The boo-birds were perched like crows to squawk as a flock on Saturday night. After abysmal offensive outings against Penn State and Ohio State, many Gopher fans were frustrated and calling for change. Criticism was abound for both the coaches and players. After all it was Halloween, and one must ask: Trick or Treat? The squawking crow has long been considered an omen of misfortune:
The Celts believed that Crow was an omen of death and conflict. She was associated with death transitions.
Instead of a trick, the perching boo-birds were subjected to a treat. Minnesota had their best offensive performance of the year. It turns out that the crow is subject to another form of symbolism, and it was served as a dish to the critics (myself included):
Eating crow (archaically, eating boiled crow) is an English-language idiom meaning humiliation by admitting wrongness or having been proven wrong after taking a strong position.
Recently I had been critical of Adam Weber's performance, and had written that he should be replaced with freshman MarQuies Gray for the majority of the snaps. Weber threw for over 400 yards and 5 touchdowns without his favorite receiver. Perhaps losing Eric Decker was the catalyst for Weber to step up and realize his potential. It was no trick that the offense spread the ball around, had improved blocking, had excellent play calling, and finally threw the ball downfield.
Even Patrick Reusse, a frequent critic of the Gopher program, wrote an article that was complimentary of Minnesota's surprise performance at this link. Reusse has a gift with words and described the sentiment of the boo-birds eloquently:
And there was one more potential distraction: The absolute conviction with which the small but deluded Gophers' fan base was stating that Brewster had to bench junior Adam Weber, a three-year starter at quarterback, and replace him with freshman MarQueis Gray.
While I doubt that Reusse read anything I wrote, I was amongst that "small but deluded Gophers' fan base." I still maintain that MarQuies Gray is the future of the program, and that it remains to be seen if Adam Weber can retain his newfound form, but I am not ashamed to eat crow for now.
I began writing this article on Sunday, but Golden Gopher Football Blog beat me to the punch by publishing an article today that contains a similar reference to the crow with eerily similar context:
Weber picked a really, really good time to have the game of his life with 414 yards and 5 TD's. My favorite part (well besides only the one pick)? His 61.3 completion percentage, completing 19 of his 31 attempts on the night. We can not only live with that Adam Weber, but we can win with him too.
It remains to be seen if the offensive dynamo is real, or if it was an apparition that will fade like a phantasm into the Halloween night. Perhaps the pumpkin-orange school color of Illinois will somehow inspire the treat to continue. For now, to eat crow is much better than to be one.