Gopher Teammates Have Changed “Bucky” Irving’s Nickname for Rivalry Purposes

Irving Photo: Cliff Grassmick – Daily Camera, Bucky Badger Photo: YOUniversityTV

There are some things that are more important than previously received nicknames and one of those things is a football border rivalry that spans over 100 years. Mar’Keise Irving found that out the hard way when his nickname, “Bucky”, was changed to “Bucko” by his Minnesota Gophers teammates.

Why the change? Well, PJ Fleck was on KFAN Radio on Monday morning with Paul Allen and disclosed why. “Bucky” is the name of Wisconsin Badgers mascot, Bucky the Beaver, so it’s a name that will always be associated with our east border rivals. His teammates just couldn’t stand for calling him that on a regular basis.

“We call him ‘Bucky’ but really the team calls him ‘Bucko’ because Bucky is the mascot of the team over there to the east. So, they call him ‘Bucko’ and he’s a really really special talent. We knew that when we recruited him.”

PJ Fleck on KFAN with Paul Allen

This team…

There’s a reason why PJ Fleck is so in love with this 2021 football team. Hating the Wisconsin Badgers so much that you can’t stand to call Mar’Keise Irving by his correct nickname? Now that’s the type of pettiness that will rally the Minnesota Gopher fanbase.

It’s the little things that matter. “Better dead than red”.

Mar’Keise “Bucko” Irving is the future

Bucko Irving is a highly sought after true freshman running back who blew onto the scene vs Colorado when he took the first collegiate carries of his career, quickly asserting himself as the Gophers’ RB2. He finished with 89 yards on just 15 carries and excited fans about his future. Expect to see him a bunch more on Saturday vs Bowling Green.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan