I Just Want the Gopher Football Feels One More Time

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It’s officially New Year’s Day and I hope everyone’s recovery from a historic night, is going smoothly. While you recover and I look out my window at a Tundra built only for the eventual Frozen 3 Movie… the Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Team is getting ready for their last game of the season, in 70 degree Tampa FL, where the team will play in its most important bowl game since the 60’s.

It’s a big moment in this program’s history and an even bigger one for the future. But,I can’t help but think about the present.

What an incredible season this has been… and I got to cover it in-person. I got to watch the biggest games of the season unfold from the pressbox and got to bring PJ Fleck and players to the people (of Twitter) LIVE, after the biggest wins and losses in this program’s history. For a guy who fell in love with major MN sports teams far earlier than he fell for any woman other than his mother, that’s a surreal thought… and it’s only the beginning for Minnesota Sports Fan.

But, it’s the end for 2019 Minnesota Gopher Football. In a season that has given this fan and all of the others around the state and country… “all the feels” that many fans have never had. Now, they’re 7-point underdogs to a team that’s already established itself as what we want to be… Auburn plays in these types of bowl games every year. They have the 5-star talent and bowl experience that Minnesota fans have only dreamed of since the 60’s. The odds are stacked against us… let’s be honest.

But, I’m not nervous…. or overly excited. I mean, I’m excited… but not ready to break through walls like the Kool-Aid Man. In other words, I feel much different today than I have all of the 2019 college football season. I’m calm…. and I hate it.

The goal was to get to a New Year’s Day Bowl game, and here we are. I feel like a Minnesota Twins or Wolves fan, who just wants to be in the playoffs but never actually cares about winning the whole thing. My own complacency makes me want to puke… but what else are we supposed to feel? The Gophers don’t need this game to forward their program. This year has been phenomenal and nothing that happens today will change that. I’ve tried pumping adrenalin into my veins all week, but to no avail. I’m much more emotionally invested in the Twins’ refusal to field a 2020 playoff-competitive team.

But all of that can change FAST and I NEED TO FEEL ONE MORE TIME! I NEED that Gopher adrenaline coursing through my veins again. All it will take is a competitive 1st half. Before you know it, a W will become a life OR death situation and every fiber of my being will be hanging onto the results of the Outback Bowl and beating Auburn.

If the Gophers can come in more focused than me… and make the 1st half a competitive matchup, I’ll be hooked again and the @RealMNSportsFan handle on Twitter will be screaming swear words again, as if the teams on the field can hear the likes roll in. That’s all I want from today… I want to care. I want the Gopher Football feels again… just one more time before we go into complete hibernation.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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