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Friday, September 30, 2011

Know Your Foe - Minnesota 2011

Your undefeated Michigan Wolverines host the (very much not undefeated) Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday to open Big Ten play as well as battle for The Little Brown Jug. These two teams have not played since 2008 when Rich Rod got a rare Big 10 (and away) victory, 29-6.  Since first playing in 1892 during Fred Jackson's 3rd season as Michigan's RB coach, these two U-Ms have faced each other 97 times, with Michigan holding a commanding 70-24-3 advantage in the series.

But you knew all that.  What you didn't know is below in the fifth weekly installment of Know Your Foe 2011.

This looks like some coin
recovered from a shipwreck
History – Founded in 1851, the original campus overlooked the Saint Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River (yes, the Mississippi divides the Twin Cities), but it was later moved about a mile to its current location. During the Civil War, the school shut down following a financial crisis (probably The Jessup's Trading Post, Saloon and Bank mortgage meltdown caused by those shitty Louisiana Purchase derivatives). It reopened in 1867 - with the help of Minneapolis entrepreneur John Sargent Pillsbury, (yes, that Pillsbury)- and was upgraded from a preparatory school to a college in 1869. There was no graduating class until 1873 when two students received their diplomas (and thus setting the stage going forward for the all-time shittiest class reunions in recorded human history).

Location – The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Yes, there is a campus in each city, kind of like North Campus and Central Campus in Ann Arbor (they even have their version of the Bursley Bus connecting the two). Though the winters in Minnesota last about 11 ½ months, the Twin Cities are actually a fun place. There’s a legacy of great music – Prince, The Replacements, Husker Du and Lazy Bill Lucas (props to Bill for overcoming his laziness and making something out of himself). Mary Tyler Moore lived there, too.

Nickname – Golden Gophers. Goldy the Gopher to be exact.  After being chosen as the state's official animal in 1857, Minnesota was declared the Gopher State. Taking advantage of this natural connection, Minnesota football coach Clarence Spears named his team the Gophers in 1926. Several years later, Bernie Bierman’s champion football team was coined the “golden swarm,” a reference to their gold-colored jerseys, and the team soon became the “Golden Gophers.”

Have to say, a mascot named after the vermin/varmit/varmint from Caddyshack doesn't quite strike fear into an opponent's heart.  Plus, even with such a fine dental school on campus, you'd think the actual Minny mascot would get his teeth fixed by now.  But maybe it's just me.

We're told Goldy "energizes thousands of student fans as they chant 'Ski-U-Mah,' a rally cry that means 'Victory UM.'" We at the MZone think it actually just means "another reason not to have a mascot roaming the sidelines.  Ever."

Colors/Logo –Maroon and Gold.  While they use Goldy the Gopher a lot as a logo, on their helmets, they have that funky "M" with those weird serifs on them. They’ve used some version of it on their headgear since at least 1968. They haven’t given in to the temptation to modernize it and have it move forward like Wisconsin and Purdue. Of course those teams have been to a few Rose Bowls since 1962.

This season they added a decal to their helmets in memory of former head coach Murray Warmath, who died earlier this year. They've also added dread locks to the QB in the hopes he'll play like Denard.  But with losses so far this year to New Mexico State, North Dakota State and some crap-ass team called USC, it doesn't seem to be helping much.

Fight Song - The Minnesota Rouser is a very underrated fight song, though the title sounds like a porno movie from 1955 or a drink somebody talks you into trying at 1 a.m.  The song was originally known as Minnesota, Hats Off To Thee, and was written by a church choir director. Know Your Foe practically guarantees you've heard it and you might have even hummed it to yourself without even knowing whose fight song it was.

