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APPRECIATION WEEK

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Hey everyone, its HATE APPRECIATION WEEK! What, I just made that up? So what if I did. After all, you need love to truly appreciate HATE!

Mike Granse - USA TODAY Sports

In the spirit of this new Thanksgiving HATE WEEK, I thought it would be good to look at what we can all be thankful for appreciate? After all, you need love to truly appreciate HATE!

Here's a list of what I appreciate about Gopher Football (in no particular order).

1. Jerry Kill and Staff

Jerry Kill

I know that I for one am very appreciative of what Jerry Kill and his long tenured staff have done for the program. He has instilled his system and his people yet had also made strong efforts to incorporate the traditions of Minnesota (other than losing) and has embraced the alumni, to go as far as to hiring one for his staff. Unlike some previous coaches, he is liked and admired by the fans, media, and local coaches (as well as distant coaches) alike. KILL it with Fire! Thank you.

2. David Cobb

David Cobb

Via twitter.com/GopherFootball

Yes, Minnesota has had other top caliber running backs before, often two at a time, in the not so distant past, but I feel David Cobb is more of a special breed. He may not be the most talented running back in the nation or even the Big Ten, but in many other years he might be. Besides, he is OUR running back. I feel that this is a man who once his playing days are over might become a good coach, a good mentor, if that is the path he chooses. He might be from Texas, but he is always welcome back in Minnesota! Corn of the COBB! Thank you.

3. Peter Mortell & the punt coverage team (hat tip to Logan Hutton)

Peter Mortell

Via twitter.com/GopherFootball

What, a punter? Well the love affair that the staff of TDG has with Mortell has been well documented, so this should come as a surprise. So often in the past punts ended up being worse than an interception or even a fumble. Not so anymore. Now days we pin the opponents deep. MOAR Mortell (but we will take a score instead). Thank you.

4. Damien Wilson

Damien Wilson

Via twitter.com/GopherFootball

I have been a defender of our linebackers for years, because I thought they worked really hard, but I can admit they didn't turn anyone's heads (you could say their heads turned as the opponents ran by). Damien Wilson, along with Aarron Hill last year and De'Vondre Campbell this year has turned our linebacker corps into an area of strength. Thank you guys. WILSON! (as said by Tom Hanks) Thank you.

5. Maxx Williams

Maxx Williams

Via twitter.com/GopherFootball

Please don't leave early for the draft. Please! Your magic hand and toes must stay. Because one X is not enough. Thank you.

6. All the Freshman

Richardson

Via twitter.com/GopherFootball

These guys stepped up and stepped up B1G. Some are starters while others just fill the gaps when needed, all, even those with their red shirts still play an important role. Red shirts? We don't need no stinking RED SHIRTS! Better DEAD than RED! Thank you.

7. All the Seniors

Gopher Defense

Via twitter.com/GopherFootball

Thank you for sticking around during some rough seasons. You guys truly built the foundation, Brick by Brick. Thank you.

8. Eric Kaler, Norwood Teague, & Staff

Gopher Football Team

Via twitter.com/GopherFootball

An administration that wants excellence in both academics and athletics? Didn't realize that was possible. Thank you.

9. Goldy Gopher

Goldy Gopher

Via facebook.com/GopherFootball

You should always win the national title, but this year more so than most. Let me lay out the criteria of how the national mascot champion should be decided.

1. Check only if all of the following are negative (question #1 only). If any of the following apply there is an automatic disqualification:
a. Does the mascot look like a skunk-in-a-popcorn-box (Wisconsin)?
b. Does the mascot look like a failing grade home economics project (Penn State)?
c. Does the mascot look like a tool of the devil (Nebraska)?
d. Does the mascot make absolutely no sense (Ohio State)?
e. Does the mascot represent a made up bird (Iowa)?
CHECK (in a good way).
2. Is the mascot good looking? CHECK.
3. Does that mascot entertain adults and children alike? CHECK.
4. Can the mascot spin its head? CHECK.
5. Does the mascot invent its own rivalry trophy and then makes it happen? CHECK CHECK CHECK!

As you can see, only Goldy Gopher should even be considered for mascot of the year.

10. My fellow TDG Writers

The Daily Gopher

Thank you for putting out great content and asking me to join to cover the non-rev sports (oops, I kinda forgot to do that part lately...soon, soon, I promise).

BONUS: You, the TDG readers

Gopher Football Fans

Via twitter.com/GopherFootball

Thank you for reading what we write, participating in our polls, and especially joining in the comments. Some you might be crazy, but you are our crazy. Let me know what you appreciate in the comments below so that we can continue to HATE those wisconsin (yes lowercase) stinking badgers.