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The Daily Gopher Mailbag - Minnesota Gopher Game of Thrones

We talk Joffrey, a little more facilities, and drink choices for the holiday.

I hope this post finds you in the midst of a four day weekend. For those of you who are working? My condolences.

Once again you all rocked out with the questions this week. Sadly, the holiday week means that most of the new ones won't be answered today. But the presence of questions from last week should be a nice reminder that while we may not always get to every question immediately, you should definitely keep on asking because you never know when they might show up. And now for the obligatory reminder on how to ask the TDG staff for their thoughts:

There are three ways to contact the The Daily Gopher staff with your questions. You can post them in the comments of the "Calling All Questions" post on Monday (currently the most popular option). You can tweet them at us on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTDG (please use it because then we can search on it and everything becomes easier) or you can email them to DailyGopher (at) or GoAUpher.TDG (at) If you email it to us we'll use your first name unless you request otherwise, for Twitter/comments we'll use your respective handle or moniker.

Time for some answers.

Current/exGophers as GoT characters? AJ Barker is SO Joffrey.


GoAUpher: A reminder that if you haven't read the books or watched the series then you should skip this answer because SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!

This really deserves it's own post, but I fear I may not be creative enough to pull it off. If you are, please email me or write it as a FanPost. Now that I bought myself some time to think, I'm going to offer up the following options:
- Adam Weber as Ned Stark: Always played by the rules when leading the northmen but underestimated how the actions of less savory characters (Tim Brewster's hatred of OC consistency). As a result, [SPOILER FONT] he was left in a weak position and was beheaded by blitzing defenders on multiple occassions [/SPOILER FONT]. In other news, GopherNation just gave me $5 for making Adam Weber into Ned Stark.
- This last one isn't directly tied to the Gophers, but I think we can all agree that Illinois football is the Reek of the B1G right now.

GopherNation: I would concur with the Barker/Joffrey comparison. Both are whiny. The question I have is who would be Barker's Mom's best friend? (ED NOTE: Cersei, duh.)

Matt: Barker as Joffrey? Nah, he's more of a Roose Bolton. OPrime is The Hound.

Is piggy poop balls the best picture the internet has ever had? Could he play football better than a horse?


GoAUpher: Somehow, I had never heard of this and I Google'd it (this is how much I care about you guys). Thanks oh so much for that because a pig pooping on it's balls, that's internet magic right there (sarcasm sort of engaged on that). As for being better at football than a horse? Before I can answer that, I think it's important to determine whether horses should play football. I recommend this series of articles by Black Heart Gold Pants as a primer on the subject.

Since we've been talking ZOMG FACILITIES again, what sort of indications have we seen that there might or might not be changes in the 2009 long-term development roadmap? To what extent have changes in administration been reflected in or correlated with such changes? To what extent is that an Administration roadmap, versus one driven by the Regents? It says "prepared for BOR", but that doesn’t really answer the question to a dunce like myself. How strictly have previous planning documents been adhered to (like the 1996 version), and do we expect to see a new revision in 2016?

GopherNation: Without really "knowing" anything, I would assume that this will look dramatically different. A new administration who looks at things very differently than the previous. And a very specific consulting firm was brought in to tackle this project and look at it from an outside perspective. This will look very different.

Incoming class - Who’s your pick for immediate impact players from this incoming class on both sides of the ball?


Matt: Berkley Edwards and Damien Wilson.

Elliot: Damien Wilson walks into a starting position at the heart of the defense. If Wilson struggles, the run defense will have some major problems. In my opinion, it's imperative that he plays and plays well.

Offensively, I have to agree with MV. I'd intrigued to see how Limegrover and Kill use Berkley Edwards, and if Edwards is able to grasp the offense in fall camp. I'm also really interested to see Donovahn Jones in practice and if he ends up playing some receiver. He's a raw athlete who wants a chance to play QB, but his athleticism might be hard to keep on the bench if the wide receivers aren't progressing. In reality, the incoming freshmen probably won't have too large of an impact this year on the field, but there's never more excitement surrounding a recruit than a few weeks before he makes his debut on the practice field.

GopherNation: Damien Wilson is the obvious answer as he'll have every opportunity to earn the starting MLB spot.

