Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 63
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Middlesbrough, England
    Posts
    188

    Default Advice for Novice/First time fan

    I am an English Gopher fan making my first trip to Minnesota (along with my teenage son) for the UNLV game. My work commitments make it impossible for me to travel Sept to January so these Thursday night openers are a special opportunity for me to attend (went to Vegas last year). Really keen to make the most of the visit and will be very grateful for any advice anyone can offer! My main priority is to do as much as possible football related. Culture and other sports will be nice but a distant second.

    We are staying from the 24th to 31st August in a hotel near the Campus. Skeleton plan as follows:

    Sat 24th: Quick scout around local area as arriving late.
    Sun 25th: State Fair - possibly women's soccer in evening
    Mon 26th: Mall of America - Goldy's Locker Room!
    Tues 27th: University sports facility tours during day if possible, Twins game
    Wed 28th: Metrodome tour during day, Twins game
    Thurs 29th: GAME DAY!!!
    Friday 30th: Jucy Lucy Challenge, High School game at Washburn

    Is the game at Washburn the best one for us to go to on the Friday? Was keen to see Jeff Jones play but understand he may be transferring?

    Is there anything obvious I am missing that I could do sometime during the visit?

    Thanks in anticipation of any responses; I read updates on Gopherhole at least 10 times a day and even though some of the threads get a little blurred with the occasional bickering, it is an outstanding source of information for an overseas supporter.

    Best wishes


  2. #2

    Default

    Welcome to posting and awesome that you're making the trip! Hopefully the "Lads" put on a good performance for you guys!

    Out of curiosity, how does one become a die-hard Gopher fan across the pond? Are you originally from here?

    Make sure you check out the Minnesota Gopher booth/area at the State Fair. Sneak into The Barn and Mariucci if you can.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnob2 View Post
    I am an English Gopher fan making my first trip to Minnesota (along with my teenage son) for the UNLV game. My work commitments make it impossible for me to travel Sept to January so these Thursday night openers are a special opportunity for me to attend (went to Vegas last year). Really keen to make the most of the visit and will be very grateful for any advice anyone can offer! My main priority is to do as much as possible football related. Culture and other sports will be nice but a distant second.
    That's fantastic! I have to ask how you became a Gopher fan from England. Have a fantastic time in our wonderful state. You sure picked a great time to visit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    I will beat everyone else to this recommendation, but you have to get breakfast at Al's in Dinkytown one day.

  5. #5

    Default

    Go to the Mall of America for the Mall of America's sake if you want to, but don't make a special trip for Goldy's Lockerroom, because the one in the stadium is much better. Also in the stadium, check out the athletic Hall of Fame. Aross the street at the Alumni Center, they have the entry gate of old Memorial Stadium preserved.

  6. #6

    Default

    Sports aren't everything, including American football. Monday looks like a very light day for you. No first time visitor to the Twin Cities should pass up the opportunity to take a boat trip on the Mississippi River with their son (even if he is a teenager). Here are a couple links:

    http://www.minneapolis.org/visitor/t...ons/boat-tours

    http://www.riverrides.com/pages/public/sightseeing.html

    You should try to find one that takes you through a lock and dam. Welcome to Minnesota and have fun.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Middlesbrough, England
    Posts
    188

    Default

    I've been a football fan for about 30 years since it first aired on UK TV. We only really started to see college football about 5 years ago when ESPN America started broadcasting - it was then I immediately switched from the NFL to the college game.

    My initial reasons for choosing Minnesota as my team were a bit tenuous - the Rugby team I coach and occasionally play for starts with an 'M' (Middlesbrough), we wear Maroon and Gold, and I also found the Gophers to be a great team to play as on NCAA video games. Once I got into it though and started following you guys on Gopherhole, twitter etc I found that I could really empathise with the program. I love the ethics of the current coaching staff, I like that the players genuinely seem to put team first, and the fans that my family and I met in Vegas were all very warm and friendly.

    These last three years especially, I have been hooked - I subscribe to BTN International and get to see streams of all the Conference games, I stay up through the night on National signing days to check the letters have all been faxed safely and I go through every possible emotion at every twist and turn (from the extreme sadness over Gary Tinsley, the worry when coach Kill collapsed on the sideline, the elation when kids like Connor Mayes announced a firm commit for us on twitter to the heart pounding relief every time we just win the game - which always seems to be with a bit of drama on the way)

    I think The U has everything a fan could ask for - tradition, high morals, the excitement of a program on the rise... there is even a pantomime villain - how I would love to meet *********** in a Lightsaber duel!

    Anyway, sorry for the autobiography. I don't want to go from first time poster to being self indulgent. Thanks for the advice and the interest. I will take it all on board.

  8. #8

    Default

    I love your autobiography. I also tend to agree with the Dinkypope about other options. Finding a green bike via Nice Ride might be fun. Also, take the light rail to the Mall of America and hop off at Minnehaha Falls to hike around. The falls may be more of a drip if we don't get a good gullywump of rain, but the geology of the area is still fascinating and in the heart of the city. Finally, if you feel a bit home sick, stop in at Brits Pub for a bite to eat and some fun. Perhaps you'll even be able to catch your favorite British team in action on the tele. Ultimately, I hope you have a lot of fun.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    861

    Default

    Howdy, Johnob2!

    My first visit to the University of Minnesota was just about a year ago, so allow me to share with you some highlights from my trip that you might enjoy.

