Can this become a Gopher football town instead of Vikings?

GringaGopher

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Agreed. I have season tickets for both and told all my friends I had much more fun @ the Gopher games this year than the Vikings. I also think the Vikings need a change of leadership much like the U. I think part of the upswing of Gopher FB is related to new AD, supportive president and of course a new coach. Because the franchise of the Vikings makes so much revenue for the Wilfs I don’t see them making any changes and the Vikings will continue to be mediocre. Go Gophers !
 

BilldGopher

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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.
GREAT avatar Gopho Sapiens! Mrs. Billd has a football blanket with "Mean Goldy" on it. One of her great finds.
 

GopherDog1

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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.
This is how I feel as well Murray. Another piece of the NFL crowd is there are more drunken idiots vs a TCF Gopher crowd which is fine but not what I want to deal with, especially those costumed fans at NFL games. Observed those guys up close too many times while working at Vikings games.

Heard Ben Leber on KFAN tell a story of his parents and family attending a game in San Diego and down on the first deck below their 2nd deck seats they watched rival gang members wearing Raiders and Chargers gear stabbing each other with knives.
 

hungan1

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MPLS will always be a Vikings town regardless of how the Gophers do. This last season was a bonus since many Vikings fans cheered the Gophers on.

We are forgetting that the Vikings fan dome extends to the Dakotas, Iowa, and possibly Winnipeg Canada. So, they have a wider fan base.

I am no longer fanatic about the Vikings. But, I will cheer them when they are in the playoffs secretly hoping they'll go far. They have broken my heart too many times. I tend to remember the negative details of their debacles over the years.

The curse of Mike Lynn is still strong. That Herschel Walker trade in 1989 hurt the team for years to come. The Wilfs are making so much money in the real estate bonanza surrounding the Vikings. It is is not imperative on them whether the Vikings win, because the team is no longer the single source of their franchise income in MN.
 

highwayman

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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 !
They've owned the town since maybe 1968. Before than, they drew well under the Gophers draw. Minnesotans are big time bandwagon jumpers. That's why the Twins fade in and out of relevancy.

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.
Pro football mashes down CFB in every metropolitan area. Seahawks have definitely hurt UW. The Cardinals have done the same to ASU even though the Cards suck almost every year. The NFL does everything they can do to mute CFB. It's like your cute little brother. As soon as he becomes a rival the gloves are off. It's always the college coach making friends with the pro coach. Never the other way around.
 

jon marston

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Yes - it happened this year briefly. I'm a 23 year Viking season ticket holder and I have gravitated towards the Gophers more and more these last few years....College football is addicting - if the Gophers start winning at a high level consistently it will be a Gophers Town
 

BilldGopher

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Strategy-wise the NFL uses the public airwaves too for everything that happens on Saturdays and Sundays. ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX get to a lot of households and the NFL is on all of them.

For me having cable is a necessity to enjoy college FB (and I know that I can cut the cord and access via the web). Just like we saw with the ratings for the Outback Bowl versus Citrus, Rose, and Sugar...ESPN, B1G Network, SEC Network, FS1, etc., still are not in a lot of households. The National Championship Game tomorrow night is on ESPN. Unless you have cable, satellite, stream, or go to a bar, it will not be seen.
 

Mulligan

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Heard Ben Leber on KFAN tell a story of his parents and family attending a game in San Diego and down on the first deck below their 2nd deck seats they watched rival gang members wearing Raiders and Chargers gear stabbing each other with knives.
To be fair, several years ago people were nervous about running into knife-wielding polar bears while going to a Gopher game.
 

Livingat45north

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I think this coming season the Gophers have the potential to become much more popular than they have been in a long time. Here's a half-dozen reasons:
  1. Pretty much no one is interested in NFL preseason games, especially the third and fourth games where starters don't play. During those last two weeks of preseason ball, the Gophers play Iowa and BYU. There will be by far more interest in the Gopher games, and if they win, that bandwagon will continue during the season. An undefeated Gopher team that just won the Pig and follows it up by beating BYU is going to carry a lot of fan momentum into the rest of the season.
  2. The Gopher's won their last game of the season with an exiting game, the Viking lost with a game that was pretty awful to watch.
  3. The NFL keeps making decisions that alienate a lot of fans (e.g., kneeling before games) -- fans tune out as a result of that.
  4. There's a growing sentiment that NFL players (not all, but enough to make a difference) are "jerks" in some fashion versus role models. High paid "jerks" make fans tune out. The Gophers for now anyways have a nice "we're role models" image going for them. I think that plays well to Minnesota's fan base.
  5. The NFL rules are causing fans to lose interest in the game, such as you basically can't tackle the quarterback anymore, all the lengthy reviews of pass interference after plays, etc. In the NFL it seems the refs have a much larger impact on who ends up winning.
  6. People are coming round to buying into PJ. Reusse's negative view is getting shot down, and people are starting to Row.
There's a lot more -- the tradition, game day tailgating, marching bands, etc. The Vikings certainly will have a strong following, but Minnesota's large enough to support both teams really well.
 

Swede

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They've owned the town since maybe 1968. Before than, they drew well under the Gophers draw. Minnesotans are big time bandwagon jumpers. That's why the Twins fade in and out of relevancy.



Pro football mashes down CFB in every metropolitan area. Seahawks have definitely hurt UW. The Cardinals have done the same to ASU even though the Cards suck almost every year. The NFL does everything they can do to mute CFB. It's like your cute little brother. As soon as he becomes a rival the gloves are off. It's always the college coach making friends with the pro coach. Never the other way around.
What exactly does the NFL actively or directly do to mute CFB? I don't see any evidence. There NFL obviously competes in the marketplace and very successfully. It is very good at keeping itself front and center in sports consumers' minds year round and creating and keeping interested fans even in markets where the team has been lousy. If the NFL really wanted to mute or destroy CFB, it would eliminate it's 3 year post highschool draft entry requirement and/or create a minor league system and sap CFB of it's talent. I doubt the NFL sees minor league football as a moneymaker though or it would have created such a system by now. CFB serves as defacto minor league system for the nfl at no cost to it.
 

HoustonTXGopher

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The short answer is YES, but really, why can't it be a Gopher and Viking town? The Gophers must continue and elevate their current level including winning the BIG West and possibly the BIG conference to sustain a high level of fandom.
 

Plato

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No.
I would suspect most MN FB fans are alums.
I suspect many Viking fans are not graduates of any college or graduates of other colleges..
To get non college graduates and graduates of other colleges to MN games two things have to happen.
One, MN goes on a tear for about ten years with conference championships and the rare CFP playoffs.
Two, at the same time the Vikings imitate the present day Bengals or Browns.
Just maybe some fans will abandon the Vikings for the Gophers.
Finally, it is not a media conspiracy. They print and show what readers and viewers want to read and see.
 

GopherVotary

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Pretty much no one is interested in NFL preseason games, especially the third and fourth games where starters don't play. During those last two weeks of preseason ball, the Gophers play Iowa and BYU. There will be by far more interest in the Gopher games, and if they win, that bandwagon will continue during the season. An undefeated Gopher team that just won the Pig and follows it up by beating BYU is going to carry a lot of fan momentum into the rest of the season.
The NFL regular season will begin 9/10. The Iowa and BYU games are 9/18 and 9/26.
 

BroncoRedux

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At Fleck's last press conference he had on a Viking logo sweatshirt. I'm thinking no.
 

Deleted_User

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I think there is only one way to think of the Vikings. Vikings SUCK! That is how I feel about the Queens. I could not even put them above IOWA. They are at the same level as IOWA. Let them move to Iowa.
 
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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!!!!
[/QUOT
Yes. It can be gopherland ... people have been waiting for it I believe
 

Gopho Sapiens

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If the tables were turned and the Vikings had been uncompetitive, bordering on incompetent, for fifty years, they would likely be the Tucson Vikings right now.

The U has had one 9, one 10 and an 11 win season now in the last fifty years. While they have avoided a winless season, twenty-one of the last FIFTY seasons, almost half, were 4 or less wins. The Vikings would probably not have survived here under those circumstances.

On the flip side, the Vikings have made the playoffs 29 times and lost in the semifinals or finals 10 times.

If the CFP had been around for fifty years and the Gophers had been in it ten times I'll guarantee you this town would be a Gopher town.
 

50PoundHead

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NFL is the number one sport in the country (although I rarely watch anymore for a variety of reasons) because it promotes the living daylights out of its product and has found a way to promote throughout the year with the spacing of the draft, timing of free agency, conducting mini-camps, etc. Because the Gophers co-exist in the same geographically tight media market with the behemoth of an NFL franchise (and a consistently good one at that), it will be extremely tough to become the dominant football product in town.

I think what the Gophers can do is to make themselves more relevant in the market and I think we saw the start of that in 2019. They need to find ways to consistently fill the stadium (again, we saw the start of that in 2019), but an exciting product on the field, and (most importantly) keep winning. The ingredients are there to make themselves a solid 1A when compared to the Vikings' 1.
 

Schnauzer

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I have always said the Gophers shouldn't even try to compete with the Vikings. The Vikings have a massive fan base and that isn't going to change no matter how many championships the Gophers win.

