Living in Gopher country the past few years, I have witnessed their apathy first hand. Six games into the football season, they could care less about their team. Early January, they stop watching Gopher basketball. They have one of the elite wrestling programs in the entire nation, yet you wouldn’t know it by the support their squad receives. The University itself even gave an extension to their football coach who thrives in mediocrity. Glen Mason was even quoted earlier in the year claiming that he was still in the process of rebuilding the Gopher program, 10 years after taking command of the football team.
The Gopher vs. Hawkeye game on Saturday (11/18/06) just about made me throw up from the point of view of college football fan. Here is a team in Minnesota who is finally playing good football, getting wins on the road, and has a chance to become bowl-eligible with a win over their arch-rival and slumping Hawkeyes from the University of Iowa. You'd think that the rivalry in itself would promote a good turnout for the supporters of the Maroon and Gold, but not so.
Start of the game, there are THOUSANDS of empty seats in the lower level where Gopher "patrons" normally sit. The SE corner seats of the upper deck of the dome didn't even get sold! A Gopher/Hawkeye game and the dome can't even sell it out!
The game is underway and it's time for a pivotal stop for the Gophers, "GET LOUD", pleads the scoreboard as loud music pumps into the dome. The roar (or lack there of) wasn't felt by a single person playing or watching the game. Pathetic. The Iowa faithful, cheering for the most disappointing Iowa team in this millennium was at least twice as loud and once again took over the dome... ON A DOWN YEAR FOR THEIR PROGRAM. What a sad state of affairs this Gopher fan base has become!
As the game progressed and Iowa became the eventual loser, you'd think the sheer joy of Gopher fans FINALLY getting Floyd back, FINALLY having a "One Up" on the Hawk fans would have been enough for them to cheer about. Not so. As the game clock expired and the elated Gopher football team (congrats to them on a terrifically played game, by the way) rushed the disappointed Iowa sidelines to claim their reward, I saw the fire and excitement in the Minnesota players and coaches. It radiated; they were on Cloud Nine. They had done it; they have finally beaten the Hawkeyes. Time to celebrate with all the fa... oh wait... where are they? Where are the fans? Oh, that's right. The majority of the little Gopher fans that had shown up to the game had made their way to the exits before the 4th quarter was even over.
As the Gopher football team paraded their newly acquired trophy around the Metrodome, the apathy continued to spew from the Gopher fan base. The 100th game in this timeless rivalry had been won by the Minnesota Golden Gophers and no one was around to help celebrate. I sat in my seat amazed, not because I had just witnessed one of the poorest Iowa football seasons in recent memory come to a close, but the fact that a Minnesota team that had put so much energy and heart into a win wasn’t able to share their joy with their fans.
Because of those events, even in losing, I was proud to be a Hawk Fan. Hawkeyes will stick by their team through thick and thin, and it has been extremely anorexic this year. Iowa and Minnesota were disappointing last year, yet after Iowa retained Floyd for the fifth straight year the field was full of Iowa fans showing their support. I have witnessed a few non-apathetic Gopher fans, though. Some have taken the lead and started up “Fire Glen Mason” websites and blogs (http://fireglenmason.blogspot.com), while I personally witnessed one gentleman selling “Fire Mason” t-shirts for $10 following the Gopher victory over Iowa.
Iowa finished the season 6-6 (2-6), losing 5 out of their last six games, and finished 9th in the Big Ten. Minnesota finished the season 6-6 (3-5), winning 4 out of their last 5 (as well as 3 in a row), and finished 6th in the Big Ten. The Big Ten has 7 bowl eligible teams, and you can bet that Iowa will receive a better bowl bid than Minnesota. Why? All you need to do is look at the stands following the last game of the season.
Hey slim dick. If you want to start something about being a dumb shit that is fine. U don't know the half of it. Glen Mason is an ass. If he didn't play shitty nonconference teams we wouldn't be in this position. We didn't play a powerhouse like Syracuse. Before you open your ass I mean mouth, what happened to the Iowa faithful this past weekend? They usually fill the dome, they weren't there at all. What? The Iowa fans don't support their team? One shit, they were supposed to compete for the Big Ten? Instead they are competing with Mn for the Alamo? Wow how shitty is that for Iowa? We weren't supposed to do shit buddy. So the next time you rage on us, show me a sold out kinnick game against Michigan or any team later in the Big ten season this year against a non rival. You are a shithead.ReplyDelete
First off, thanks for leaving an anonymous post, you wouldn't want to let anyone know who you are or anything... now to your message:ReplyDelete
"Hey slim dick." - All rumors, my friend. Yet I can't help but be a bit taken back why you would reference my genitalia, pretty sick, in my opinion.
"If you want to start something about being a dumb shit that is fine." - I have no idea what you are saying here.
"U don't know the half of it." - Talking with many, many Gopher fans I am afraid I do. I draw my experiences of what I have witnessed. To tell you the truth, about 95% of the Gopher fans I talk to agree with my perspective.
"Glen Mason is an ass." - I didn't disagree with this comment.
"If he didn't play shitty nonconference teams we wouldn't be in this position. We didn't play a powerhouse like Syracuse." - Non-conference has never been a problem for Minnesota. Normally, the team wins it's first 5 games before flopping.
