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September 4, 2007

Move along ... nothing to see

• I predict the Gophers football team will go 3-9 this year. And you know what? I would still be happy with that.

First season records of a few new head coaches:

Kirk Ferentz: 1-10
Greg Schiano (Rutgers) 2-9
Barry Alvarez: 1-10

Alvarez's first year was 1990 and the only game they won was against Ball State. They lost to Temple for goodness sake. By 1993 they were in the Rose Bowl.

We know Brewster is a good recruiter. He has a good track record. We know the Gophers will be playing at a brand new stadium in 2009. That will bring in some good players. We are going to be OK.

This is just one game. Brewster has served us some delicious Kool-Aid over the last few months, and last night's defeat was a huge disappointment. I don't argue that. But let's put this in perspective. This is going to be a rough year, but I'm still optimistic for the future.

I'm not saying Brewster is guaranteed to be a legend like Alvarez, but I do think we should give him a chance.

• So, I've been listening to a lot of good music lately. I'd have to say my favorite album this summer has been Hollywood Town Hall by The Jayhawks. That is a phenomenal album. Of all The Jayhawks albums I've been listening to, that has to be my favorite. Phenomenal.

I've also been listening to Challengers by the New Pornographers. That is also a very satisfying album, but once again I must take exception to their name. Here is how I learned that this band had a new album.

One of my co-workers yelled over our cubicles, "Hey Shane, you like the New Pornographers, don't you?"

Now, this is an interesting question to answer. If he had asked, "Hey Shane, you like The Jayhawks, don't you?" I would answer with a simple "Yes, I like them a lot." But for this question I had to answer.

"Ummmm ... yes ... ummm I like the MUSICAL BAND the New Pornographers. I do not like pornography, especially ... ummmm ... new pornography. But the BAND, yes, they make good MUSIC. Just want to clarify that."

My co-worker answered, "Well, they have a new album out today."

Meanwhile, the rest of my co-workers probably think I'm addicted to new pornography. Why did this band have to choose this stupid name? Why?

Good album, though. Not quite as good as Twin Cinema but very worth my purchase.

• The Weird Al concert last Monday was fantastic. He played every song I wanted him to play, including "Canadian Idiot" (that's for you Curt). He also played "The Saga Begins," "White and Nerdy," "Smells Like Nirvana," "Fat," "Eat It," a phenomenal polka medly, and a 25 minute medly of tons of his other hits. Plus more. The show lasted for about 2 hours and 15 minutes, and ended with an encore of the epic "Albuquerque" with an extended section of donut names. If you are a Weird Al fan, you know what I'm talking about. In between almost every song Weird Al and his band would leave to do a costume change, and the crowd would be treated to old clips of his interviews originally shown on ALtv. These interviews were so funny, they were almost as good as the songs themselves. Seriously, my cheeks hurt the next day from laughing and smiling so much.

Weird Al, my hat is off to thee! You put on a fantastic show. The best $22 ticket I have ever purchased.

• Finally, I have done my part to put the Vikings on TV. I will be at the game this Sunday. Actually, my mom bought the tickets, so you can thank her. And yes, I will be attending the Vikings game with my mom. We love our Vikings.

That's it. Talk to you soon.

Posted by snackeru at September 4, 2007 9:48 PM


How about Jayhawks' Sound of Lies do you like that one? Grossly underrated imho.

Not to pile on but I heard the Vikings event today at the MOA was not well attended. Considering it was free, doesn't bode well for watching the game on TV.

Posted by: Freealonzo at September 4, 2007 10:45 PM

I hear what you are saying Shane about the first-year record of those coaches, but those teams were laughingstocks when those coaches took over. Rutgers was a poster child for a horrible program, Wisconsin was drawing less than 40,000 people to their home games, and even Iowa was losing more than they were winning.

Mason, who I liked, took a horrible Minnesota program and brought them to respectibility; not that we were good, but we forced others to deal with us and had several tremendous upsets during his tenure. Brewster was brought in to bring us to the next level. Mason was showing no signs of improving the team anymore. Brewster needs to amp up the energy and enthusiasm for the program, and have us thinking January Bowl by 2009.

3-9 this year is too large of a step backward, and I would be MOST disappointed in that.

Need to win this week to get the bad taste out of my mouth.

Posted by: Derek at September 5, 2007 7:50 AM

I think a good, hard fought loss to NDSU is just what this program needs.

Posted by: SBG at September 5, 2007 8:56 AM

Brewster (aka Wacker II) is a clown. He makes me laugh.

Posted by: Bil at September 5, 2007 9:03 AM

We had a good hard-fought loss to NDSU last year, just the scoreboard didn't show it. We got dominated. I still have no idea how they only put up three field goals. Brewster is a good guy. He is legitimately fired up about the program and is generating interest. He can't take too big a step backwards or that will defeat the enthusiasm he has generated. I had a chance to meet him and talk with him briefly and the man has passion and he is in his dream job. I like that, as opposed to Mason, who seemed to be longing for the Buckeyes job for much of his time here. I bet Ohio State is really upset that they went and hired that Tressel guy...only one national title, four straight over Michigan and another title game appearance.

Posted by: Derek at September 5, 2007 10:40 AM

Agreed about the new New Pornographers album. I heard about it a few weeks ago on the Current so I was able to preorder it on Amazon without the hassle. Will you be attending their concert at First Ave in October?

Posted by: Will Young at September 5, 2007 11:10 AM

A Glen Mason team would ALSO have gotten behind 21-0 in the first half.

The difference is that in the SECOND half Mason's team would fade to a 35-10 loss.

I saw something I haven't seen in YEARS from the Gophers: a team that didn't quit.

Make no mistake: The Gophers will have to fight to win every game this year, regardless of the coach.

All you can hope for is a team that will make adjustments to keep improving.

Is Brewster a big talker? Sure. So what? College Football is half marketing.

Mason woulda started Mortenson this year, limped to a 4-8 or 5-7 and then yapped out rebuilding, only to start Weber w/ zero experience in 2 years, and 'improve' all the way to 6-6 for a return trip to the Insight.com bowl.

No thanks.

Brewster's approach is a refreshing change.

Posted by: tato at September 5, 2007 11:48 AM

I think Brewster is a fraud. I get enthusiasm, but what I want and what the program needed is respect. We're the laughing stock of the upper midwest Big 10 football, and while I thought Brewsters' "Gopher Nation" and Rose Bowl rants were corny, I was willing to give him a chance and then I opened the paper last Sunday; took one look at our "goofy" head coach laying on the ground to watch the final play and immediately thought to myself; gee, I wonder if Bobby Bowden or Jim Tressel or Kirk Ferentz or Barry Alvarez or Bret Bielema or Mack Brown or Les Miles would lay on the ground?

Posted by: DB at September 6, 2007 6:02 AM

Actually, Bobby Bowden has been laying on the ground for the past couple years as his opponents trounce all over him.

Posted by: The Rational Actor at September 6, 2007 11:10 AM

^ I'd still take him over who we got....^

Posted by: db at September 6, 2007 11:17 AM

Vikings get extension to 2:00p Friday. Funny, no comments from STM...

Posted by: Freealonzo at September 6, 2007 11:27 AM

He's probably too busy trying to hit up suckers to buy Vikings tickets so he can stay home and watch the game on TV for free...

Posted by: Snyder at September 6, 2007 12:53 PM

Where's that PurpleNurple guy who was spouting off on how this is a football town? Didn't he say that the Vikes were the dominant team around?

Ha! This is pathetic. Can't even sell out the home opener.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 6, 2007 1:37 PM

Buck Faseball was another one. I think I might go down to the dome on Sunday and buy a ticket from a scalper for $10.00. Oh but that's right, the traffic's gonna be reaall baaad.

Packer game not sold out either, why aren't there Cheeseheads picking up tickets, is that the weekend the Brewers will be officially eliminated from the wildcard race?

Posted by: Freealonzo at September 6, 2007 1:48 PM

I should have mentioned for those who don't know it that I am an alumnus of NDSU. Go Bison!

Posted by: SBG at September 6, 2007 2:29 PM

[southern drawl]Purple Pride!!![/southern drawl]

Why is it up to the Packer fans to sell out the Metrodump? Hell, likely 15,000 or so of the tickets already purchased are by Packer fans. Let's see some pride there Viking fans! Oh wait, that's right, the bandwagon hasn't come around yet.

Weren't the Twins eliminated from the playoff race about 3 weeks ago?

