Friday, October 20, 2017

The Halfway Point

Apologies for no content yesterday. Occasionally dude's gotta get some work done, since the $0.21 in monthly revenue provided by this site doesn't support my Camo Silver Ice habit. My episode of Intervention will be second only to my buddy Allison, the duster huffer.

Anyway, we're now past the halfway point in the season at 3-3 and totally defeated in conference play. Huzzah! I wasn't expecting a division title or anything this season, but, rightly or wrongly, I figured we'd be, at worst, 6-1 or 5-2 after the first seven, after which shit gets a lot more serious. Losses to both Maryland and a Purdue hadn't really entered the realm of the possible for me, but, such is the life we're married to with this team.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Taken All Wrong Podcast: Illinois Week

On this week's Taken All Wrong Podcast, we talk about all the moral victories from the Michigan State game, whether we think Croft is the guy going forward, take some, uh, odd listener questions from the Twitterz and Matt gives us all an experience of what hallucinogenic drugs from the year 2076 will be like.


The Forever War: Standers v. Sitters/Security

“A frustrating aspect of being a Gopher football season ticket holder is the lack of consistent atmosphere during football games. The student section is rowdy, but the rest of the stadium often sits on their hands and reserves their energy and passion for big 3rd downs in a close game. That is why this past Saturday during the MSU game I was pleasantly surprised to find my section, 105 rows 1 through 15, on their feet, making noise throughout the first quarter. Maybe it was the rain-soaked bleachers driving people to their feet, but fans were great. Then, sometime early in the 2nd quarter, two security officers came down to section 105 and started commanding people sit. When security received pushback from fans the officers said, “People behind you can’t see.” It immediately killed the vibe of the section. Some didn’t listen. Some, including my buddy I was sitting with, left the game in disbelief. Regardless, it killed the atmosphere. Now I understand the person who stands up the entire game for no reason while everyone else is sitting can be annoying, but this was a close game, a lot of people were cheering bringing needed energy to the game and it was muzzled by some crusty fans who couldn’t see. Again, unbelievable.”

I got this note from a reader (it’s always good to know there’s at least one) earlier this week and, while it didn’t surprise me in the least, it made me angry. I’ve written a bit on the game atmosphere, particularly around the fan’s and university’s culpability in how much it sucks. But experiences such as the above will kill any hope of ever establishing the loud, intimidating conditions the team needs to achieve what we all want it to.

2017-18 Timberwolves Preview

Do you know how the google search algorithm works?  Me neither.

How about how it works in the Ukraine? No?  Probably even more complicated though.

Somewhere in the dark recesses of said algorithm there is a search that points Ukrainian Googlers ( to one particular post on this blog.  That of course is the Timberwolves 2011-12 preview.  On a blog that is primarily focuses on Gopher football, this post reigns supreme due to our friends overseas.  In fact, looking at the stats there are Ukrainian readers on the site right now.

Since no one reads non-Gopher posts and we no longer have the great Nikola Pekovic, I expect this will be hard to duplicate with this preview.  BTW, don't go back and read that one because I was sooooo wrongly optimistic.  Do read this one, because we are playoff bound, my friends; and it will be a fun ride!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Virus Among Us

Computer viruses are the worst. 

I used to fancy myself kind of a tech nerd. Back in the old days, when most of you were just zygotes, I used to do some programming in BASIC on the old Commodore 64 and was pretty comfortable taking a computer apart and putting it back together again. I knew all the latest hardware and took great joy in embarrassing the Best Buy/Circuit City employees with “WELL, ACTUALLY” when they tried to help my parents find a new computer.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Moral Victories Don't Count, but We're Totally Counting Them

Today, guest poster, f-list Twitter famous guy and Friend of the Blog Matt O'Connell weighs in on how we lost, but didn't really lose, Saturday's game against Michigan State.


“Take your fucking moral victory and shove it up your fucking ass, you fucking fucker”- Long time BYU head coach LaVell Edwards

Like Edwards, P.J. Fleck does not believe in moral victories, he made that clear with Gaardsie in the postgame interview.  While I row the boat, I also have a Nekton mentality which means sometimes you have to go your own way, go your own wayyy. ($1 to Fleetwood Mac).  I don’t love the idea of the moral victory, but when you are deep in Year Zero and dealing with lots of youth, inexperience, and injuries you need those bench marks become important. 

This One's For Progress

As a fan, it’s easy to look at a game like Michigan State and be frustrated. We played three quarters of absolute shit football. We waited through a weather delay before the game even started. A cold rain fell the whole time, and the wind was sharp. It was enough to make even the most passionate of diehards leave early. But you know what? I had FUN. As I was sitting there at halftime shivering and looking out over the stadium, I took a few moments to reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. This post is not for the naysayers, the people who sullenly refuse to Row The Boat, or the negative nellies screaming about PJ Fleck’s salary. This post is for the fans who understand how progress works and believe we’re making it.

Two Minute Hope: BJ from Northeast

Pete from St. Louis County seems to have touched a nerve with a few of our six readers. I got a lot of feedback from people who either thought he was a crackpot or that I needed to adopt more of his perspective on the site or just shut it down.

