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Schnauzer

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This is Gopherhole. Around here if you quote a memory from Mason's last season in 2007, you will hear it from someone reminding you that his last season was 2006 within seconds.

But if you are like me, you are the "Gopher guy" among your friend group and you encounter a staggering low level of Gopher or college football knowledge in general when you walk among the masses, the unwashed Viking fan masses. Or reading comments on Twitter/Facebook etc.

Gophers have "never won anything"

Gophers will "blow it, like all the other MN sports teams" (because the writer somehow thinks anything but an undefeated national championship season is "blowing it")

Start your season and it is "yeah, win some games and then get back to me"
Win some games and it is "Yeah, but talk to me after you have won some Big 10 games."
Win some B1g 10 games and it is "yeah, but beat Wisconsin and get back to me"
Beat Wisconsin and it is "Yeah, but they were bad last year so beat them and and Ohio State and then get back to me"
String together an undefeated stretch on the schedule and it is "yeah but they'll collapse when they play the good teams"
Close games with non-power 5 opponents? Those aren't wins. They are losses.
Blow out some teams and it is "yeah, but those early games that were close - unacceptable"

For these never ending naysayers, the current narrative is the Gophers have had a "cream puff schedule" to this point therefore the win loss record doesn't count somehow and it is a joke to think the team is ranked. The Gophers definitely shouldn't be anywhere near being ranked because of their cream puff schedule (emphatically stated as fact with zero knowledge how hard all the other ranked team's schedules are).

I will readily say it is fun to see the overall level of interest rise though, and that is displayed within the same comment sections where I have cherry picked the negative themes here. There is a lot of positivity too, and I will be very curious to see how this translates to home game attendance.

Any of you come across similar stuff, have interesting conversations with clueless "fans," or pee yourself into the wind in an attempt to educate anyone yet, during the good Gopher start to the season?
 
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BleedGopher

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YES!!!!!!!! You nailed it big time. I'm the "Gopher guy" among my friends as well, and I've had numerous in the past few days nearly verbatim conversations as you just detailed. It's frustrating, but at least people are paying attention.

Go Gophers!!
 

TruDomGopher

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Too early on the west coast--I misread the post title.

I thought it was our crappie fans.
 

DarrenTheGreek

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All the time. A good case in point is the current winning streak. We are 1 win away from our 8th consecutive win yet the casual fan says "who cares? you haven't beaten anybody!" When you point out that the last time the Gophers won 8 in a row was the 1940's, they still point back to "Yeah but it's all creampuffs." Then you point out that the longest current winning streaks are:
Clemson 20
Ohio State 12
App State 10
Florida 10
Wake Forest 7
Baylor 7
Minnesota 7
...being tied for 5th out of a 120+ teams is pretty darn good and that of the 7 wins, 4 were against P5 schools they STILL aren't impressed.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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I don't know how to measure the nay-saying crowd in terms of if they're just a loud whiny bunch or if they really reflect the pool of potential folks who show up.

Things are moving into the right direction. If they keep it up I'm confidant folks will show up.
 

Panthadad2

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I'm often the weird Gopher Guy too. It's kind of funny that I've come across some major Gopher naysayers that are major fans of the Vikings, the ultimate in futile sports teams. Just about every host on KFAN fits that bill.
 

Section2

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I'm in the minority. I get it. Every time we get close to making some real noise, we have indeed dropped the ball in big games. I think it's entirely fair and to be expected that the public hasn't bought in yet. The media is overly critical of Fleck, so they assume he must be all talk and no substance. I loved and attended the Wisconsin game last year, but that was to become bowl eligible, so I can understand the downplaying.

We will have our chance for some big games, starting Saturday. Win, and the excuses will still be there. They will still be there if we keep on winning til Penn St. And that's where the public will consider buying in. Win that game and the narrative has changed. Even play well and the narrative can change. But that final 4 game stand will tell the story. 2-2 and people will believe. Til then expect to be disrespected, just the way it is.
 

rugger14

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I'm in the minority. I get it. Every time we get close to making some real noise, we have indeed dropped the ball in big games. I think it's entirely fair and to be expected that the public hasn't bought in yet. The media is overly critical of Fleck, so they assume he must be all talk and no substance. I loved and attended the Wisconsin game last year, but that was to become bowl eligible, so I can understand the downplaying.