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 6, 2007 2:33 PM

Somewhat sadly, Appy State will be the big 1-AA upset this year. That said, as a guy who cheers for 1-AA squads against the big boys every time... last weekend was a hoot, watching Michigan and Rice fall (and yes, Rice was a big deal, Nicholls State is not even a top 25 1-AA school)

As for the Gophers, I think it's going to shock Brewster that the Dome will only half-filled with "Gopher Nation" (i think that was in my mom's garden as a kid) and the rest will be the bright yellow of the thundering herd.

As an NDSU alum who lived through the transition years, and endured 0, count em 0, national title runs in his years there (a rare feat in the last 30 years)... this amazing success at the D-1 level has made me one proud alumnus.

(by the way, for the record and all eternity, even though i'm a fan of the teams there... WE ARE 1-AA... enough with the Football Championship Whatsits)

Posted by: CJ at September 6, 2007 2:37 PM

Cheesehead Craig,

Don't forget, it wasn't THAT long ago that the Badgers averaged 39,000 per game and the Packers couldn't sell out Milwaukee County stadium. The Badgers were a bigger laughingstock than we were before the fans jumped on the wagon and started coming out to games. And the reason the Pack stopped playing half their games in Milwaukee was because no one came out to see them. So, try not to get too cocky about this "bandwagon" stuff. We have lots of sports teams here, we support them very well. And, these things go in cycles.

Posted by: Derek at September 6, 2007 2:44 PM

As an NDSU alum who lived through the transition years, and endured 0, count em 0, national title runs in his years there (a rare feat in the last 30 years)...

In my years there as an undergrad and grad student, they had five D-II championships and one runner up.

Posted by: SBG at September 6, 2007 3:07 PM

Derek -
The Badgers did suck before Alvarez, absolutely agree on that 100%.

Wolf and Holmgren moved all the games to Lambeau as it was stupid to play 3 games in Milwaukee during the year in a baseball stadium with a crappy field (which barely fit), fewer seats and of course the loss of "luxury box" revenues. Not because of attendance.

My recollection is that it was sold out when the Packers played there (don't recall any blackouts due to attendance). I went to several games as a teenager and my parents had season tix there and the place was packed. I think your Packer info is off in regards to Milwaukee. Certainly if you have a link to some info, I'd be happy to look at it.

I called Viking fans bandwagoners, and they are to which many admit to. Hell, press Shane on the issue and he'll agree with me.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 6, 2007 3:27 PM

There's a difference between being an educated football connoisseur (Viking fan) and blindly lapping up whatever garbage the FO decides to put on the field (Packer fan). To the ignorant, the former may appear to be "bandwagon" when in fact it is just being discriminating.

I still have no fear that I won't be able to watch the Vikes from the comfort of my own couch!

Posted by: STM at September 6, 2007 3:40 PM


Well, I certainly do hope you get to watch the game from your couch and they do sell out. Although I do reserve the right to point and laugh if they don't sell out Sunday's game. It's the season opener for Mary Tyler Moore's sake!

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 6, 2007 3:53 PM

I'll probably do the same as Free, though I might hold out for a $5 ticket after reading in the Strib the other day about the prices people were seeing on StubHub and outfits like that.

Fortunately, as a Minneapolis-dweller, I'm familiar with this vehicle called a "bus" that I can take downtown that will drop me off within walking distance of the Dome. It's worked pretty well for the Twins games I've attended...

Posted by: Snyder at September 6, 2007 4:40 PM

Sunday, hmmm. I could go to the Vikings game for about $10.00 a ticket, go see Rush at the X for $87 a ticket or the Flaming Lips at the Myth for $35 a ticket. Hard choice that one.

Posted by: Freealonzo at September 6, 2007 9:25 PM

Why don't you just give me the money you'd waste on any of those events, I'll kick you in the nuts and you can call it a day?!

Posted by: STM at September 7, 2007 7:29 AM

SBG... did not realize you were a fellow alum.

I think it's possible the Herd won a wrestling title in my time there... but it went unnoticed on campus.

We had a run to the D-II Semis my freshman year, only to lose to Delta State in MS (despite being the higher seed, because they couldn't afford to come to Fargo)

I'm pretty excited to see the Bison on FSN 6 TIMES this season

Posted by: CJ at September 7, 2007 5:46 PM

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