FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live)-- Tradition, it's a big part of the game.
"I know they are tired. It's been a long ride," Leo Dempsey says. "But, to see the smiles on the coaches' faces, the players--to know the hard work they put in and to see it rewarded--it's just awesome."
Dempsey's son--Trey--finished up his career with the Bison in 2017. Since then, he's shown up to welcome the Bison home at the airport every year.
He's one of the many that came out to show their support.
"It's what I do as far as a Bison fan," Jonas Steckler says. "I just wanted to show my support for the team. If I have to stay until the sun comes up, that's fine by me."
But, these fans were left empty handed.
The Bison charter flight had to abort take-off because of mechanical issues.
After waiting over four hours, the team was able to get onto a new plane--the same one that had just dropped off James Madison's football team in Virginia.
Hours passed and fans dwindled. Only one remained through the entire night.
"Well, it's 2:30 a.m. and we are still here," Caleb Carlisle says.
Exhausted Bison to touchdown at 3:30 a.m. Carlisle wasn't leaving.
"I was here last year when they came back, I got some autographs," he adds. "Maybe it's just me being superstitious, but we won a championship this year, so I am here."
He says he's been a Bison fan for as long as he can remember. Next year, he'll be a student at NDSU. The thing he's most excited for, the football games.
"Trey, Ty, Phoenix, Phoenix, Christian."
Even with work in less than six hours, Carlisle says, it was well worth the wait.