We will have our chance for some big games, starting Saturday. Win, and the excuses will still be there. They will still be there if we keep on winning til Penn St. And that's where the public will consider buying in. Win that game and the narrative has changed. Even play well and the narrative can change. But that final 4 game stand will tell the story. 2-2 and people will believe. Til then expect to be disrespected, just the way it is.
Absolutely. To get the casual fans interested Nebraska HAS to go in the win column. From there Rutgers on the road and Maryland at home HAVE to be wins. 8-0 will pique some interest and make folks take notice. A 9-3 regular season would probably be fine except for the fact that if we start 8-0 and end up 9-3 it means we lost 3 of 4 to PSU, Iowa, NU, and Becky. We would have to beat Herky or Becky to make a 9-3 season seem successful at that point to a lot of "fans".
 

Jeshurun

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I would say historically I encounter the same mentality, however it seems to be changing a little among the people I talk to. I think Fleck has done a lot for getting people talking about the program more.
 

jonnyganas

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It hasn't reached the masses yet, but those of us GH'ers can see that the product on the field has improved dramatically over the course of a few short seasons. The offense is much more balanced and stacked with talent (studs at WR and RB, a winning QB, OL that improves every game) and the defense is vastly improved since the change in coordinator last season.

If this team keeps improving week over week, as they have so far this season, that means MN will be playing its best football in November. This lines up nicely, seeing as they'll need to bring it against PSU, Iowa, and WI if they want a B1G West championship and make a statement that should resonate outside of this forum. Grab an oar, get excited!
 

Pompous Elitist

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Fair to say MN teams have generally sucked in the post season - Twins 87 and 91 seasons excluded.

It’s like anything in life, you have to have realistic goals and expectations. That doesn’t mean accepting mediocrity or suppressing disappointment but it does mean realizing there is always next year and embracing the suck that is constant improvement and hard work.
 

WriterGoph

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I'm in the minority. I get it. Every time we get close to making some real noise, we have indeed dropped the ball in big games. I think it's entirely fair and to be expected that the public hasn't bought in yet. The media is overly critical of Fleck, so they assume he must be all talk and no substance. I loved and attended the Wisconsin game last year, but that was to become bowl eligible, so I can understand the downplaying.

We will have our chance for some big games, starting Saturday. Win, and the excuses will still be there. They will still be there if we keep on winning til Penn St. And that's where the public will consider buying in. Win that game and the narrative has changed. Even play well and the narrative can change. But that final 4 game stand will tell the story. 2-2 and people will believe. Til then expect to be disrespected, just the way it is.
This is pretty spot on. I think we are dealing with naturally fickle Minnesotans, who also have been burned by their sports teams for decades. The Gophers are in an even tougher spot because it's been so long since we were consistently good and the years we were (Mason) we had SO many brutal collapses.

I do think that if we get to 8-0 and Penn St stays in or near the Top 10, the hype around that game has the chance to approach the 2003 game we won't speak of.
 

HoustonTXGopher

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We are the die hards on this board and we stick with our team through thick and thin. The casual fan has a point, the Gophers haven't been relevant in college football in 50 years. The casual fan should also stand up and take note of what is happening at the U. Gopher football should be important tot he community and the community should support this team and this coach.

We may not win the west this year, but we may. If a fan can't enjoy what has happened with this program then they are just miserable people to start with.

At this point as I look at the rest of the schedule, it is hard to imagine not winning 9-12 game this regular season.
 

WorkingMyTailOff

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Yes, similar experiences had for sure. I am also a big Twins fan and I recently had an experience by posting Go Gophers on the end of a post about the Twins loss to the Yankees.. In general I try to be a positive fan and that post was positive for the Twins. One wise guy quoted me saying too bad there is no Quick Lane Bowl in MLB (probably a Badger and Twins fan or something).
It's too bad the average Vikings and Twins fan is not also a Gopher fan, but that's the tricky part of this market.
 

GOFUR

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I'm the "Gopher Guy" at work and amongst friends. The question I always get is "did you attend the U"? When I answer no (Mankato State) the response is typically shock that as a die hard Gopher fan I did not attend the U. My response is "does everyone in the state of Nebraska attend NU"? But they are all or mostly Husker fans.
 

MNVCGUY

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I'm in the minority. I get it. Every time we get close to making some real noise, we have indeed dropped the ball in big games. I think it's entirely fair and to be expected that the public hasn't bought in yet. The media is overly critical of Fleck, so they assume he must be all talk and no substance. I loved and attended the Wisconsin game last year, but that was to become bowl eligible, so I can understand the downplaying.

