did put up with me and allowed me to marry his daughter. I wrote down what I had wanted to say, and it came to me that there was no way that I could leave out what was a big part of his life, his love for his Minnesota teams. So I finished reading what I had to say and finished up with “Brad always tried to get me to root for the Vikings and Twins with him and I always told him no way. He told me that one day I would see things his way, and he was right. Go Twins. Go Vikings. Go Brad.”
From that point on, I made a promise to myself that I would keep his memory and his love for his teams alive by supporting them and making them my teams no matter what. I and my wife and the kids are always wearing something to represent our teams. Twins and Vikings stuff all the time. And we love it. And although they aren’t winning often, and aren’t always the best, I love being able to watch and celebrate the victories we do have so I can text my mother in law and give her the good news that we won today. It gives me a strong feeling about why I am supporting my teams, other than just because, like it was before. I proudly wear my Mauer jersey and my Twins hat knowing that Brad is looking down from somewhere and he definitely approves. Brad you were right. Just like always. I did convert. And thank you for it, because I love my teams.