The biggest sports fan in Freeborn CountyPublished 12:27pm Friday, March 22, 2013
Like any dedicated sports fan, Brad Goette of Hartland remembers all sorts of important dates and plays made in sports history and remains faithful to his Minnesota teams even when they aren’t playing to their best.
“Good fans stick with them no matter what,” Goette said.
Goette takes pride in his knack of remembering sports history and any other kind of history because his brain is one of the few things that function properly in his body.
Goette has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, one of the most severe forms of muscular dystrophy. The disease causes muscle weakness more swiftly than other forms of muscular dystrophy. Motions such as walking become progressively more difficult. Goette walked until he was about 11 years old, then he transitioned to using a wheelchair because it made getting around easier. There is no known cure, but there are treatments that work to improve quality of life.
The disorder is genetic, and only boys get it. Survival rates are rarely beyond the late 20s.
Goette turns 41 on Thursday.
Living proof that the number is just an estimate, in 2003 Goette, at age 29, published a book titled “Brad’s Walk of Life.”
In his book, Goette wrote what it was like losing his older brother, Brian, to the same disease, what it was like to go through all kinds of changes as the disease became more severe, how he maintains the role of a comedian in his family and about his experiences as a sports fan.
“I wrote it because I had a lot to tell,” Goette said.
Goette takes life one day at a time and spends the majority of those rooting on the Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild, Gophers and even the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva girls’ basketball team — especially star forward Carlie Wagner.
“She’s going to put Hartland on the map,” Goette said.
A die-hard sports fan for more than 35 years, Goette has a collection of bobbleheads, penants, posters, jerseys, blankets and two of his favorites items, a life-size Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek poster from 1984 and a bat and ball autographed by Kirby Puckett that he received for his golden birthday displayed in his Vikings’ purple and yellow painted bedroom at his parent’s home.
Goette’s collection is so large that it overflows into the bathroom attached to his room. Whatever doesn’t fit in those two rooms is stored and is occasionally switched out with what is already on display.
Goette’s interest of sports has spread to his family, friends, nurses and even his four-legged friends.
One of his dogs was a terrier mix named Kirby, like the Twins’ Kirby Puckett, and the one he has now, a border collie-Newfoundland mix, is called Rubio, like Ricky Rubio of the Timberwolves.
Goette said the names came about because they were of some well-known players at the time he got the dogs and they just fit.
“It must be the long legs,” Alice, Goette’s mother, joked about Rubio.
Even though he’ll never be a basketball star, Goette said Rubio does like to toss flower baskets in the air when he’s outside.
Besides his collections and his pets, Goette usually has a game playing on his TV and he gets into fantasy leagues.
After the loss to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs in January, Goette put his Vikings jersey away for the year.
He’s not giving up hope, though.
He’s ready and waiting for his team to make its first Super Bowl appearance since 1977, the same year he became a die-hard sports fan.