Can this become a Gopher football town instead of Vikings?

Gold Rush

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After watching yet another Vikings debacle with plenty of blame to be shared by everyone, the quick answer would be yes. The fans are livid and they are sounding off on all the Vikings whine lines on the radio. For a few days, KFAN switchboards will be lit up with angry fans until acceptance sets in and they look forward to the 23rd (or whatever) pick in the upcoming draft and it will start all over again.

Self disclosure, I am first and foremost a Gopher football fan and always have been but I am a Vikings fan too. The loss didn't bother me though - it was expected and I shrugged my shoulders as the Vikings doing what the Vikings do in these type of games. I think the less vested you are the less painful the loss is and of course the opposite would be true, too.

The Vikings have owned this town since their inception in 1961 and I do not think it is is a coincidence the Gophers last national championship was just before they got here. Gopher fandom eroded and having a leadership that did not get behind the football team and make it a priority did not help either. The Vikings became a powerhouse, enjoying a lot of success and the Gophers fan base got fewer and older.

I do not think the Gophers will ever be the number one football in this state but I do think they can coexist with the Vikings and both can thrive. However, it is years such as this that can make serious headway for the Gopher fanbase. People are a LOT happier with the Gophers future right now than they are with the Vikings at this stage. There is a lot of buzz going into the offseason for the Gopher football team, maybe more than I have seen since the Lou Holtz years. Remember, back then they sold out the Metro Dome with 63,000 fans a game and Holtz was the toast of the town. I always wondered if Holtz had stayed for another year what it would have been like - I think it would have been kind of like what Fleck had in 2019! lol. Last year they had a good buzz with the big wins over Wisconsin and Georgia Tech, but it sort of got derailed as the Twins had a big year and it took another big year to get that back!

This is probably a great time to come up with more ways to get people in the seats. It's been tough going to fill up the stadium, but they did it at the end of the year. This year should be another bump up in attendance, and fans may want to get their seats early instead of paying scalper prices for the Wisconsin and Penn St. games. I do not need the Gophers to be more loved in this state than the Vikings, but it's awfully nice to see more people getting into the games, supporting the team and talking about it around town. I am already starting to see more and more people wearing maroon and gold and that is probably the first step.

At this stage though, the Vikings are stuck in a rut and I do not think they can get out of it. They are fairly successful, but they have huge flaws that will prohibit them from going further. And they pick so late in the draft it will be tough for them to improve and fill their needs. I would like to see them draft both Winfield and Johnson, especially if they fall in the later rounds and they get a steal. The fans know the Gophers are the real story though. This is a team that is making all the right moves and has a bright future if they can keep the mojo going. If they keep Fleck around, I think we are going to have an awful lot of fun around here in Gopher land!!!!
 

BilldGopher

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Anecdotally a fence-sitter fan for years at work is going to try and get the mini-package deal if available again this coming year. He's going to split them with a buddy. That's 2 new butts in the seats if indeed it happens.

Progress.
 

Bruno22

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I am not sure any non delusional Viking fan thought they had a high probability of winning

Of course fans hope and cheer, because that is what you do with your team throughout the week and on game day. Then, people complain during the game and afterward regardless of result (because it is Minnesota and see the Gopher non con games, Purdue, etc)

The Vikings worked out Terrance Newman, an >40 year old man who hasn’t played an NFL down in years. They were depleted at corner like no one’s business.

San Fran has 13 days off. They could scheme for the wrinkles MN threw in against NO last week.

Like above said, short answer is no. There is data behind this in city after city. See Cincinnati who gained traction under BK and went to multiple NY6 bowls. They aren’t even close to the Bengals who are far worse than the Vikings. There are many more examples in all other cities that house college teams and professional teams.
 

gopherdudepart2

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I doubt it, media manipulates coverage to the point Vikings are on a pedestal because they generate clicks, ratings which means dollars to the media. NFL is marketing propaganda juggernaut. I will say this if Gophers continue to have seasons like this last one their popularity and media coverage will soar and they will elevate more interest. Bored with Vikings playoff losses, they never develop quarterbacks just like Twins can't develop pitching.
 

short ornery norwegian

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The Vikings have the huge advantage of the NFL publicity machine. With the willing help of the media, the NFL is a year-round event. Regular season - post season - NFL Draft - Mini-camps - training camp - Pre-season - Regular Season. et sic ad infinitum.

College Football - at least in B1G country - is more of a seasonal sport. Coverage is mainly on Fall camp, Regular Season and Bowl games/playoffs. There is some coverage of recruiting and signing day, and depending on the market, some coverage of Spring practice. Locally, the Gophers have had coaches who tried to drum up some interest in the off-season, but the Gophers have also had coaches who vanished in the off-season. This could be the next challenge for Fleck and Coyle - come up with ways to keep Gopher Football in the spotlight year-round, with events, advertising, billboards, etc. Keep people thinking and talking about Gopher Football.
 

