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Minnesota Gopher Football - A Smokey Joe Salem Recruiting Special

Have you ever wondered what recruiting materials looked like in a time before Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the trend of mailing 3,000 letters to a recruit at one time? Then this is your lucky day. Thanks to the intrepid sleuthing of Bleed Gopher over at Gopher Hole, I am able to bring you this magical look at the Joe Salem era.

It's throwback video week on the Gopher interwebs. Today's entry? A 1980's era recruiting video from the Smokey Joe Salem years. It's everything you'd hope for from the early 1980's and more.

Things that stood out to me:

- Quality mustaches all over the place.

- This was a time when only 3 B1G teams were going to bowl games. Yes you young whippersnappers, you read that right.

- Joe Salem is referred to as Smokey Joe by the Minnesota AD. In public. On a recruiting tape. It makes you wonder if Joel ever did a voice-over that introduced Tim "GET YOUR CHILI HOT" Brewster.

- The maroon and gold from that time period. KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!


- The game film from Memorial Stadium really shows off just how much they got right with TCF. When the camera is zoomed in on the field, it almost feels like old film of a game at TCF.

- What is with the double Block M on the 50? I'm assuming whoever made that happen had some say in these:


This is the #1 result on Google when you search for "ugly Minnesota football jersey" by the way (via

- Honest to goodness chalkboards. It's practically Amish looking.

- Wood paneling in the weight room...yea no. And the size? That's a closet in the new Bama weight room.

- Wait to praise the Dome there Smokey.



- I see the "Twin Cities = lots of corporate HQ's" sales pitch was a big part of the recruiting plan back then too.

- Having the Minnesota guy sell the winter? That's one option I suppose.

What did you love? What did you hate? How many of you are cowering in a corner at the thought of the Smokey Joe years?