Gophers Master Facilities Plan to be Announced

Scott Barbour

On the eve of #HailTeague calling a press conference to unveil the splendor of Facilitiesmas, TDG presents to you a wish list.

Good tidings to you, dear TDG commentariat! 'Tis the season for unbridled glee and merriment, for our fair leader brings nothing but joy on this most wonderful of days. Hark!

Exciting times, indeed! Coinciding with this upcoming bundle of joy, our infamous grandfatherly scribe chimed in with some additional caroling:

Gophers executive associate athletic director David Benedict reported that the longtime study to reveal what new or remodeled facilities are needed by Gophers athletics to compete with other Big Ten schools will be presented to the Board of Regents this week.

"I think it’s just going to be an opportunity for us to explain the process that we went through to assess the needs of the athletic department and its facilities," Benedict said. "I think it all comes down to the priority [of what buildings need to be built], and we’re working with the university to identify what those priorities are and there will be some significant investments."

He added: "I believe there are people in this community that want to see us be very competitive in the Big Ten, and that will find a way to fund those priorities."

Among the priorities are a men’s and women’s basketball practice facility. "Certainly that is high on the list," Benedict said. "I know it has been talked about for a long time, but that is definitely a high priority for us."

In the spirit of the coming holiday, we at TDG have constructed a wish list we'd love for Kaler Klaus and Old Saint Norwood to bring in front of our Facilitiesmas Tree tomorrow morning. Mind you, these are all realistic gift ideas: just like your Christmas list to Santa was at 8 years old (BB guns rule!).

- Cash registers at The Bank.
- Bottoms Up beer dispenser for warp speed libations.
- Stankonia Dome-like roof atop Rod Wallace Field at the Gibson-Nagurski Complex.
- Bama gets a waterfall? Pffft. Put the new football locker room on top of a lake, with a glass floor.
- Animatronic sculpture of T. Denny Sanford burning $100's at the entrance.
- Permanent installation of Pannekoeken Huis and Pizza Hut buffet for the football cafeteria.
- Expanded "Gopher Way" tunneling system, complete with false sky ceiling ala the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian/Palazzo to fool recruits that Winter doesn't exist.
- Basketball development center courts made from rich mahogany.
- BADger/Hawkeye hunting simulator.
- Gophers Hall Of Champions: A museum not unlike Monument Park in Yankee Stadium. Some of the greatest names in Gopher history will be on display: including, not limited to:

  • Sandy Stephens - The first black major college All-American quarterback and the last Gopher QB to take them to the Rose Bowl;
  • Bronko Nagurski - Namesake of the "Nagurski Trophy," awarded annually to college football's best defensive player, Nagurski was a stand out on defensive tackle and also at fullback.
  • Dave Winfield - A star baseball and basketball player, Winfield went on to become a Hall of Famer in Major League Baseball. His statue will be of his 20-year-old self, pummeling Ohio State player Mark Wagar from behind during the infamous OSU-MInnesota brawl.
  • Kevin McHale - A player twice named All-Big Ten, he still ranks second in school history in career points and rebounds. A Minnesota native, his statue will show him sitting down next to another Gopher great, Phil "Flip" Saunders, as they sign Joe Smith to a boneheaded illegal contract as Minnesota Timberwolves executives.
  • Tony Dungy - A former Gopher quarterback who eventually become one of the NFL's best defensive coaches, Dungy went on to win a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts, thereby cementing his positions as "Future Savior Of All Future Coaching Searches." A new coach can't be hired on Minnesota's campus without several media members and fans clamoring for Dungy, even though the job has been beneath his stature for about two decades. His statue will commemorate this legacy, as he stands at a press conference awkwardly to say, again, that he is not interested in becoming the University of Minnesota football coach, athletic director, basketball coach, President, honorary regent or Pope. Yes, there are probably people who think the U of M should create a quasi-Papalcy, thereby sending maroon and gold smoke out of the chimney at McNamara Alumni Center in announcing Dungy's return to the U. (This would of course instantly turn the football team into a 10-win program.)
  • George Dohrmann - Since any notable statistics or successes of the basketball program during the 1990s have been expunged and/or vacated, why not commemorate the one person who can look back at that tenure without putting an asterisk next to his name? Dohrmann, then an intrepid Pioneer Press reporter, of course blew the lid off of a widespread classroom cheating scandal, in which a tutor was found to have written several papers for a handful of players. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting work, which he turned into a gig at Sports Illustrated, where he has since turned out investigative exposes of Ohio State's tattoo scandal and UCLA's basketball program.

- A baseball team that will fill the new Vikings stadium, much like the rendering that was published.
- A minor upgrade at TCF Bank Stadium of giant wind turbines that will blow fans out of the gates much like the Metrodome.
- Fornication Sensors in the bathrooms, probably only needed when facing Iowa (maybe Iowa State if that ever happens again).
- Heliport landing pad attached to coach's office. Wait, we have no use for this anymore... How about, TELEPORTERS TO DROP IN ON RECRUITS.
- Hay bale loft at The Barn, rigged to dump the entire contents of said loft on Bo Ryan's head on demand.
- John Hill repellent spray above all entrances to Mariucci.
- Sun machines for the home sideline of TCF to silence everyone who complains about it being too cold.
- A Monty Burns sun blocking machine for the visitors side seats for those who complain about getting too warm.
- An athletics cloning center. Not to clone players, that would be an NCAA violation. Instead, clone the loudest and rowdiest students. Store them in the bowels of TCF and release them as needed to fill the student section.
- Ejection devices under every seat in TCF, The Barn, and Mariucci. To be used when Iowa, UW, Whioux fans come to town.
- A real life gopher hole for Goldy in his corner of the student section. It should be equipped with a rising platform so he can appear from within the ground spinning his head all the while.
- A maroon and gold Optimus Prime suit for Goldy to wear when battling Herky or Bucky this season. Not a cheap knockoff either. I'm talking the real, full metal deal here. It should convert into a cool new version of Goldy's Segway when not worn as a suit.

What do you all have on your Facilitiesmas list, real and/or practical? Leave it in the comments below.

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