Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mole Rats And FAU's Dance Team

I'd like to start a series of random tidbits today with my new favorite blogger. His name is Ted Hutton and he blogs on Florida Atlantic football for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. I've previously stated that this little jaunt to Florida was kinda, well, weird. But I'm really beginning to like the idea of an annual trip to face the FAU Owls. I think it's fair to state that Hutton is enjoying the Minnesota game as well. He's even come up with a new nickname for our lads.

OK, since Minnesota is 1-1, they lose the right to their nickname, and are at the mercy of yours truly. I have a good friend who lives in Minnesota, and have done made two trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in the far north of the state, so I hold no grudge.

But, I couldn’t overlook the resemblance between gopher and its smaller version, the naked mole rat. So, the Burrowing Birds will be taking on the Mole Rats this Saturday at Dolphin Stadium.

Mole Rats. That's cool. Here's a Mole Rat in case anyone hadn't seen one before:

Attractive son of a bitch, isn't it?

While I found the nickname kinda funny, it was something else that has drawn me to Hutton's writing. Coverage of the Dance Team! In two separate Hutton posts on the Gophers, he's kindly included some eye-candy to offset the Mole Rat imagery. Here's a sampling:

Ahh, if only Chip Scoggins could be so kind to use his access to the Gophers to produce such, um, meaningful coverage.

Now on to less eye-pleasing matters.

** This letter to the editor from the Rochester Post-Bulletin makes a succinct point: "Why would a blue-chip recruit stay here to play? Both Oklahoma schools are televised in Minnesota but not the Gophers?" Oh, that darned BTN. Working great so far isn't it?

** Minnesota quarterback Adam Weber has been named Big Ten co-Big Ten offensive player of the week. Congratulations are in order for Weber, who struggled in his first half of college football but has recovered to post six consecutive quarters of solid football. This Star Tribune article tells us that Weber leads the Big Ten in total offense through two weeks. In other Weber/Star Tribune news, curmudgeony columnist Sid Hartman has compared Weber to Fran Tarkenton. Um, sure, Sid. I like the Weber kid and all too, but let's not go suggesting Weber is a future Hall of Famer. Here's Sid:

"Yes, I'll be ridiculed for this comparison. I am not saying that Weber is close to Tarkenton yet, or ever will be. But on Saturday, in his second college start, Weber rushed 16 times for 97 yards and one touchdown and completed 26 of 40 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns, including two to sophomore Eric Decker, who also has a great future in football. Like Tarkenton, Weber can run the ball, and he is running a tough offense."

Being fast and on a Minnesota team doesn't mean that Weber is the next Tarkenton. Amazingly, Sid goes on to compare Weber to Vince Young. You're right, Sid, you deserve to be ridiculued for that.

** Week three of Brewster-ball brings more changes to the depth chart. Thankfully, Jason Giannini will no longer be kicking field goals. His three missed chances last week earned a demotion. And senior safety Duron Cooley, who was thorougly embarrassed on a couple occassions last week will be replaced in the starting lineup by true freshman Curtis Thomas. That means 13 freshman are now playing in our secondary.

** I know most Gopher fans probably can't stand Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune. But I happen to believe that, lately at least, Reusse is telling it like it is. Last week he essentially told Brewster to shut up and coach. This week, Reusse tells Brewster to win a meaningful game before yapping. Like last week, I agree. Here's Reusse on Brewster dedicating Saturday's win to the state of Minnesota:

That's it? After Brewster's nine months of blowing hard, what the citizens and the diligent football coaches of this great state have dedicated to them is a triple-overtime, official-assisted victory over a MAC team?

Mr. Brewster, in the name of all Minnesotans blessed with reason, and particularly for all the high school coaches who work endless hours for short money, I reject this dedication.

We've endured Gopher Nation, Rose Bowl, blah, blah, blah, and we certainly deserve more than our state university's 22nd victory in 26 all-time games against the MAC.

