Insight News

Dec 19th

(Mr. T's Sports Report) New stadium, new Gophers, new hope

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gophersImpressive, necessary, and game-on. Those were the thoughts that ran through my head while watching the first few plays of the 2009 Gopher Football Season.  And though my first thought was ‘impressive’ --in reference to the new TCF Bank Stadium-- I waited until after attending the second home game before deciding that the 2009 Gopher football team was also impressive.

Home game number two featured the eighth-ranked Cal (Berkley) Bears and though the game may have resulted in a five-touchdown Heisman Trophy highlight reel for Cal running back Jahvid Best, it was clear to all that the Gophers could play with the eighth-ranked team in the country. And so as I always say, hope springs eternal in college football.

What was even more evident was that TCF Stadium is like a brand new pair of shoes that makes your day feel a little bit better than the day before.

We all know Minneapolis has a beautiful skyline; just imagine how that skyline looks in the background of an open stadium where fans can experience the sun set and its warm, closing light kisses. An added touch to the season opener was the fighter planes flying over the stadium at the beginning the game getting a bunch of people jacked-up like they just got done watching Tom Cruise in the movie Top Gun?

I’m sure that for quite a few people, the thought of legally joining 50, 000 others in making enough noise to wake the neighbors has its merits, too.  And since we’re talking about college, not pro football, all of these spiritually stimulating background experiences blend perfectly with the spirit of college and college football…in other words, college football should not be played in a dome. 

Gophers Football home games are sold-out for this season, and now that I’ve been, I can say that the tickets are more than worth whatever they cost.

Here I go looking too deep into issues when all you wanna do is read some sports, but one step further than the collegiate impact of the new stadium, is the social impact of the stadium.  Call me crazy, but when I see construction, I think jobs. And while I’ll stop short of rolling out the nationwide issue of minority contractor inclusion, I breathe a sigh of relief when I see a whole bunch of people happily working the stadium as security guards, bus drivers, maintenance, and concessions; though I will throw out there the simple contrast in definition of the words “construction” versus “concessions.”

A recession makes people hungry for a few morsels of progress, and nothing says progress, since the beginning of time, like a new pyramid, hospital, stadium, or some other edifice. As we climb out of this period of overall struggle, it is important to rally around education and social progress as much as possible; I suppose collegiate sports can kill two birds with one stone in that way.

As for the Gopher football team, they’re turning a page from their own recession of sorts.  Coach Tim Brewster, in his third year, seems to be on schedule in terms of the team’s progress on the field, and the scheduling of high profile teams such as the Cal Bears shows that the Gophers have some chops (or at least two sharp front teeth).  The next few years include visits from national powerhouses such as the University of Southern California, and the University of Texas.  Since my USC Trojans have a propensity to lose early year games against up-and-coming programs, I’m already weary at the thought of seeing 50,000 Gopher fans storm the field for the victory of a lifetime, and the constant gnawing of little rodent loving friends in my ear thereafter. Good grief, and Game-On.

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