    While on campus, in addition to the athletic facilities, there are a number of other places you should check out. First is Pilsbury Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus, and a registered historical landmark. The Armory is another historical building with great architectural significance. The mall area, anchored by Northrop Memorial Auditorium is very beautiful, and be sure to note Morrill Hall. This building is named after Justin Morrill, the US Representative who authored the Morrill Act which established the land-grant university system. The land-grant university, of which the University of Minnesota is a fine example, is a unique American institution for higher education.

    You will also want to make time for the McNamara Alumni Center. In addition to being an interesting piece of architecture, this building is host to a museum touting the University's academic and research excellence. As was mentioned above, the entry arch to the old Memorial Stadium can be found inside this building. From McNamara, you can walk down Scholar's Walk, which has markers identifying U of M scholars who have been awarded significant awards and distinctions.

    To the west of campus is Dinkytown, a small business district. Al's Breakfast was mentioned, and I would second this for the experience. There is very limited seating, but is the classic American greasy spoon diner. On the east side of campus is another business district called Stadium Village. Of note there is Stub and Herb's a bar featuring a great (although a bit pricy) beer selection. On the West Bank of campus is yet another business district called Seven Corners. This is another great place to find food and drink.

    For shopping needs, Lund's grocery store just a couple miles wast of campus on University is a great little market. Liqour in Minneapolis must be purchased in a liquor store. There is one three blocks west of the stadium on 5th, and I think I saw another one a block or so south.

    When you go downtown, you will have to try Brit's Pub, a take on an English Pub, complete with lawn bowling on the roof. You will have to let everyone know how authentic it is. Downtown Minneapolis is connected with an extensive skyway system that is worth a stroll through. You can get all over downtown without setting foot outside. Foshay Tower, a historical high-rise building is another downtown attraction.

    Light rail is a great way to get to the Mall of America, and the bus system can get you to downtown St. Paul or anywhere else you need to go. You can look up trips online or even use Google Maps to navigate the system. If you make it to St. Paul, the Cathedral and the Capitol are fun stops. You can also go see where they record A Prairie Home Companion, a popular radio show.

    On gameday, finding a tailgate to join isn't as easy as you might think - or at least it wasn't for us for a while. Maybe being from out of the country you will make more friends. Look for a larger setup and it is helpful if you bring food and drinks to share. There will be some moderate tailgating immediately adjacent to the stadium as well as in the Ski-U-Mah lot just a block to the northeast.

    Eat the cheese curds inside the stadium. They are delicious when you are drunk. I cannot tell you how they taste sober, but I would imagine they would be a treat even then. If you can get a seat closer to the end zone where the students are, you will have a great view of Goldy, the mascot. There's really not a bad seat in the house.

    Enjoy your visit, and hope you make it down to Texas sometime.

  10. #10

    Default

    You need to crash a tailgate before the game, I'm sure the local GopherHoler's can help you with that.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    The greatest state of them all!
    Posts
    1,153

    Default

    Johnob2-

    TexasAggie11 did a fantastic overview per usual, but here are a few other tips as well. If you enjoy all things Gopher Athletics, try and visit a few of the complexes around campus. TCF Bank Stadium is a great place to explore, but the Gibson-Nagurski complex will also have some pretty neat things to view. Just a few blocks away, you can view the trophies and pictures from past bowl games and National Championships, along with other cool Gopher artifacts.


    If you enjoy hockey, try and visit Mariucci Arena. It is a building filled with history, championship banners, trophies on display, and pictures of past teams. I don't know who you could get a hold of to get inside, but I'd start with Craig and see if he can help you out...

    Scheduling Information
    Craig Flor
    (612) 625-8365 (Office)
    (612) 624-5887 (Fax)

    East Bank River Flats is a great area to tailgate for just $10. You are welcome to join our tailgate, although I'm not sure what lot we will be in quite yet. If you care to, I'll try and remember to post where we will be tailgating as the days get closer. Hope you enjoy your visit to the Twin Cities!

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FreakyDeke View Post
    Go to the Mall of America for the Mall of America's sake if you want to, but don't make a special trip for Goldy's Lockerroom, because the one in the stadium is much better. Also in the stadium, check out the athletic Hall of Fame. Aross the street at the Alumni Center, they have the entry gate of old Memorial Stadium preserved.
    Agreed. Do MOA, but the Goldy's Lockerroom there is not as awesome as the one at TCF Bank Stadium.
    Go Gophers!!!

  13. #13

    Default

    Also Walker Art Center sculpture garden and mini golf is pretty cool.
    Go Gophers!!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Middlesbrough, England
    Posts
    188

    Default Thanks

    Thanks everyone for all the advice and insight - it is greatly appreciated.

    I feel a lot more confident about getting the most out of my visit now.

    SkiUMah

  15. #15

    Default

    How old is your son? Depending on his age you might want to stop by the Children's Museum (http://www.mcm.org/) or Science Museum (http://www.smm.org/) in Saint Paul. If you would like to have some "culture" the Minneapolis Institute of Art (http://beta.artsmia.org/) is world class (especially with their asian collection) or you could see the Weisman Art Museum (http://www.weisman.umn.edu/) which is on campus at the U in the weirdest building you will ever see. If you like live theater, the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is second only to New York City in the United States. Here is a list of museums in general: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...s_in_Minnesota
    By the way, if you are a beer drinker (and due to stereotypes we will assume you are) make sure to try local beers, they are quite good (http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/city/10). Hope you have fun.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •