Sports have a way of bringing people together in a way that very few other things can. It’s the passion for a game that we have no control over and finding like-minded people tho share that passion with. For me, and many other folks, the Minnesota Vikings have provided friendships that I never thought could have existed.
While connecting with people on social media and making casual friendships online is great, it’s when you get together and make that friendship a reality that things really come together. You see examples of this in things like the Viking World Order, where Vikings fans come together to form a family. And even though I’m not personally a member of the VWO, I’ve been able to meet some great Minnesota Vikings fans at games and will even be standing in the wedding of a friend of mine who I met based on our love of the team.
Forming the friendships is great, but watching them develop is the most beautiful part. However, all good things must come to an end, and a recent article on the KARE 11 website told a story about that which really touched my heart.
Joe Marushin and Jim Small are Minnesota Vikings fans. They are the kind of fans where everything they own is purple and have been best friends for 41 years. They attend as many games together as possible, but sadly that tradition will be coming to an end soon as they have something else in common: cancer.
Check out their story in the clip from the KARE 11 website:
The two friends attended the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers preseason game on Saturday that many people called “meaningless”. To these two men, this game was anything but meaningless. That game may be the last chance that these two lifelong friends have to watch a game together.
"“Spending time together, sharing. Yelling. Meeting new people out there. Great people,” Small said. “If I’d live the rest of the year, I’d go to every single game if I could.”"
Jim Small is at the point in his treatment where the doctors have decided that chemotherapy is no longer a worthwhile procedure and now it is just a matter of time until he succumbs to esophageal cancer. Joe Marushin has a longer estimated life expectancy, but still will eventually pass on.
Small and Marushin got to see a nice Minnesota Vikings win on Saturday, but win or lose, the two know what the most important thing to come out of the day was.
"“Just being together. That’s the biggest. Win, lose or draw,” Small said."
A benefit fund has been set up for these two men at Anchor Bank to help cover their medical expenses. If you wish to donate, here is where you can send the funds: 1030 Hastings Ave., St. Paul Park, MN 55071.
Being a Minnesota Vikings fan for life is a great thing, but having someone to share that passion with makes it all so much better. SKOL to my Vikings family and friends, including Jim and Joe. Although I have never personally met them, they’re already Vikings family to me.
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