MGGopher

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Never. There's way too much money behind the Vikings and the NFL brand in general. Add in the fact that many Minnesotans have no particular affinity to the U (many attended college elsewhere or not at all), but DID grow up rooting for the Vikings, and I just don't see it happening.

I firmly believe the Gophers can continue to gain traction and positive press as they did this season, but they'll never overcome the Vikings as the top draw/attraction during FB season -- especially not during or after a season in which the Vikings won a playoff game.
 

stuck_in_scony_go4_fan

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I disagree with the popular vote. IF the gophers can have sustained success and make a cfp or 2 they will suplant the Vikings.. But its not going to happen in a year or 2..
 

Swede

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No. The NFL is King. But I don't believe that the Vikings had anything to do with the fall into mediocrity suffered by the U. In my mind, they two primary factors that hurt U football were desegregation in the south and the lack of institutional support. I don't believe that there is only so much pie that can be shared and that in order for one team to prosper, the other will neccesarily suffer. It doesn't happen in Wisconsin. It doesn't have to here, either.
 

Word

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I think it would take an extended period (10 years +) of the Vikings being bad plus the Gophers being very good (always in the 9-win ballpark) for it to happen. So, could it happen? Yes, but unlikely.
 

GophersInIowa

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Not sure they would ever overtake them as the most popular football team in the state but they could get right up there with them. Consistently win some games against IA & WI, go to a Rose Bowl or two and they'll be right there.
 

Bruno22

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No. The NFL is King. But I don't believe that the Vikings had anything to do with the fall into mediocrity suffered by the U. In my mind, they two primary factors that hurt U football were desegregation in the south and the lack of institutional support. I don't believe that there is only so much pie that can be shared and that in order for one team to prosper, the other will neccesarily suffer. It doesn't happen in Wisconsin. It doesn't have to here, either.
You know your parallel does not hold, correct? It is a questionable example of how this could be the case between Gophers and Vikings.

One place houses two stadiums <3 miles apart
The other place involves two teams over 135 miles apart

The economy of the two markets is nearly completely separate compared to two teams sharing one economy.
 

highwayman

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The NFL would never allow it. With their economic power and minutia control, they have the average Viking fan thinking that they are one of the most successful franchises in NFL history. Instead, they are in a group that consists of: Arizona, Detroit, Atlanta, Carolina, the Chargers, Cincinnati, Cleveland II, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Houston II. Quite a pool of success, eh?

Bottom 1/3.
 
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The question is based on a false premise that fans of the Twin Cities can be only one thing. Last I saw the Vikings were not in the Big 10 West so I’m not sure why people worry about them in respect to the Gophers. My guess is when both Vikings and Gophers do well, they actually improve the fan appetite of the other. When only one does well, some fans take solace in the better performing team. Think ‘and’ not ‘or.’
 

RememberMurray

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I was always first and foremost a Viking fan.

However, as time goes by I find myself becoming bored and disillusioned with the NFL. I'm not sure why, exactly. Too mercenary? Too nakedly profit-oriented? Too many military flyovers? Too many commercials? Too many owners over the years blustering and issuing threats in order to get taxpayer-funded stadiums?

There's a lot of greed.

I know college football isn't "pure" by any measure; but it at least seems a bit more "real", more genuine, more... fun.

College football has (to my eyes) more energy. Maybe it's the youthful/hopeful nature of the college experience.

And, conversely, when I see grown adults painted and costumed to attend NFL games, they look like clowns to me.
 

Panthadad2

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I was always first and foremost a Viking fan.

However, as time goes by I find myself becoming bored and disillusioned with the NFL. I'm not sure why, exactly. Too mercenary? Too nakedly profit-oriented? Too many military flyovers? Too many commercials? Too many owners over the years blustering and issuing threats in order to get taxpayer-funded stadiums?

There's a lot of greed.

I know college football isn't "pure" by any measure; but it at least seems a bit more "real", more genuine, more... fun.

College football has (to my eyes) more energy. Maybe it's the youthful/hopeful nature of the college experience.

And, conversely, when I see grown adults painted and costumed to attend NFL games, they look like clowns to me.
Same.
 

Swede

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You know your parallel does not hold, correct? It is a questionable example of how this could be the case between Gophers and Vikings.

One place houses two stadiums <3 miles apart
The other place involves two teams over 135 miles apart

The economy of the two markets is nearly completely separate compared to two teams sharing one economy.
[/QUOTE

In trying not to laugh here. Look up the population of Green Bay and the Green Bay metro. If the NFL team survived on the Green Bay metro alone it wouldn't exist. Hell, there are probably as many Packer fans in the twin cities as in Green Bay.

