Jan 9, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Louisville Cardinals center Gorgui Dieng (10) controls the ball against the Seton Hall Pirates at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Gorgui Dieng Found Inside Elmo Backpack

As a father, you hope your child grows up to cheer for the same teams you do. Right or wrong, you find yourself doing things to influence them.

When they are babies they wear socks, bibs, and clothes with team logos on them. As they grow older you point out to them when your team is on TV and everything related or linked. If you are like me, you even teach them cheers and how to say player’s names. However, there is no way to know who they will pull for later in life. All of your efforts may result in a failed attempt.

My daughter turned 2-years old in November and appears to be a little Cardinal. She does an awesome C-A-R-D-S chant and will even watch a bit of the games. I was able to take her to two home basketball games early in the season. She was good for one half of action and then enjoyed walking around the concourse for the second.

Here recently she has really started paying attention to games and will cheer when Louisville scores; sometimes when the opponent does too, but that’s ok. The other thing is, she asks to wear her “Cardinal Bird” clothes. You have no idea how happy this makes me.

This morning, she did something that completely caught me off guard. She brought her Elmo backpack to me and said, “Gorgui is in here daddy.” I wanted to make sure I heard this child correctly so I asked, “Who is in your backpack?” She clearly said, “Gorgui is.” The thought of the 6’11” Dieng in her backpack had me laughing. I asked her to show me and sure enough he was to my amazement. She reached in and revealed a ticket stub from the last home game that featured Dieng. I guess I left it laying around.

For her to know who Gorgui Dieng is has given me high hopes that she will indeed remain a UofL fan throughout her life. My biggest fear is she will one day meet a stupid boy that happens to cheer for the team in Lexington and will switch. However, this recent experience leads me to believe the Cardinal roots run deep.

What my daughter did today is also kind of eerie, because today happens to be Dieng’s birthday. He was born on this great day in 1990. Happy Birthday big guy and thanks for making an impact on my daughter. I think I will take her to get a new “Cardinal Bird” shirt today (another influential tactic)!

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