So I’m following Brandin Hawthorne into the TCF Stadium tunnel after the game as he toted the jug back to the locker room.  I got a light bump from someone passing by and it was enough to jar my iPhone out of my left hand.   As I was turning to grab it, a saw that a U-M player was already reaching down, in stride, and calmly scooping it up off the cement.

Devin Gardner, who had just finished up an interview, handed me my phone.  I thanked him and I mumbled something like, “nice game.”   I’m not sure if there were any elderly ladies needing an escort on a crosswalk but I’m certain Gardner was there for them as well.

After a frightening start, Gardner was amazing.  I’m amazed that he can spend basically one week preparing for this game and do that.  Yes, I realize it was The Gophers and like everyone else in this fanbase I’m prone to oversteer after any win, but that was remarkable.  So that is the 5 star guy that everyone was salivating over out of high school.

Because he’s so cool, I’ve theorized that Gardner is the type of person who needs to get pissed or face a challenge to really get going.   In the postgame I asked Hoke about it and he basically validated that thought.  I think the rough start lit a fire & helped Gardner.

DSCN1119

It was a fun day in Minneapolis.

More Misc:  (I say “more” because the pregame and in-game photos and Sap’s Decals posts are packed with miscellanea):

* Gophers.  If Ohio State is Ohio, then Minnesota is The Gophers.  Everyone in Minnesota simply refers to the team as The Gophers— like the clerk at the hotel as I was checking out, “You heading over to see The Gophers?”.   Or the local photog who, after hearing the PA announcer warning that there would be pyrotechnics during the game, said, “Let’s hope it’s on offense….for the Gophers.”  Or a few times in Fargo:

Jerry: ‘Whatcha watchin’ there?’
Wade: ‘Gophers!’

* TCF Stadium.  Awesome.  Bring your friends next time and stay the weekend.

TCF Bank Stadium - endzone view

* “Laker game” Late.  The Lakers have famously late arriving crowds and I assumed that was an LA thing– but maybe it has something to do with their Minnesota roots. Brothers and sisters, those Gopher fans are some late arriving mofos.  Twenty minutes before kickoff there were about 1,200 people in their seats:

Press Box - Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium

And it’s not like they all rushed in just before kick.

* 1904 Title.  I heard from a couple folks that during pregame on the radio Frank Beckmann went off on the Minnesota brass for claiming the 1904 National Title earlier this year.  Sure enough they did and I’m sorry I missed this little nugget.   My take: I refuse to get into these silly debates about mythical titles and the metrics used to determine them.  It is silly today and even more silly back then.  Heck, IIRC, I’m pretty sure if there were a vote held after the 1901 season, despite Yost and Michigan’s perfectly perfect season, most would have given the national championship to undefeated Harvard.  My advice: don’t wind yourself around the axel worrying about past championships.  And more advice: be thankful that Michigan got the nod via the Dickinson System in 1932 and 1933.

* Tweet of the game.  Wheelhouse:image

Six seconds later:

image Allegedly nothing.

* Charity ‘Staches.  Loved it when the PA announcer encouraged the Gopher faithful to grow out a bushy mustache…for “Movember” of course:

Movember ("the month formerly known as November" according to the Movember Foundation) is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer.

Horace Prettyman was always down with Movember.  What took you so long, Gophers?Horace Prettyman is so money

* Kiss Cam.  Gophers love their Kiss Cam but unlike with Gardner, many couples simply didn’t respond once they were put on the big stage.

Nothing says “I love you” in front of 50,000 like a peck on the mitten:
Minnesota Kiss Cam Epic Fail
Goldy the Gopher had to bail out this gal because she refused to lock lips with Paul Bunyan:
Paul Bunyan on Minnesota Kiss Cam

* Courtney on the Spot.   I don’t know what this means, but coincidentally Courtney Avery grabbed a late 4th quarter fumble recovery for the second year in a row against the Gophers.  Remember this one last year that saved the shut-out?:

Courtney Avery Fumble recovery Minnesota 2011

* Last Spot on the Jug.   Will be filled in this week:

Final Score on the Little Brown Jug 

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