Listen, coach, if you're going to dedicate a victory to me, it has to be at least a Big Ten victory, and not against Northwestern or Indiana.

** While most of the attention lately has been focused on Brewster's team, Minnesota's other new coach has been busy on the recruiting trail. Last week, Ralph Sampson III, who is 7'4" and growing, joined South Dakota big man Colton Iverson on a tour of campus. Both, according to separate Rivals accounts (Iverson, Sampson), enjoyed their visits. Iverson's father told Rivals he could be making a decision within weeks and Sampson spoke glowingly of the campus, Tubby Smith and the players. And this weekend two JUCO athletes will be making visits to campus, according to Rivals. Devron Bostick, a 6'5 wing from Southwestern Illinois Community College, will visit along with Orlando Allen, a 6-10 big man from Paris Junior College in Paris, Tx. Allen would certainly be a project type. At 285 pounds, the big man averaged under 2 points per game and under 3 reboudns per game as a freshman. He's received offers already from the Gophers, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Bowling Green.

** I love Florida Atlantic week.


Ken Slocumb - State College, Pa. Life long Gopher fan said...

Anybody that supports verbal assaults (telling someone to shut up in print or calling an individual psychotic is not journalism) doesn't deserve to have a forum. Since you support that kind of journalism, I'm done with your writings too. Coach Brewster has done more for the state of Minnesota in his 9 months than Patrick Reusse has done in his lifetime. Why don't you guys get a life and find something to support instead of always looking for things to tear down.

Did you see the piece on Channel 9 about Coach Brewster and the former Gopher player. I would bet my bottom dollar Reusse has never done anything remotely close to that. Why would you condone his assassinations?

Minnesota needs positive messages getting out to the young people we try to recruit to our program and instead we get Reusse, and on top of that, you support him in a widely read (HA) blog. Please, find another hobby.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Reusse was a High School football coach. Where does he get off rejecting Brewster's dedication. What a jerk.

Anonymous said...

Did Reusse hijack your blog? Why all the quotes from Reusse? He quotes an anonymous source to fabricate a presumed attack by Tim Brewster on Charlie Weis which is never verified. Then you offer up a handful of quotes from Reusse attacking Brewster. Did you lose a bet with Reusse or something? Ten years from now, Reusse will be a forgotten has-been living in Williston (if they'll let him). Find someone else to admire.

Anonymous said...

PJS - Your efforts to be a non-homer are causing you to be a little snobbish. Piece of advice for you: leave Reusse out of the conversation on your blog unless you wish to lose readers

WWWWWW said...

I couldn't disagree with these comments more. Reusse has a completely valid point.

Is he too negative? Yeah, sometimes. But that doesn't negate everything he writes, and some fans with a little too much homerism can only give credence to writing that is pro-gopher.

Let's not pretend the Brewster era is off to the kind of start we were all looking for. Nobody was calling for him to be fired. Should we be excited about a 1-1 record against the MAC, and overtime to get that win no less?

And to attack PJS over this? What the hell? He's quoting a Star Tribune columnist. And agreeing with him? How dare he.

Some fans just want sunshine and roses and to believe that everything is just peachy. These are the fans who helped keep Mason and Monson around so long.

PJS - don't change. Keep it real. Keep it on the level. Don't appease the morons. There is ZERO reason to be happy about this gopher football season. I like Brewster, I'm happy with him so far, and I like what he's done, but there is no reason to be upset about what Reusse or PJS have written.

Ken Slocumb said...

I doubt many people would disagree that Reusse makes valid points. It's just that he's such a jerk in making that point. You don't tell people to 'shut up' to their face unless you want to back it up physically. To do it in print is cowardly. You don't call a man psychotic because he's enthusiastic about his employer and the young men he represents. It might be Reusse who's psychotic.

PJS said...

Ken and anons: I think you should all take a chill pill. This forum and the many others like it allow for an array of opinions. It so happens that I agree with Reusse in that I believe the rhetoric coming from Brewster is far too strong.

