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Minnesota Football: Gophers vs. Badgers - Favorite Border Battle Memories

Rivalry games tend to create stories. What are your best ones?


So this one time, at a Border Battle...

Border Battle stories. I suspect we all have at least one. Good stories, bad stories, stories we barely remember the details to. They could be related to the game itself, to a tailgate, to that crazy thing one of our friends did. Every time the season gets to Wisconsin HATE WEEK I end up reminiscing about a pair of stories from the last decade and this year I decided to share them in the spirit of HATE WEEK BORDER BATTLE PALOOZA.

November 8th, 2003 - The Bucky On A Noose Game

Even though this is the last year the Gophers won the Axe, my story really doesn't hinge on that fact as there are only a few specific moments that needed a win to play out as they did. I'll note that I was in college and that I don't advocate anyone do anything described below. A bullet point summary of that day's shenanigans reads as follows:

- The night before, my college girlfriend and I create a cardboard Bucky cutout and hang him from a noose. I really wish I could find a photo of Bucky on a noose because it was really well done. Our goal? Get on ESPN and piss off Badger fans.

- Sunrise arrival in the old liquor store tailgate lot leads to a breakfast of Krispy Kremes, OJ, and tequila shots. That was not the planned menu but the cold weather made tequila seem like a good idea. A cinnamon sticky bun is not consumed and is left in the car, this will be critical later.

- Bucky on a noose is a huge hit in the tailgate lot. My gf is pleased that perturbed Badger fans begrudgingly admit that it's well drawn.

- Small bottles of various liquors were successfully smuggled into the Dome. This would lead to the later nonsense.

- Everyone around us in the student section loves Bucky on a noose.

- Asad Abdul-Kaliq gets hurt. I ignore my unease by focusing on why Benji Kamrath playing could be a good thing. Why? Because he played HS ball with a college buddy of mine (who is a Badger fan) and I knew a Gopher victory with Benji at the helm would be extra painful.

- Bucky on a noose gets waved wildly around. We receive phone calls from friends and family letting us know we were on ESPN.

- Rhys kicks the game winner. Jubilation abounds.

- As we leave the Dome, I gather a large group of Gopher fans to leave a voicemail Rouser for my Badger friend. I suggest he call Benji and congratulate him.

- A female badger fan swipes Bucky on a noose from my gf. She is NOT PLEASED, chases down the thief, and apprehends her by grabbing her hair and yanking her back hard. I find this humorous.

- While stuck in traffic leaving the lots (and yes, we had a very patient DD) my car gets into a verbal disagreement with the Badger fans in the car next to us. Something about not liking Bucky on a noose. This goes on for 10 minutes as we inch through traffic until one of them gets out and kicks my car. That results in someone (think it was my gf) hitting a passenger in the Badger car in the face with the leftover sticky bun. Our hungry DD was saddened but I assured her it was used in a just cause.

- Thankfully we got moving into real traffic at that point before things could get out of hand.

Sadly Bucky on a noose is no more (cardboard is not a long lasting material when roughly handled), but the memories of that ridiculous day will live on.

November 15th, 2008 - The Day [Redacted] Went To The Bathroom And Left Camp Randall Instead

This game was notable for the following reasons:

- One member of our group invented a new Gopher cheer.

- My best friend (Gopher fan) had his g/f (now wife - Badger fan) tell him she was sleeping in the car instead of going to the game. It was that kind of tailgate.

- One of our buddies who drove in from MN took her ticket in case he could scalp it. He forgets to do so before going into Camp Randall. He also forgets his phone in the car. During the 2nd quarter he goes in search of a bathroom and manages to go from the upper concourse by section KK all the way down the circulator ramps and out one of the gates on Breeze Terrace. Realizing what he had done, he immediately tries to go back in. Security says no. He is now very "warmed up" in a city he doesn't know without a cell phone and with no clue where the tailgate lot is. All hope is lost until he finds the extra ticket my buddy's wife created by passing out in the car. Given how that game ended, he might have been better off wandering around Madison.

- I make the mistake of going to the bathroom during Jump Around. A port-a-pottie is not the place to be during Jump Around.

And that's the reason I can look back at the '08 game as the day [redacted] walked out of the stadium and was saved thanks to [redacted] drinking too much and laugh instead of ya know, thinking about the actual game.

So that's me. How about you?

What are your best/funniest/favorite Border Battle stories?

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