October 3, 2011
I’ve figured out how to fix Gopher football — and the rest of the university’s struggling sports teams, as well.
We need a fiercer mascot.
Look, Goldy Gopher has served the U well for a long time. But I went back and looked at all the winners of the NCAA football championship (Division I) since the Gophers’ last title in 1960. Here’s the result.
Teams with fierce mascots won 51 titles. Teams with non-fierce mascots took home only 13 titles. (Before the bowl championship system was adopted, there were often two teams sharing the title in a given year.)
That’s cut-and-dried, a runaway 80-20 ratio. The fierce winners include Cougars, Tigers, Panthers, Spartans, Trojans, Bulldogs, Hurricanes, Gators, Seminoles, Wolverines, Huskies and more.
The not-fierce winners (in addition to the 1960 Gophers) are a short list: Buckeyes, Sooners, Volunteers and Cornhuskers. That’s it.
I’ll admit, it’s not easy coming up with a fierce mascot that embodies Minnesota. Anglers or Farmers doesn’t cut it. We tried Millers, and that didn’t exactly scare the pants off anyone. The best one that comes to mind is Lumberjacks.
Too bad Bison is already taken. We’ve seen for ourselves how fierce *that* team is.
October 6, 2011