We will have our chance for some big games, starting Saturday. Win, and the excuses will still be there. They will still be there if we keep on winning til Penn St. And that's where the public will consider buying in. Win that game and the narrative has changed. Even play well and the narrative can change. But that final 4 game stand will tell the story. 2-2 and people will believe. Til then expect to be disrespected, just the way it is.
The false starts is what kills it among casual fans. As you said, every time the program seems to be close to turning the corner something happens that keeps it from happening and the casual fans just revert to "same old Gophers". This town will go nuts in support of the football team if we can turn into a consistent winner but it will have to happen before the masses will buy in to the fact that anything has changed.

Those of us that really follow the program are seeing signs of things finally turning but those on the outside looking in will need a lot more to convince them that this team is actually reaching the point where it can become a West Division and BIG conference title contender on a yearly basis. They need proof and it is tough to blame them given the long history of average to bad football they have seen around here since the glory days back in the 60s.
 

Spoofin

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I get the point, but our schedule has pretty much been “cream puff” up to now.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

#2Gopher

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Part of the problem is that we have so many different options. Pro teams; Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild. Minor league; Saints, Loons (yes a minor league by quality standards big time). Many college sports, many high school sports, in addition to all the theater and the arts in the area.

People want to go to something that is good and don't want to waste their money supporting so-so activities. The exception would be the Vikings and they draw from Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Iowa for the most part meaning a larger demographics.
 

IceBoxGopher

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I became a fan around 2007 to 2008, so I came in without the full history, but I studied and researched, from Wikipedia to the Gophers Illustrated book. Looking back, I think the word "erosion" comes to mind.

Just from reading back, it seems like the move to the Metrodome and the Jim Wacker years seemed to erode the football support. Then the Mason years created a stigma if you will around the Gophers with the late collapses, where the narrative became Minnesota can string together OK seasons, but can't get over the hump in big games.

I think turning that around will take time and consistency, and fortunately the Gophers have been doing some of that since 2012 with regular bowl appearances, although losses like the one in 2015 to Michigan don't help. A season like this can do a lot to build interest, but for sustainability it will have to be a multi-year thing.
 

Cruze

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Minnesota sports fans are NEVER going to buy into Gopher sports teams the way they buy into the Vikings, Twins, Wolves, and Wild. There are more than a few reasons for this but probably the biggest one is the extreme dislike (if not hatred) that a large percentage of Minnesotans have for the U of M and everything associated with it. Although it is primarily a liberal/conservative and urban/rural thing, there are other reasons for it as well. There is evidence for it everywhere. I see it all the time with my family, friends, co-workers, and just being out and about in public.

The state legislature is a prime example of where dislike for the U exists. Republican legislators never seem to miss an opportunity to criticize the U for it's failings and oppose their funding requests no matter how well justified they are. This always gets covered in the news media and people everywhere in the state see it and read it on a regular basis. None of this was happening when I was growing up in the 1960's and the Gopher football team was winning Big 10 championships and Rose Bowls. It was a time when the love for the U as an educational institution and economic driver for the state was almost universal among Minnesotans.
 
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short ornery norwegian

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You can't make other people care about something as much as you care.

IMHO, MN fans are notorious bandwagon-jumpers. If a team is playing well or getting positive coverage in the media, they'll show up- until that team loses, and then they vanish just as fast as they showed up.

If the Gophers go 8-0, they might pick up a few more casual fans. If they can win 10 games this year, that might result in some additional season-ticket sales for next year. If they can win a Conference Title or Win a Rose Bowl, you might see more consistent sellouts (as long as the weather is decent).

But, the hard-core fan base for Gopher Football remains about the same - IMHO about 25,000 to 30,000 tops. that fan base might have hit a new low after MegaTongue jacked up the seat donation fees and drove off some long-time season ticket holders. Building that base back up will require more than winning a few games. it will take consistent long-term success - 9- or 10-win seasons, playing in Conf title games, etc.

this isn't the 1940's or 50's. The Gophers are competing against all the other pro teams to sell tickets, and they are competing against 60" 4K TV sets. that is a hard sell.
 

Gold Rush

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This is Gopherhole. Around here if you quote a memory from Mason's last season in 2007, you will hear it from someone reminding you that his last season was 2006 within seconds.

But if you are like me, you are the "Gopher guy" among your friend group and you encounter a staggering low level of Gopher or college football knowledge in general when you walk among the masses, the unwashed Viking fan masses. Or reading comments on Twitter/Facebook etc.