One of the more, uh, fanatical responses I got was from reader 'BJ from Northeast' (unsure if that's Northeast Minneapolis, Northeast Minnesota or what). He goes at Pete pretty hard on his attacks on Fleck/support of Claeys. 

It gets a little political so, please, readers/listeners: let's stick to Gopher sports on here going forward, like all the other Gopher sites.



Sunday, October 15, 2017


We'll get to yesterday's game in a few pieces later this week. Given the fact we're currently the opposite of undefeated in conference play, though, I thought it might be fun to talk a little bit about what the kids are now calling #2019itty.

I try to savor every day during college football season, particularly Gopher games. Further, I've spent my entire life pining after next season once the current season implodes - so I recognize looking two full seasons ahead might be a bridge of escapism too far. In fact, I completely agree with that assessment. It's totally absurd.


Friday, October 13, 2017

You Too Can Row The Boat!

If you follow me on Twitter or have heard the Taken All Wrong podcast, you know that I’m currently preaching patience with the Gophers.

Of course, I’m not thrilled to have to trudge through a season that looks like it could cause cirrhosis of the liver, and as a fan base we’ve certainly endured more than our fair share of rebuilds. But for once in our lives, the University of Minnesota made a commitment to football by going out and getting, arguably, the hottest up and coming coach they could get.

Fine, you liked Coach Claeys and you don’t think he did anything wrong and OMG 9-WINS RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE. The previous staff did a great job cleaning up the program, but like the Russians and the Miracle On Ice, their time is over.

Is PJ Fleck going to be a success at Minnesota? I can’t say for sure, but he’s got a better shot to do something #special as a Gopher head coach than any of the other available options when he was hired last January.

I’ve said plenty about why I think you should be patient and join in Rowing The Boat, and I’ve given some specific examples of when I have enjoyed rowing the boat. Today I’d like to talk in broader terms.
So here are some practical ways you can Row The Boat.

Keep Going to Games: Some out there believe that Fleck makes a practice of sacrificing upperclassmen in favor of playing younger players so that they can gain experience. In the internet age you can find something to support any trumped-up theory you’ve come up with, and this one is the “jet fuel can’t melt steel beams” of Gopher football theories. Frothy has already proven it incorrect.

Having said that, there are players on this team that have put in a lot of hard work, and this season isn’t going to be what any of them hoped for. So this is your chance to do something for them. Row The Boat to a game. Cheer your ass off. Enjoy yourself and your friends. Make them know they are appreciated and that their contributions to this program have not gone unnoticed.

Encourage Others to Row The Boat: If you do go to a game, encourage those around you to cheer. If you’re at a bar, tell the next table over you’ll buy a round if they cheer. Be contagious. If someone behind you asks you to sit down, turn around and Row The Boat in their face. Be nothing but optimistic. Remember how your elementary school counselor told you not to hold in your bad feelings? SCREW MRS. ASHBY and her orthopedic shoes!

If you’re feeling bad about what’s going on with the Gophers you keep that shit to yourself. Now is not the time. Act out with encouragement. I’m talking to the point that it’s sickening. Sell the program! These people are either going to Row The Boat with you or they are going to want to beat you with an oar. Pay them no mind. Our purpose is in the future. Plus the Gold Coats won’t let oars in the stadium anyway.

Fervor Fridays: Most offices in 2017 allow casual dress, or at least they allow it on Fridays. I’m calling for Fervor Fridays. Yes, it’s important to wear your colors to the stadium and the pub when you are watching games, but Friday is YOUR game day Gopher fan! Row The Boat by wearing Gopher gear to your office. Unleash a plethora of Maroon & Gold. Emblazon your desk with Goldy bobble-heads, Gopher pennants and small oars. Let there be no doubt which team you support, even if the seas are a little rough this year.

Listen, as a Gopher fan, your expectation is that the coaching staff never gives up and that the players never back down. That they attack every challenge with a NEKTON mentality and they keep fighting no matter what.

How about you quit acting like a sniveling snowflake, step up to the plate, and do the same?

If you’re like me, you didn’t pick this team, this team picked you. If you aren’t spending this time hoping and fighting for the best for the future of this program, then buddy, don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

As for me and my house, we will Row The Boat.

Two Minute Hope: Pete from St. Louis County

On today's Two Minute Hope, we do something a little different and hear from one of our readers, in this case Pete from St. Louis County. Pete is, as you'll hear, an ardent Claeys supporter who takes me to task for my support of PJ Fleck.

We're always happy to listen to and post content from our six readers. Even those who accuse our head coach of treating our players as wage slaves and blame me for the decline of Western civilization.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Barren Womb: An Oral History of Golden Gopher Recruiting in Writing

Have you ever really taken a look at Gopher recruiting over the last ten years? Like, really looked at it? I hadn't either until a friend pointed out some information to me that was like whatever the opposite of looking into the face of God is. Probably Nazi dude's face being melted by the Arc of the Covenant in 'Raiders of the Lost Arc' or any scene from the original 'Evil Dead.' Was very, very undank.

I'm not going to go class by class, because that would take forever; rather I'll be looking at the top 25 commits the Gophers have had in the Internet recruiting era and assessing their impact to the program. All data is from 247, so if you hate them, piss off. 

Let's begin!