As always, you are free to agree or disagree.

I believe Brewster has a fighting chance to make the Gophers a top-tier Big Ten team. But I also believe he needs to be honest with the cadre of fans who want to support him. A win against Miami (Ohio) is to be expected, not bragged about. That's what Reusse was stating and I agree.

Ken Slocumb said...

I'll never take a chill pill for an idiot like Reusse. What you guys miss is that Reusse is interested in more than just the message. He dislikes the man and the program. Fine, make your comments, but do it with some civility.

Reusse writes some pretty good stuff when he doesn't have a personal animosity coloring his judgement. But his venom for Brewster and the Gophers is so obvious, it takes away his credibility with most fans.

Over my career, I've lived in five college towns, big and small. I've never seen a program, that is played by 17-21 year old amateurs after all, or their coach, attacked so viciously. And if you think it doesn't impact on the success of the program, you are very much mistaken.

PJS said...

"He dislikes the man and the program." It seems like you are assigning motives to Reusse which you have no idea whether are true or not.

I personally like the program and am inclined to like Brewster. And I agree with Reusse that Brewster should tone down the rhetoric.

My comments above, Ken, were simply quoting Reusse and stating that I agree. I'm not sure what's uncivil about it.

Anonymous said...

Ruesse actually stated on the air on KSTP that he didn't think he liked Brewster -- and this was way before the first game was even played. That is fact.

Ken Slocumb said...

Your writings aren't uncivil, PJS. I have no problem with you (or anyone) criticizing the play-calling, coaching decisions, or even some even-handed poking of fun at Coach Brewster's rah-rah style. All that I'm fine with it. But I believe two things don't belong in the realm of fair criticism: enthusiasm for the Gopher program, or an individual's character. The vitriolic rantings of Reusse fall into that second realm.

As another poster has already pointed out, Reusse has, in fact, already publicly stated his dislike for Brewster. On top of that, any reasonable individual could see that you wouldn't use the language or name-calling if you had respect for the man.

Just as one basic example: what right does Reusse have to reject Brewster's dedication of his first win to the HS coaches of Minnesota. Put aside that it was hokie and over the top. If a HS football coach wants to reject that dedication, I can't argue with him, he's earned the right. But Reusse? Hubris beyond belief, don't you think?

You know, 21 years of coaching not withstanding, Coach Brewster has been a Head Coach for two games! Do you remember how enthusiastic you were when you first got that huge promotion you always wanted? Why would you criticize Brewster for feeling the same way?

I've never had a problem with your writings or your style PJS. But Reusse is beyond the pale.

PJS said...

Anyone have a link to the KSTP radio soudbite suggested above. Context is everything with that type of thing.

That said, my goal here is to have fun, provide some analysis and provide myself an outlet to write about sports.

That means I'm going to poke fun at Brewster and his rah-rah style. And it also means that the fan in me is going to come out, which will result in criticism of coaches. I try to shy away from strong criticism on the players, realizing they are kids. That doesn't mean I won't state that Jason Giannini needs to make field goals, etc..

Back to Reusse. I believe he was trying to poke fun at Brewster's rah-rah style in the article I quoted above. There's nothing wrong with Brewtser being excited--about his promotion like you stated or his first victory. But I think Reusse was trying to speak for some Gopher fans who want more than hard-fought wins over MAC opponents.

Anonymous said...

KSTP link

Anonymous said...

KSTP link part II

PJS said...

I couldn't get the first link to work. The second link was to what looks like a letter to the editor type thing.

I was expecting an audio of Reusse on the radio saying he disliked Brewster.

Chris said...

Wow. I opened the comments expecting discussion on Mole Rats or, preferably, Owls cheerleaders but instead get holier than thou Gophers fans.

I agree with WWWWWWWWWW, PJS. Don't change. You do an excellent job here and I enjoy the insights and occassional humor. Keep up the good work.