The reality is that we have a great example right next door that supports my point. Similar size state. Similar population. Teams that play in the same conference. Put the Vikings in Duluth and presto (the NFL would never put a team in Duluth today and it wouldn't put a team in Green Bay either, if it wasn't already there) no difference at all.
 

Swede

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The big issue facing college football is parity, or lack thereof. How many college football fans can reasonably believe that their team can compete for an fbs national championship year in and year out? OSU, Bama, Clemson. And then there is the revolving group comprised of Oklahoma, Auburn, LSU, Georgia maybe, ND maybe that are a one in three or four year types. Wisconsin is a very good program but Wisconsin does not have a reasonable chance of being national champion in any given year. The college game has nearly institutionalized the same programs to succeed year after year.

Contrast the NFL. Outside of NE (sustained dominance) and Cleveland and Detroit (to the bad) there is a constant rotation of playoff caliber teams and in many cases, there is dramatic change in only a year, two or three. Missy NFL fans can reasonably hope or believe there team can be competitive in the near future.
 

MNVCGUY

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The NFL is so big I don't think the Gophers can ever overtake the Vikings in terms of popularity. However I do think both teams can coexist and run the town from a fan standpoint.

We got a taste of it this year as all of the sudden there was a ton of Gopher football coverage and excitement in the midst of a season where the Vikings were playoff bound as well.

There are a ton of people just waiting for a reason to truly get behind Gopher football. A couple seasons on par with the one we just had and we will see it. Not 100% sure it will solve the attendance issue that is hurting college teams all over the country but the two teams can be 1 and 2 in this market over the likes of the Twins, Wild, and Wolves.
 

PitinoFan

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Earlier in the season, I noticed a lot of Viking avatars mocking or doubting the Gophers on Twitter (probably avid KFAN listeners). Now, those avatars are Tweeting positive things, and have clearly become fans of the program. They still have the Viking avatars though.....
 

Bruno22

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Again, I think you are trying to both rewrite history and choose facts history that support your argument.

Chicago/IL, Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay/all towns in WI. They all feed to the Packers. Minnesota has...well towns in Minnesota and a state that gets far more electoral votes than necessary.

Bur we can agree to disagree.

See Cincinnati (went to orange and sugar bowl <20 years ago), Pitt, Philadelphia (did not even try to keep D1 football aside from Penn), Seattle (UW has a tremendous following and great boat tailgating scene but are not in the same stratosphere or Seahawks following), Tampa, etc.
Those are much more apt examples for the initial question posted and void of revisionist history.
 

RememberMurray

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Honest question for those who know these things (since I do not):

Just how big a problem is college football's "attendance problem"? I mean, do the schools (speaking primarily of the B1G) make enough revenue from TV and other sources to prosper and support their football programs, even if actual game-day attendance is less than ideal?
 

MNVCGUY

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Honest question for those who know these things (since I do not):

Just how big a problem is college football's "attendance problem"? I mean, do the schools (speaking primarily of the B1G) make enough revenue from TV and other sources to prosper and support their football programs, even if actual game-day attendance is less than ideal?
There will be others more well versed in the finances but I think it is more an atmosphere and optics issue then it is a money problem for Big Ten schools with the money they get from the Big Ten Network.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Anything can change.

God knows I'm tired of watching the Vikings pull off mostly lack luster playoff runs.

Last week aside the Vikings generally don't even come to play in the playoffs.
 

Swede

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Again, I think you are trying to both rewrite history and choose facts history that support your argument.

Chicago/IL, Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay/all towns in WI. They all feed to the Packers. Minnesota has...well towns in Minnesota and a state that gets far more electoral votes than necessary.

Bur we can agree to disagree.

See Cincinnati (went to orange and sugar bowl <20 years ago), Pitt, Philadelphia (did not even try to keep D1 football aside from Penn), Seattle (UW has a tremendous following and great boat tailgating scene but are not in the same stratosphere or Seahawks following), Tampa, etc.
Those are much more apt examples for the initial question posted and void of revisionist history.
But you said Green Bay and Madison are different markets? What does Milwaukee and Chicago have to do with it the Green Bay and Madison, which according to you, are separate markets? Aren't Milwaukee and Chicago separate markets then?
 

Gopho Sapiens

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I think it would be unlikely without a major shift in values. Right now the focus is on pro football. It has been a little over fifty years. It is a juggernaut at this moment, but college ball DWARFED it at one time. The exact opposite of this conversation would have taken place.

But never is a long, long time and change is inevitable.
 

WAGopher

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Is Seattle a Seahawks town or a Huskies town?
Seattle is definitely a Seahawks town. It’s amazing how many women here wear Seahawks gear. Going to a Hawks game is much more of an event than a Huskies game.

I think Minnesota and Washington are similar in the way fans rally to a winning team. If the Gophers can sustain success, they’ll attract plenty of fans.
 
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