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.

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