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  1. #1

    Default Is your five year outlook for Gopher football rosy?

    I just watched an ESPN 60 feature where Bob Costas was featured. It was an interesting story about his ouster from NBC which he states was from him offering negative commentary on concussion protocol in the NFL.

    We have seen concussions have a huge impact on our Gopher football team. Jimmy Gjere, Josh Campion and others were studs. Their football careers were snuffed out primarily due to concussions. Player body types have dramatically changed in the 20+ years of season tickets that I've had. I couldn't imagine a player built like Daniel F. 6'9" and 400 pounds would have seemed like comic book material.

    I recently saw a Real Sports episode stating the participation in football is considerably down in youth programs. Their deductions was that parents just don't want to risk kids health.

    I've complained about the inconsistency of targeting calls and cheered loudly when Blake Cashman planted the Wisconsin punt returner. I am hopeful with enough emphasis on equipment and rule changes, there can be less health concerns. But, these dudes are big, athletic and powerful.

    My second concern is around the dollar bill. Of course, financially speaking, Minnesota is fortunate to have the Big 10 television contract. It allows our Gophers to have state of the art stadiums, equipment, training rooms, academic advisement, and even coaches.

    Even with all of the money coming in, our Gophers still have trouble keeping up with the Joneses. What happens if the NCAA allows payments to players? Someone has to pay for that? Could it be ticket holders? We're close to a breaking point right now as fans have gone away in droves due to the current price structure. If another "donation" was added to cost, the stadium would be more full for Lance Armstrong motivational speech.

    I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, so talk me off the ledge. In the short term, I'm hopeful P.J. can compete for a Big 10 West title. Will that be enough to help with the general long term health of Gopher football?

    Please add your concerns and things that are being introduced to have positve effects on our Gophers.


  2. #2

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    Either the NCAA will allow it, or the courts will force them to, or the courts would force a break-away P5 group to do it, though one of the main drivers for that break-would probably be so that they could pay players.

    It's going to happen. Just start dealing with it now.


    The West is going to be a very tough division. Everyone, other than Illinois it seems, is improving. Nebraska new coach, up in recruiting, Purdue, newish coach, up in recruiting, new practice facilities, NW does what it does, new practice facilities, Iowa and Wisconsin doing what they do.

  3. #3

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    I still believe winning solves almost everything.

    When Kill had the the team playing hard and competing better against quality opponents, it seemed like fan interest went up accordingly. Wasn't the TCU game a few years back a sellout, or close to it?

    Fleck appears to have the team on the same page, and he himself is very dynamic and energetic.

    If it is indeed possible to wake this 'sleeping giant', I think we are be watching that happen right now.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by RememberMurray View Post
    If it is indeed possible to wake this 'sleeping giant', I think we are be watching that happen right now.
    I hope so!

    Thing is ...... Purdue and Nebraska fans are saying exactly the same thing. NW fans are saying something similar too, with their new facilities. And then Iowa and Wisc fans are saying "we've owned this division for 10-15 years, that won't stop".


    We can't all be right .........

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gophers_4life View Post
    I hope so!

    Thing is ...... Purdue and Nebraska fans are saying exactly the same thing. NW fans are saying something similar too, with their new facilities. And then Iowa and Wisc fans are saying "we've owned this division for 10-15 years, that won't stop".


    We can't all be right .........
    Of course not!

    It's high time Minnesota fans became more like Purdue, Nebraska, Northwestern, Iowa and Wisconsin fans and actually expect our team to do well!

    But as a life-long Minnesotan, deep inside I know that's not going to happen. There's something in our water here, or in our Scandinavian heritage, that makes us incapable of showing much enthusiasm.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by RememberMurray View Post
    Of course not!

    It's high time Minnesota fans became more like Purdue, Nebraska, Northwestern, Iowa and Wisconsin fans and actually expect our team to do well!

    But as a life-long Minnesotan, deep inside I know that's not going to happen. There's something in our water here, or in our Scandinavian heritage, that makes us incapable of showing much enthusiasm.
    No it’s just humanity ... when you’ve been bitten this many times, you learn not to trust it, instead of being hurt again.

