So Gopher fans...it appears we have a bit of a problem. Its come to my attention and several of you think its perfectly ok to root for the Wisconsin Badgers, our hated rival to win the NCAA Basketball Championship tonight. Seriously. That's not ok. So let me debunk several of the reasons why people think its ok to root for the red menace over Duke tonight.
Reason #1 for Rooting for Wisconsin: You Have to Support the Big Ten
No. You don't. Does the Big Ten being looked at one as one of the top conferences help Minnesota? Not at the moment. Maybe sure if we were on the bubble for the last spot in the NCAA Tournament and were competing against a nobody for the spot...but we're not. Two Big Ten teams made the Final Four. The Big Ten is still strong. No one will think the Big Ten is weak and will fade away if Wisconsin loses to Duke tonight. You would rather root for our conference to appear stronger to a few random people who don't understand how basketball works, than to have OUR FREAKING ARCH RIVAL WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!! If you believe this, I weep for your children. You probably won't care if little Johnny's high school team loses in the High School Playoffs as long as his rival school who he hates win the tournament to make your city/district/conference look better. Johnny will hate you...as he probably should.
Reason #2 for Rooting for Wisconsin: They would cheer for us if we were in the same situation
No. They wouldn't. Quit being so stupidly Minnesota nice and realize that rivalries actually mean something. Do you think Michigan fans were rooting for Ohio State in the Football Championship game in January. Hell no. Do you think North Carolina Fans are rooting for Duke to win tonight because Duke fans would root for them. Are you insane? YOU DON'T ROOT FOR YOUR RIVAL TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP IN ANYTHING! If any other fan of any other college team knew that you might root for your arch rival because they would root for us in the same situation they would probably think you are clinically insane. Just don't do it. Try and save the reputation of Minnesota sports fans, as poor as it already is.
Reason #3 for Rooting for Wisconsin: Tyus Jones is a traitor and I could never root for him
Seriously? No. He's not. He decided that he wanted to go to a school where he would try and win a national championship. Well guess freaking what...look where he and Duke are today. Players who leave their home state to play for a more successful program are not traitors. Tyus was NEVER going to come to the University of Minnesota. Any possibility that he might actually come here was 100% driven by the local media who wanted to keep writing columns on him. He said before his senior year he and Okafor wanted to play together in college. That was not going to be Minnesota...sorry, it just wasn't. Now, if Tyus had decided to go to Wisconsin and play there then you could say he may have been a traitor. But to go to Duke instead of Minnesota isn't being a traitor, its just seeing your best chance to succeed, try and win a national title and then go to the NBA. Will Minnesota be that program someday? We can only hope...but it sure as hell is not right now.
Do you want Wisconsin to be that kind of program? You don't? THEN WHY ARE YOU ROOTING FOR THEM TO WIN A NATIONAL TITLE AND GET ONE STEP CLOSER TO THAT LEVEL? If you feel strongly enough that Tyus was a traitor...then one would think you should feel strongly enough that letting your arch rival win a national title would only e more damaging to the program that you love.
Reason #4 for Rooting for Wisconsin: I hate Duke. Duke is awful, I hate Coach K, stupid Duke, etc.
GET. OVER. IT. I understand Duke isn't the loveable underdog. A understand Coach K isn't the lovable old coach who no one can say a bad thing about. Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, JJ Reddick, Carlos Boozer, Greg Freaking Paulus...yes, Duke has had some really annoying players come through their program. Sure, it might be the lesser of two evils, but seriously, get over it. You would rather see your arch rival win a national title then get over yourself for one night to hope Duke wins? That's pretty sad.
Guess who I hate. Wisconsin. I hate Bo Ryan. The new media darling. Seriously...do you not understand that they are talking about our arch rival this way? The national media has a freaking love fest with Frank Kaminsky, Nigel Hayes, Sam Dekker and Bo Ryan right now. They play the right way, Bo's been doing this since his D3 days, stenographers trying to spell antidisestablishmentarianism correctly. Yuck. You really want to see them win it all? Parade the title down State Street? Rally at the Kohl Center.? All because you dislike Duke? Get. Over. It.
Reason #5 for Rooting for Wisconsin: Seeing the Badgers do it makes me hope that Minnesota can do it someday
You really can't be that freaking stupid can you? How has that same situation worked out in football over the last 20 years? Wisconsin winning a title means absolutely nothing in regards to Minnesota having success in the future, except for the fact that it means the same players that you usually compete with Wisconsin over will want to become a Badger even more thanks to winning a National Championship. It means recruiting players that can give you the success you want Minnesota to achieve in the future even freaking harder. Wisconsin wins doe not happen in a vacuum. Just because Wisconsin has success DOES NOT MEAN THE GOPHERS CAN OR WILL. What Minnesota does will be on the Gophers coaching staff and players. You can see how that is currently changing in football with Jerry Kill and his staff. Minnesota's recent increase in football success is not in any way related to Wisconsin's past success. But you know what does help? Not having your rival who you recruit against on a daily basis win a freaking national championship.
I haven't even touched the subject of how many Twin Cities media members are suddenly Wisconsin fans and how they could care less what it might do to Minnesota. But then again it just helps them write their "Loserville, USA" narrative based articles when you have a champion next door doesn't it? So if you feel like you want to agree with Phil Mackey, or Judd Zulgad, or Tyler Mason, or Marcus Fuller...I guess you are in good company.
So please don't root for Wisconsin. Don't be that guy. Friends don't let friends root for Wisconsin. if you do root for Wisconsin, I will not call you my friend. You will deserve all the ridicule you recieve. You don't deserve to wear the Maroon and Gold. You won't have one single argument that doesn't sound like complete stupidity flowing out of you on why Wisconsin winning is ok. But even after all this you find it ok to root for your arch rival to win a national championship, then maybe Division I competitive sports aren't for you.