Jayne Thielen has never missed any of her son's games, going to back to high school at Detroit Lakes and four seasons at Minnesota State.
Thursday night, she and husband Pete boarded a plane at Fargo, N.D., to attend their son's game at Buffalo tonight, but there's something different about traveling to an NFL stadium, watching Adam pursue his dream of becoming a professional football player with the Minnesota Vikings.
"To be honest, it's kind of unbelievable," she said. "When you get to the field, and you see the Vikings come out and you see your son out there with them, we're very proud and very excited."
Adam Thielen is playing his second professional game tonight, hoping to get a little more action than last week. He's in a battle with eight other receivers for one or two roster spots, which is probably more nerve-racking for the parents than the former Mavericks' standout.
"You're always nervous about the injury factor," she said. "But it's very exciting."
The Thielens have traveled from their Detroit Lakes home to faraway locales in North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska to watch their son. They saw him play at the Metrodome last week, but this is the first time they've boarded a plane for one of Adam's road games.
"I've never seen a game in another NFL stadium," Pete said. "It's going to be fun."
Fun is a good way to describe Adam's career. Not highly recruited out of high school, he came to Minnesota State, where he grew in size and muscle and honed his techniques and work ethic. After a stellar career with the Mavericks, he began to focus on the NFL, going through a series of tryouts that culminated in a contract with the Vikings, the team he grew up watching on TV.