Marriage proposals at sporting events are nothing new. The stadium scoreboard proposal? Been done. Having an announcer ask over the loudspeaker? Cliche. Dropping a knee at center court? That's both been successful and failed miserably (ask one Houston man).
Yet the longtime boyfriend of an assistant high school girls basketball coach came up with a particularly unique way of popping the question last week, donning the Willmar (Minn.) High Cardinal mascot at the team's final game of the season, only to take off the mascot's head at center court and propose to the coach.
The West Central Tribune, which was covering the Willmar season finale, chronicled Bruce Just's proposal, which received wild applause from the crowd and a tearful acceptance from assistant coach Sally Wilson, who also works as a teacher at the high school.
The unique gesture was captured by Wilson's players, who had been alerted to the proposal, and a number of fans in the crowd who have watched the team throughout the season. Wilson and the Willmar team then got back to business, defeating Rocori, 64-41.
The Cardinals return to action on Wednesday, when they face off against Mankato (Minn.) East in a Section 2AAA playoff.
While the coach's players may have been in on the act, there's no way that Wilson had any idea a proposal was coming, in large part because of the distance Just had to cross to get to the game. Just lives and works in Omaha, Neb., which is some six hours from Willmar's Big Red Gym, where he proposed on a week night.
Omaha is also where Wilson is headed at the end of the school year, a decision she had announced earlier in the 2010-11 academic year. Now, she'll be planning a wedding for some point after she arrives, thanks to a unique fuzzy-suited proposal.