Gophers have "never won anything"

Gophers will "blow it, like all the other MN sports teams" (because the writer somehow thinks anything but an undefeated national championship season is "blowing it")

Start your season and it is "yeah, win some games and then get back to me"
Win some games and it is "Yeah, but talk to me after you have won some Big 10 games."
Win some B1g 10 games and it is "yeah, but beat Wisconsin and get back to me"
Beat Wisconsin and it is "Yeah, but they were bad last year so beat them and and Ohio State and then get back to me"
String together an undefeated stretch on the schedule and it is "yeah but they'll collapse when they play the good teams"
Close games with non-power 5 opponents? Those aren't wins. They are losses.
Blow out some teams and it is "yeah, but those early games that were close - unacceptable"

For these never ending naysayers, the current narrative is the Gophers have had a "cream puff schedule" to this point therefore the win loss record doesn't count somehow and it is a joke to think the team is ranked. The Gophers definitely shouldn't be anywhere near being ranked because of their cream puff schedule (emphatically stated as fact with zero knowledge how hard all the other ranked team's schedules are).

I will readily say it is fun to see the overall level of interest rise though, and that is displayed within the same comment sections where I have cherry picked the negative themes here. There is a lot of positivity too, and I will be very curious to see how this translates to home game attendance.

Any of you come across similar stuff, have interesting conversations with clueless "fans," or pee yourself into the wind in an attempt to educate anyone yet, during the good Gopher start to the season?
The true Gopher fans have had to endure possibly more adversities and heartbreaks than just about any collegiate team over the past 60 years. Whenever I hear another fan from another school complain about how they have had some bad breaks I just laugh. We have seen more bad calls, unbelievably bad endings, meltdowns, injuries, blowouts and heartbreaks than anyone and we have not had that really special moment ending in a championship or Rose Bowl either. For whatever reason, we got hooked on this team and been there for all of this. You tend to enjoy and savor any good moments that you get a little more and the hope is always there that things will somehow get better. And if things fall apart, we will be back for more next year. I think there are thousands more that want to jump in but they are waiting. With the absolutely pathetic sports teams we have in this area, they are starving for a winning team to get behind.

For those waiting to get in, we are almost halfway trough the season and it's been a pretty enjoyable ride so far. A lot of people are starting to get interested and they are seeing a potential story developing. I am particularly noticing this on KFAN, with the exception of PA who will always be a shill for the Vikings. As for the Gophers - I welcome any new fans and hope we start getting more people to go to the games! If we can take down Nebraska and Rutgers, the crowds will be coming back in force especially if it is decent weather.
 

BroncoRedux

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Nice group therapy thread. Jerry Kill rekindled my interest in the Gopher football program. Fleck has continued it. I bought my first season tickets during the Holtz era and dumped them in the Wacher era. Mason's years were bi-polar, so many ups and downs that for me, I had to condition myself not get optimistic. Like Shawshank, being a Gopher football fan, hope goes to die except that it doesn't.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Nice group therapy thread. Jerry Kill rekindled my interest in the Gopher football program. Fleck has continued it. I bought my first season tickets during the Holtz era and dumped them in the Wacher era. Mason's years were bi-polar, so many ups and downs that for me, I had to condition myself not get optimistic. Like Shawshank, being a Gopher football fan, hope goes to die except that it doesn't.
I feel like Jerry rekindled it but tragically right at the peak after 2014 where local media was hyped about a NYD bowl game and all that ... 2015 followed and it was just a huge kick in the balls for that momentum :(

Sort of like if Mr. Smith went to Washington ... and then turned around and went back home.

So close.
 

Gopherlife

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I think there is generally a difference between NFL and college fans. Obviously, many of us are fans of both, but to me, it seems that a much larger percentage of Vikings fans are "fans" of the party atmosphere and not so much for the team itself. They are very casual and might occasionally regurgitate something that one of their friends or someone on TV said about the team. I think they are the most difficult ones to convert to Gopher football.

Winning big games and having very successful seasons will bring in more fan support, but, at this point, it will probably take multiple winning seasons to have a significant effect.
 

GridironGus

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I'm often the weird Gopher Guy too. It's kind of funny that I've come across some major Gopher naysayers that are major fans of the Vikings, the ultimate in futile sports teams. Just about every host on KFAN fits that bill.
This thread is SO THERAPEUTIC!!! All of us weird Gopher fans going through the same crap. Hi, my name is Gus and I've been a Gophers' fan for 48 years....
 

manderson1984

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I'm the gopher guy with my buddies as well. They rip me all the time, but I'm still hear and will someday bask in the glory.
 
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