Offensively I am taking the pessimistic approach to Berkley Edwards. I love his talent and speed, but I'm hopeful he will get a year to bulk up that body before getting handed the ball as he runs into Big Ten defenders.

I say, watch out for Drew Wolitarsky.


GoAUpher: The judges are shaking their heads no. /prepares to throw switch

Did you read the USA Today Gopher preview? And how much did you drink afterwards?


JDMill: I honestly thought that coming from a national writer it was a reasonably fair take. Look, when you're outside of Gopher circles and you talk about the Gophers, there isn't much to see here. We've had just three 8-win or more seasons since the Murray Warmath era. We aren't what you'd call "nationally relevant."

GopherNation: Can't really change the fact that nobody cares to look very deep at the 2013 Gophers because we are just not relevant. On the surface this preview was fair.

GoAUpher: Like I said in the comment section where this was asked, I thought it was pretty solid minus a few issues with tone/language choices.

Kirkwood+ Nugget+ Maryland I= Bruises. Who do you see becoming the change of pace guy out of the backfield?


JDMill: Edwards.

Matt: Edwards.

GopherNation: Philip Nelson

GoAUpher: /reminds himself to check and see if GN is taking his meds

Um, Blanton’s >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>. Poured 3 fingers for game 6. Never had it before but I really should have purchased this sooner. Can you comment on the awesomeness that is Bourbon some more?


GopherNation: I've yet to jump into a Blantons but there are so many good choices out there. Anything Four Roses is complex and just plain awesome. And I have really become a fan of any of the Elijah Craig choices (12 yr, 18 yr and the Barrel Proof). I don't think the 20 year is worth the money but the others are just outstanding.

GoAUpher: I. LOVE. BLANTON'S. For me, bourbon is like wine in that there are so many different flavor profiles to enjoy. Unlike wine, you don't have to finish the bottle once you open it. It's a win/win.

As Gopher fans, we like to rag on the professional sports media for their coverage of the Gophers, particularly in football. Rather than more of the same, answer the question below:
1. What local sports writer do you like, or at least dislike the least? Why?
2. What national sports writer or professional blogger do you like or at least dislike the least? Why?
3. After you realized that you have been fooling yourself about bourbon all of these years, what drink is your standby, excluding beer or wine. NOTE: iif you knock wine….there will be consequences…..but I don’t think wine
(the true ambrosia), goes well with football….or almost any sports.


GoAUpher: 1) Amelia, Miller, and Scoggins are my fave local scribes. I like Amelia's approach to social media and her inclusion of an odd bit of personal background (love of Sasquatch hunting) in her bio along with her statsy attempts to dive deeper into the bball team's performances. I'm #TEAMBEARD for life because Phil always did a nice job of remaining impartial when writing about the Gophers (something that seems so hard for so many). And I like Chip's writing and have fond memories of him from his days on the Gopher beat.

2) On the national level I'm a fan of Paul Myerberg and (sometimes) Stewart Mandel. Stewart falls into the traditional national CFB guy traps far too often for my tastes and I must lament his move away from the wackier side of his mailbag, but I'm still a weekly reader.

3) Scotch (O HAI THERE MACCALLEN 18 YEAR HOW ARE YOU TODAY?) and rum (any rum works, cheap is still water to me if it's mixed). One of my best college football weekends in Madison started off an 8am bottle of wine (don't judge, I felt like trying something different) so I refuse to claim that wine and CFB don't mix.

JDMill: 1 & 2) Outside of #FullerTweets, I think most of the beat guys are pretty good, but that might just be because they are reporting and not opining. I can say with complete honesty that there isn'ta single local or national sports writer that I follow religiously. I read stuff about the Gophers first, Twins second and Vikings third, and I read about those things regardless of who is writing them. I used to be a Bill Simmons guy, but I grew tired of the constant Boston/NBA/NFL talk, so I rarely read him anymore.

3) Excluding beer? So basically, what booze do I drink when I'm not drinking bourbon? Irish Whiskey or Canadian Whiskey. I very rarely shy away from whiskies.