Academics – According the latest U.S. News and World Report Ranking, Minnesota is the #68 National University. That ties it with Clemson and Rutgers, and places them ahead of #71 -- Michigan State (and also Big Ten schools Indiana and Nebraska, the league slacker at #101).  It has a total undergad population of 33,607 and accepts just under 48% of its applicants

In his 2007 Minnesota KYF, Benny claimed that the pride of the University is the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute which ranks among the top 15 professional schools of public affairs at public universities in the country. I beg to differ.  I saw that the school is over 52% female and apparently has coeds going there like the girl pictured here:


Stadium/Fans - The Gophers got a shiny new home for football in  2009 called TCF Stadium which is sometimes referred to as "The Bank" or "The Gopher Hole."  Unfortunately for the football team, as is often the case with gopher holes in real life, usually others simply come and destroy what is inside leaving nothing but greasy, grimey gopher guts behind.

Athletics – If it weren't for hockey, wrestling and football glory from over 50 years ago, the sports tradition at Minnesota would be pretty lame.  Academic fraud wiped out their lone Men's basketball Final Four appearance (as opposed to the cheating that wiped out our most recent FFs in the early 90s). But Williams Arena is one of the more unique places to play with those sunken benches. How no one gets hurt diving for a ball, I don’t know. Plus it forced former head coach Clem Haskins to sit on a bar stool, which was kind of cool.

Famous alums – Kinda like their sports history: good, not great.  From B-list TV actors (Loni Anderson, John Astin, Peter Graves, TR Knight and Kate Mulgrew); to Robert Gore, the inventor of Gore-Tex (the cold weather material, not the robotic inventor of the Internet); to two vice presidents (and presidential election losers) Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale.  And in the Space, Bitches, Space category, they have two astronauts, but no presidents.  However, they do have Erica, Nicole, and Jaclyn Dahm of Playboy fame.

The Game – Minnesota is just plain awful, with some added bad luck thrown in: first year head coach Jerry Kill, a man with a name so cool, we did an MZone video about it when he was first hired...



...has had some well documented and very serious medical issues this season which may or may not keep him from coaching this weekend.  We wish him the best for a full and speedy recovery. 

As for the game, this really should be over early and make us all feel great about virtually every aspect of our team. I'll take it.  Put it this way, if we don't see #7 at QB for a lot of the second half, something is seriously wrong.

Real U-M - 48
Other U-M - 7

9 comments:

616goblue said...

Yost,

This is the cutting edge journalism that the Mzone is known for in the college football blogosphere.

When you go for the story behind the headlines, how else would we know that Erica, Nicole, and Jaclyn Dahm are proud alumnea of Minnesota?

Hail.

MMQ said...

"Louisiana Purchase Derivatives?" I completely lost it and there is now coffe and parts of a donut all over my keyboard and screen!

Classic, Yost...Simply Classic.

Yost said...

616, that was Ron's investigative work.

MMQ, thank you, sir!

This was very much a collaborative effort between both of us.

phil said...

I was laughing at the top of the column "Know Your Foe" when it said 'award winning' and then.......i scrolled down to THE picture and YES, THAT IS AWARD WINNING!

By the way Yost, I apologize. I read KNOW YOUR FOE the same way I read Playboy.......i just look at the pictures. How pathetic am I? (and a UM Grad at that.)

Yost said...

Phil,

Like eating a donut, there is no one way to enjoy KYF. Just enjoy it.

ED. NOTE: I have no idea what that donut example means.

phil said...

Yost, you really do have a classy blog here. Unfortunately, my comments can really bring your Five-star rating down. Anyway, since it's Minnesota week I might as well post this garbage:

The cheerleaders were getting their physicals done for the new school year. The doctor did the examination for the first girl and noticed an imprint of a large M on her chest, so he asked her about it. “oh” she said, “my boyfriend plays for Minnesota and I like him to wear his Varsity jacket when we make love.”
The second cheerleader then had her examination and the physician noted again a large M on her chest too, so he asked her about it. She told the same story as the first cheerleader.
The next cheerleader also had a large M imprint on her chest, so the doctor said, “oh, I see your boyfriend plays for Minnesota.” “No” said the cheerleader, “but my girlfriend plays volleyball for Wisconsin.”

Mikoyan said...

Coach Kill has to be the coolest coach name ever...

GoBlueBob said...

Mik... I kind of liked the name Bo :>}

Mikoyan said...

Bo is cool....but it doesn't have the ring of Kill....