"Before you open your ass I mean mouth, what happened to the Iowa faithful this past weekend? They usually fill the dome, they weren't there at all. What? The Iowa fans don't support their team?" - Considering there were more Iowa fans than Minnesota fans there, I'd say it was a decent turnout. A fanbase following an extremely underachieving team to a visiting stadium outnumbered the home team's fans during a normal year for their squad; that should speak volumes.
"One shit, they were supposed to compete for the Big Ten?" - Not sure the "one shit" comment, but you are correct about Iowa supposed to be competing for the Big Ten crown. Unfortunately, Iowa lost it's #1 D-lineman, #1 QB, #1 RB, and starting CB for several games. Yet underachieve they have. And I have mentioned that several times; perhaps you should re-read the blog. But I ask you, what does this have to do with Gopher fans lackluster support of their programs?
"Instead they are competing with Mn for the Alamo? Wow how shitty is that for Iowa?" - Very shitty. But Iowa wasn't in competition for the Alamo vs. Minny, they already had it wrapped up.
"We weren't supposed to do shit buddy." - That's the expectations for Gopher football.
"So the next time you rage on us, show me a sold out kinnick game against Michigan or any team later in the Big ten season this year against a non rival." - I don't think I would call it raging on the Gopher fan base, just annoyed by it. And by the way, Kinnick has sold out for many consecutive games, sir.
"You are a shithead." - Thanks. Now if all Gopher fans had that sort of intensity towards their rivals and put that much effort into following their team, Gopher fans (and the program the cheer for) would be better off.
First, let me apologize for the anonymous idiot. My hope is that it was a Badger fan with nothing better to do. Although the spelling was accurate so likely it was someone from MN.ReplyDelete
Second, you are right about our fans. I was one of the few who was there until Floyd went up the tunnel.
Third, apathy really has set in. The administration does not want to put money into the program. Outside of the stadium. No marketing of the program. No holding the coaching staff accountable.
I volunteer on campus and meet many of the players. Good kids. They go to school. They get decent grades. They do good things in the community.
I defended Coach Mason all year. I like the guy. But as the season went on the excuses and quotes wore on me.
We have a coach who last year received an extension. Buying him out is likely out of the question.
The only positive is sitting outside, on campus in 2009.
You are completely out of line. We have nothing to be proud of as a football team. When is the last time we won the big ten or played in the rose bowl? The 1960's. When you go through years of hell, people's support dwindles. Until we reach the top again, do not expect our lackluster program to have great fans. We love and support our team, we just cannot bare much more medeocrity. WHO BEAT IOWA? WE BEAT IOWA.ReplyDelete
"WHO BEAT IOWA? WE BEAT IOWA."ReplyDelete
Congrats on that. Enjoy the Insight Bowl. I know the 2,000 Minnesota fans that go will enjoy it. Hopefully you will be one of those fans making the trip, supporting your team. Yet from the lack of enthusiasm on your part, I don't think that will happen. You say your teams have gone through some hell, therefore it's difficult to support them. Here's a case study for you - The Chicago Cubs. Study up, my friend. That's a REAL fanbase... not some bandwagon, only support the team when they are winning bologna. Don't think for one minute Hawk fans weren't behind their team when Ferentz was putting up 1 win seasons. You're a fan or you're not.
Perhaps you'll be able to find a new basketball coach soon now that Monson has left (or was fired however you want to look at it). Mason has been worse than Monson (who took over a program in shambles, you'd think he'd get a little slack) yet Glen gets an extension and Monson gets shown the door. Crazy.
The nice thing about a hawkeye fan is that you are so excited about going to the Alamo which is nice. Based on the fact that the state of Iowa and ESPN thought the Hawks were worth a shit blows my mind. You are giving Minnesota shit for going to the Insight bowl and you are going to the Alamo. When in fact they were talking about Roses for Iowa earlier in the season. But you like to stoop down and make fun of a shitty program for going to the Insight. I am happy Iowa is in the Alamo. Because that is an easy bet for me. Until Minnesota cares about their football program I won't. Don't get my wrong I will still attend an away game every year and the Iowa game but until Mase is gone, I won't be in Mpls. By the way, I am anonymous #1. So until I see Iowa in the Final Four or do something above their expectations, give me a break. All MN does is over achieve, just not in any sport that matters (football and mens basketball). And I realize those two are the only two that matter which is why I give Iowa some credit for supporting their programs(football and basketball) so well.ReplyDelete
The issue with Minny, mainly, is that it's a hockey university. It seems to be the only thing the school is interested in dumping enough money into, not considering the new football stadium. I think it was mentioned above that the Gophs haven't done jack with their football program since the 60s and the fan base has fallen off the face of the earth. Saying this, I still can't defend MN's athletic program as Wisco has kicked our asses in sports we are supposed to excell in as well as those we don't. Dump Maturi, get someone with some passion to lead the athletic program, and maybe we will see some improvements.ReplyDelete
Minnesota football has been mediocre to bad since the 60's. Is it that big of a mystery why there isn't the support? We have 4 professional sports teams to pay attention to. Iowa doesn't have to compete with that for attention. Gopher basketball has been well supported throughout it's history until the last few years that Monson has run it into the ground. Hockey has always been big. What schools have a large following for their wrestling teams? Very few I imagine. Ohio State has one of the best hockey arenas in the country yet only gets 3000 people to show up to watch. Are Ohio St fans pathetic? Welcome to Minnesota buddy.ReplyDelete