Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bear With Me

I’ve got some random thoughts. If you continue reading from here you are agreeing to bear with me. You’ve been warned.

* Tracy Claeys


Remember a few months ago when everyone was pissy with Matt Limegrover for poor play calling and poor offense in general? There was discussion about how he should be let go, but that Jerry Kill would never pull the trigger.

Then the unimaginable happened. Jerry Kill retired abruptly and the whole empire suddenly looked shaky.

Here’s the question. Let’s say Kill never retired. Let’s say that the season continued to play out exactly as it did, but that Kill was still the head coach. Same outcomes. Same wins. Same losses. Same struggles.

And then let’s say it was Jerry Kill who fired Matt Limegrover and Jim Zebrowski.

What then?

Wouldn’t we all be saying “well, yeah, it was time for a change.”

I was a proponent of hiring Claeys, but I had some concerns on Claeys assertiveness. Would he be a leader, or would he be a wallflower? Would he make the tough decisions, or would he wait for things to come to him?

Well folks, I no longer have that fear.

For better or worse, ClaeyBro made a big statement. He’s going to run this team. He’s going to blaze the trail his way. Carried around town on the shoulders of the fans or ridden out of town on a rail, when it’s all said and done, make no mistake, Tracy Claeys just pronounced: “I’m the captain now!” (h/t @MVofDT & @FrothyGopher (R.I.P.))

* Reusse

My favorite thing about Reusse is how he’ll constantly use the word “we” when talking about what’s going on with the Gophers, and then he turns around and calls the fans names (most recently: Maroon Wearing Zanies. I think we should all adopt #MWZ on Twitter, but I’m only one man.).

* Bowl Bid

Speaking of Reusse, I actually agree with him on something.

“You cannot say, ‘Our kids worked so hard; they deserve a bowl game,’ when the work produces completely negative results.

You should not say this. If you are saying this, you should not be saying it and you are being an idiot.

However, saying the Gophers deserve a bowl game isn’t the same as saying that the Gophers should accept an invitation to a bowl game.

They most certainly do not deserve to go to a bowl game. But should they accept a bowl bid if they get one? HELL YES.

And don’t give me any BS about pride and how we shouldn’t be willing to accept a “reward.”

It’s not a reward. It’s a glitch in the system. It’s an outlier. It’s not a normal circumstance. And the Gophers should take advantage of the opportunity if it presents itself. 

In the words of Steve Miller “Take the money and run.”


  1. Great post, especially the part about the bowl game. The two arguments I've heard are:
    1. (Reusse) we should be too proud to accept a bowl bid at 5-7. Hogwash, as you suggest. Yes extra practices and an extra game don't always lead to success (see Brewster) but I have to believe it gives a better chance than not. Doesn't experience count?
    2. (Barreiro) It's the NCAA's fault for allowing too many bowls and if we don't take a stand then they will just continue to add bowls until everyone goes to a bowl. Or at least I think his argument was something like that, it wasn't entirely clear. Anyway it's also hogwash. As I tweeted yesterday the last 3 seasons have seen 81, 79 and probably 76ish (this year) 6+ win teams. Therefore if you want to guarantee 6 win teams get a bowl bid while minimizing the number of 5 win teams that are potentially needed to fill the ranks, then you need 40 bowls = 80 slots. That is exactly what they have now, so as long as they stop adding I think it's the right number.

    The Limegrover firing was perhaps a bit more complicated because the offense was improving after Kill left. It was becoming apparent that Limey was not necessarily the limiting factor and that it may in fact have been Kill who was putting the governor on things and was the stubborn RUTM overlord. Given the increase in creativity, improved passing game and more of a 'take what the defense gives you' approach I was willing to be supportive of sticking with Limey at least for another season. Especially since 'continuity' was what was sold to us by Claeys and Goetz when they gave him the job, it seemed like giving Limey the chance to adapt would be appropriate.

    Claeys public reason for the firing seemed patronizing. "I want one guy who calls the plays" is a bunch of BS. A 3rd grader could figure out that he could have just appointed Limey for that job, or appointed someone else and gave Limey the OL job. Combined with the fact that we now know Claeys didn't have anyone else specific in mind for the job and he is going to go through a lengthy interview and hiring process, it seems like the real reason was either he didn't believe Limey was capable (even as OL coach), or he wanted to eliminate any internal power struggle with someone who was once his peer, or he just flat out didn't like Limey on a personal level

    In terms of the execution, I wish Claeys would have just stuck with vanilla language instead of attempting a PC "it's not really his fault" reason that didn't make any sense. I also wish he would have had someone else in mind to bring in right away, because now we are losing recruits and losing time to install the offense while he goes through a 2-month search and interview process. If he would have had someone ready to step in we could have been installing things for the bowl game and getting a jump on next year.

    Thus I'm giving the Claeys/Goetz regime a D for execution but it could still turn out to be an A for results if he can hire the right person, improve offensive execution and save/improve recruiting for the future. As you mentioned, Claeys had every right to do it, it showed everyone that he's clearly in charge, and now the onus is on him to make it work. All as it should be and I will be hoping we are sitting here a year or two from now and saying it was a genius move!


    PS What happened to Frothy?

  2. I am 100% at your back for this road safety forum you are having. It's a great way of instilling to the people the value of safety when on the road and thus, preventing any accidents from happening. In our country, the rate of minor road accidents seems to rise so this forum would be helpful especially if attended by people mainly using the road for transportation.