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Gary Andersen says Paul Bunyans Axe will disappear during Minnesota vs. Wisconsin

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Well..this brings #HATEWEEK up a notch...

UPDATE 8PM on 11/24/14: Gary took it all back. Go here to see us ridicule the PR soundbite statement UW released on his behalf.

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So...it's #HateWeek, and a rather important one. One could maybe blame Gopher fans for not quite getting fully into the game yet after still nursing their excitement hangovers from Lincoln.  However, Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen changed that in an instant during his Monday Afternoon Press Conference:

Yeah....that didn't go over well with, well pretty much anyone who isn't a Badger homer.

Well...at least Andersen talked to Jerry Kill about this, and it was a mutual decision between coaches to keep things from going overboard right? RIGHT?

Oh boy...

So to summarize, the Badger head football coach (who has only 2 years of involvement in the rivalry) is scared that there might be a brawl after Minnesota wins the Axe this season. This means no Gophers run across the field to create a moment like the Rhys Lloyd moment in 2003 (which lives in the memory of any Gopher fan who witnessed it). Instead, the Gophers will have to go back into their locker room where the WI equipment staff will deliver the Axe to them (probably, but we all know how that went with the Slab of Bacon) and there will be no chance to celebrate with their fans.

Oh.  OK.  So no running across the field to get it, but they can get the Axe and come back onto the field. That makes no sense. Of course by Gary doing this he probably just made things worse if Minnesota wins.

The Gophers haven't won the axe for 10 years.  The players know this. They might want to celebrate just a bit if they win.  This isn't going to be contained to the visitors locker room at Camp Randall.  The Gophers WILL come back out to celebrate with the 3-5k Gophers fans who will be in the stands.  The Badger band will be on the field.  Hopefully some tuba player from Mount Horeb doesn't get any stupid ideas.

Frankly, the only way to read this is that Gary Andersen is scared Minnesota might finally beat Wisconsin this year and win the Axe back.  If he was so confident Wisconsin was going to win, there would be no issue.  There would be no incident.  No Gopher players are going to try and stop Wisconsin from chopping down their own goalposts.  Anderson is worried Minnesota will win, and HIS players will try and stop the Gophers from chopping down the goalposts like the Gophers did last season at TCF.  Of course we will leave out a few of the details such as Wisconsin crowding up and trying to go through the group of Minnesota players singing Hail Minnesota to do it, but sure, no more incidents.

Note to Badger fans. We know we're slightly irrational about this. It's been ten freaking years and in the season Minnesota is most competitive coming into the game the Badger head coach unilaterally changes the rules. That will happen.

This is just another in a list of nonsense that Wisconsin has pulled with Minnesota. We can add it to letting the Slab of Bacon "go missing" before magically appearing in your trophy case (even though Minnesota is the rightful owner as of the last game), your favorite former coach going for two because it was on the card, etc. The fact that Badger fans want to blame Minnesota for the 2013 "incident" when UW players provoked a situation by crowding up on the Gophers/trying to push through as they sang the alma mater with the students doesn't help.

So thanks Gary, for getting Gopher fans energized.  We were still thinking about Nebraska this morning.  We sure as hell aren't thinking about anything else but #HATEWEEK now...