GopherNation: 1) I like some of the local writers. Amelia is outstanding, Phil Miller is a very good writer and Nate Sandell does a solid job covering the Gophers for AM1500. Guys I really don't care for are Souhan, Ruesse. They are just hacks who use the same takes over and over, usually they are loosely based on one nugget if fact and then taken to wild extremes to "prove their point."

2) Nationally I don't know if there is anybody I am particularly drawn to. If I had to pick two I would say that Sam Ponder and Charissa Thompson are both excellent.

3) What else is there besides whiskey, whisky, beer and wine? I'm confused. My wife likes vodka.

Give me your best names for the Minnesota school hockey tournament at the X:
1 serious version
1 trolling the whioux version


Elliot: I hate to be unoriginal, but I think Patrick Reusse nailed it already when he said they should call it "The Herbie." (ED NOTE: Elliot, I know you're new man but MN blogger rules stipulate we don't applaud Reusse.)

It's pretty hard to beat that.

Of course, we watched a major football conference that shall go unnamed -- let's make up a name for it, I don't know, how about THE BIG TEN -- pick ""Legends"" and ""Leaders,"" so we're probably going to end up with something abhorrent.

GoAUpher: I'm good with either The Herbie (though I'll be damned if I let Reusse take credit for something that was batted around the internet since the tournament was announced) or The Minnesota Cup (assuming it gets a good nickname).

For trolling? Well, it's a bit of a mouthful, but how about the "We Have Mascots And You Don't Plus Your State Sucks" Cup?

JDMill: I'm with Jeffrick when I say that I have no idea why it wouldn't just be called "The Minnesota Cup."
As for the trolling UND version, I think calling it ""The Minnesota Cup"" is all the trolling that we need to do. Any reminder that THIS is the state of hockey and that Grand Forks isn't in it is plenty in my book.

Which young'n do you think gets more yards and/or carries this season. Nugget or Edwards?

Fuzzy Rumpton

Matt: Nugget

JDMill: Nugget because he will be given more carries than Edwards. I think Edwards plays a fair amount this season, but as stated from an earlier question, he will be the change of pace back. By definition that makes him a once or twice/series kind of guy, whereas Nugget and Kirkwoodland are going to get the bulk of the carries.

GopherNation: Nugget. More opportunities. If Edwards doesn't redshirt, I wonder if he'll get a chance to return kicks where he'll make a big impact. But from scrimmage I think he'll have to work his way into the rotation, which may not be an easy thing to do as a true freshman. The usual things like learning blocking assignments and things other than just running with the ball are what will keep him off the field initially.

Elliot: I think Nugget plays more. Edwards is going to have to learn the offense and this staff isn't going to rush someone in the lineup until they are confident that the player knows what he is doing. Of course that could change with the unknown: injuries, etc., but at this point, Edwards would really have to shine this spring to completely unseat Kirkwood and gain enough playing time to overtake Williams's number of carries.

Is McDonald still a Gopher?


GoAUpher: Every sign points to yes. Coach Kill has said that McDonald is enrolled in summer classes and that he hopes that Andre will be able to rejoin the team in the fall. The rumor mill suggests that the coaches were making sure he worked out while he was on his "personal leave" from the team. Whatever it was that caused McDonald to take his break, I really hope it's figured out. He can do great things at the U and the team could surely use him.


Erik T

GoAUpher: When will you learn that I have the dark magic at my command?

Why didn’t you openly recruit us to go to Off Tackle Empire and leave our two cents during Iowa and Wisconsin weeks?


GoAUpher: Because I am a horrible person. Seriously though, I'll be sure to better note opportunities to defend Minnesota/hate on Iowa and Wisconsin in the future.

Why do European sports suck so much?


I will not have you badmouth the Beautiful Game like this. Cricket though, you can hate on cricket all you want. Never could get into that game.

What are you drinking for the 4th, and can I haz some?


GoAUpher: Clearly this question was made moot by the timing of the mailbag answers post, but I can share that I drank the following yesterday:
- Yuengling
- New Glarus Moon Man
- Stone Levitation
- Evan Williams 2003 Small Batch
- Angel's Envy Rye

As to whether you can haz some...if you can locate me in the mountains of Tennessee before 10am tomorrow, you may indeed partake in any of those choices.