  7. #7

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    This seems like a two-part question:

    1. Will football continue to exist in its current or a similar state? The game seems to be trending towards disaster. Instead of realizing there will always be risks that must be accepted by participants in the game, human nature is causing us to continually make stricter rules and regulations, which are harming and will continue to harm the fan experience (fans are ultimately the lifeblood of the sport). Unfortunately, these rules will not prevent the brain from moving around inside the skull. Athletes continue to get bigger, faster and stronger, which also leads to an increase in other injuries, aside from concussions.

    2. Is your outlook for the Gophers rosy? YES. But, I also have blind optimism at times, which I believe is an important survival characteristic for Minnesota fans.

  8. #8

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    Paying players is eventually coming but I doubt that any time in the near future, programs with better finances will be allowed to win recruiting battles by paying players more. There will be a cap and that cap will be fairly low. I bet it will end up being a flat payment of something less than $20,000 a year for every athlete/every scholarship athlete. Athletic departments will need to make some budgeting changes but it won't be like baseball where the Yankees can outspend everyone. If anything it may level the playing field as I suspect many top teams are paying players under the table. Especially with poor athletes, small payments to help your family or to help you afford a car could make the difference in where you go.

    I think the biggest issue will be geographics. The Gophers are farther away from where most talented players come from than the powerhouses or even many other Big 10 teams. Plus, even once they convince players to leave home, they need to convince them to live in the cold for 3-5 years. That's less of a concern now as Fleck can make improvements by doing better with local recruits and drawing in a few big names but to be one of the better teams long-term, you need to recruit a lot of talented players including a lot of talent from farther away.

    I feel pretty good about the Gophers in the next 5 years. Playing a little bit better each year will help you recruit a little better each year which will help you play a little bit better the next year. Eventually that will stop working and schools will beat you on factors that it is harder for a coach to improve but that's more than 5 years out and if we get there, we'll be in a great position.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Extremely optimistic. Fleck should have been extended 10+ years already.

    8 wins is a very fair and reasonable expectation THIS fall.

    If we don't win 8 people have a right to get mad but thats a non issue because we will win 8.
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  10. #10

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    My opinion: they cannot/must not lose games they are favored/expected to win.

    When I look at the schedule, I think they should really be favorites in the first 8 games.

    Yes, that's what I said: favored over their first 8 opponents — including against Purdue in East Lafayette and over the Cornhuskers at TCF. We curb-stomped the Boilers last season, and Nebraska, while improved, is one of the few B1G teams that failed to make a bowl appearance.

    After those 8 games, you have:

    Bye

    Penn State at TCF

    Iowa at Kinnick

    Northwestern at Evanston

    Wisconsin at TCF

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gophers_4life View Post
    No it’s just humanity ... when you’ve been bitten this many times, you learn not to trust it, instead of being hurt again.
    Well, last time I checked I am definitely human — and I actually expect the Gophers to do very well this season.

    I'm not too concerned about getting 'hurt'. I'm a big boy. I"m confident I'll survive any possible football-related disappointment.

  12. #12
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    I'm always rosy except during the Gutey-Wacker years. This year I expect 9-10 wins.

  13. #13
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    Default

    More rosy than my outlook for the basketball and hockey teams.
    Aloha Mr. Hand

  14. #14

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    Outside the most established programs, I think it is hard to know anything 5 years out... even guessing generally.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Default

    On a 1-10, I am a 10 for rosy-ness. Start expanding the seating now or else you'll lose fans because the stadium isn't big enough. 2:30pm kickoff means you need to plan for an extra 2 hours of travel due to traffic. Don't bother trying to get a beer at a nearby bar pre-game unless you plan on being there 4-5 hours before kickoff. Even then you're standing in a corner by a bathroom. Average ticket price will be well over $250 on the secondary market. You better hope your family has tickets. Biggest problem I see is how to accommodate College GameDay 3-4 times per season. Puts a lot of stress on the athletic department to plan for it.

    If you're a soon to be college grad, pray you get hired in the ticket office. Selling 10,000 season tickets per day is going to be fun.

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