I swear we are cursed. Whenever any one of our teams in the state; be it private, public, professional, or college doesn’t matter, is just getting good and has the chance of being champions or the best in the country, something happens that messes it all up.
Ultimately we choke. Pure and simple.
No matter what sport it is, our teams find new ways to lose. The Vikings are overrated and this is not a rant about them. The Twins, an ok baseball team, but I hate baseball so I am not going to give them the light of day.
The team that I am talking about is the Minnesota Gophers or the goof-ers as we called them this weekend after the close loss to Wisconsin in the final minutes of the game. Minnesota’s punter fumbled the snapp and tried to punt the ball, which was battered down and recovered for a Wisconsin touchdown with no time for the Gophers to come back.
The Wisconsin fans were their usual creed saying “Sucks to be a Minnesota fan today, huh??” It may have been tough to be a Minnesota fan on this day, but none of us Minnesotans had to make the drive down I-94 to “where are you from?? Oh that’s right, WISCONSIN”, be it Madison, Milwaukee, or whatever bum-fuck part of that state you are from (pardon my French I am a little upset over the loss still). This was a border battle, and that's why I am being harsh on the Wisconsinites. Often we can be nice and polite to each other, but not during football season especially when we play against each other at the dome. It would be no different showing up to watch a game at Camp Randall as a Minnesota fan. This is the event where things become hostile between our two states. On the bright side, our states are better than the Dakotas and of course we both get to participate in the "Who Hates Iowa, We hate Iowa".
On th other hand, Wisconsin did have some help from the officials. Minnesota had at least two touchdowns taken back because of penalties, holding of course, which if you look carefully is in every single play of football to a degree. A number of other calls where questionable as well. The point is we didn’t get outplayed, Minnesota made some bad decisions in the final minutes of the game. Laurence Maroney who ran for 258 yards contributing to Minnesota’s 510 yards total (compared to Wisconsin who only had 366 yards total) was unstopable and Gary Russell, who had almost 140 yards rushing and two touchdowns, was a force as well. I do have to give the Sconies some credit in that Stocco had a hell of a game with third down conversions due to the lack of a pass rush on the part of the Minnesota defense.
Here is the problem, Glenn Mason played “not to lose”, when he should have played “TO WIN”. Mason redeemed himself last week by defeating Michigan at Michigan by putting faith in Russell who later broke a 61 yard run to put Minnesota in prime field goal position to win the game. Why didn’t he do it this time? Where was the gutsy call to get us the three yards and the first down to run out the clock and all the Minnesota fans get to brag and Minnesota has a chance at a Big Time bowl? What would have been even better than getting the first down, would have been the kicker recovering the ball from the fumble and then falling in the end zone for a safety.
But oh well, we choked, and that happens. And we lost to Wisconsin that happens too. On the flip side, we have the opportunity to play them again next season and get our revenge. Minnesota and Wisconsin have one of the oldest rivalries in college football, and that is something to be excited, not angry, about. It just would have been really nice to have the jug and the axe back in the trophy case. I guess we'll have to settle on the jug.
Thanks for indulging the rant,