But, it isn't required. There is room for both. The Gophers built up a lot of believers and created a lot of fans this season. There is no reason why that can't continue. The Gophers have had TCF Bank Stadium sold out with a full load of season ticket holders in the past (with no 'hit' to the Vikings fan base), and they can do it again - all regardless of how popular the Vikings are.

I have also said the Gophers shouldn't market themselves as a competitor of the Vikings. The Gophers should build their gameday to be different than the Vikings to offer an alternative. Some of these differences are built in: It is the college game, college rules, student sections, marching bands, etc. etc. But, there is room to push the city to expand tailgating opportunities and with both Stadium Village and Dinkytown close by: there can be a vibrant game day bar and tailgating scene within easy walking distance of the stadium. This is something the Vikings can't offer. Play up to the strengths. If the intent is to simply offer "NFL-Jr." the Gophers won't make much headway, in my opinion.
 

TurfGopher

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When the Vikes played at TCF I was invited to a game by a friend, it was my first (regular season) NFL game. On the walk in from where we parked I saw my beloved Lot 37 being desecrated by neanderthals. The rowdy idiot factor is 10x what you would see at Gophers tailgate.
 

Bad Gopher

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No. The quick answer is no.
Yup. In short, no. And that's fine, actually.

What I would say is this: I saw way better game planning from the Gopher offensive coaches this year than I saw from the Vikings'. The last Vikes game especially: what were they trying to do!? Yeah, they were on a short week and their OC had one foot out the door, but for eff sakes.
 

Otis

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Question is:

Are the Gophers closer to the Playoff or are the Vikings closer to the Super Bowl?

Gophers got pretty close for two glorious weeks!

Vikings looked like a threat for 10 weeks. But they had a 2-4 Divisional record, Lost to Seattle, Kansas City and Green Bay twice! The offensive line looked like Eden Prairie playing Ohio State! Cousins, who is not mobile, was in duress all day. Without a better line they will continue to lose to teams with a great pass rush and the ability to stop the run.

The Gophers might actually be closer, but can they ever get through OSU?
 

fmlizard

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It did happen this year, very temporarily. It could happen over a multi-year basis if some historically great Gopher football intersected with some particularly putrid Vikings play.

Over the long haul, never. The NFL is more broadly popular, the Vikings are a traditionally well supported franchise among NFL teams, and it's harder to bandwagon people into rooting for a college team of a school they didn't go to.

As others have said it's a false dilemma the Vikings can be popular and doing well at the same time as the Gophers, as we saw in 2019. Consistent winning, exciting Gopher football will have the stadium sold out frequently and plenty of buzz locally and nationally.
 

fmlizard

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Question is:

Are the Gophers closer to the Playoff or are the Vikings closer to the Super Bowl?

Gophers got pretty close for two glorious weeks!

Vikings looked like a threat for 10 weeks. But they had a 2-4 Divisional record, Lost to Seattle, Kansas City and Green Bay twice! The offensive line looked like Eden Prairie playing Ohio State! Cousins, who is not mobile, was in duress all day. Without a better line they will continue to lose to teams with a great pass rush and the ability to stop the run.

The Gophers might actually be closer, but can they ever get through OSU?
The Vikings are much closer to the Super Bowl. The Vikings are immeasurably closer to winning the Super Bowl than the Gophers are to winning the CFP.
 

BeerFueledFF

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The Vikings are much closer to the Super Bowl. The Vikings are immeasurably closer to winning the Super Bowl than the Gophers are to winning the CFP.
Agreed, if the Gophers start bringing in top 10-15 classes regularly then they will be where the Vikings are in terms of likelihood to win a title. Classes in the 25-35 ranges means you have less than 1% chance of winning a title in any given year.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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The Vikings are much closer to the Super Bowl. The Vikings are immeasurably closer to winning the Super Bowl than the Gophers are to winning the CFP.
I think the math works out that way.

Reality though ... Vikings seem as far as possible no matter how close they get.

Aside from the Saints game the Vikings no matter how good they look seem to just throw down some garbage looking quarters... halfs... games especially on offense.

Even the Miracle effectively shows up to save the day in the middle of some stinky play.

The Gophers have lately shown they can play above what we expect, Vikings, not so much.
 

BilldGopher

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I've got a mean Goldy blanket! Is it fuzzy?
Yeah kinda. It's gold on one side and maroon on the other. Going from memory it has Goldy and the word Minnesota on it. The way it was dyed has one side reversed and one side normal. Fleece I think is the fabric. Goldy is running with that mean grin. I also have a plastic juice pitcher that's gold with the same maroon mean Goldy running on it.
 
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