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Photo Gallery: Minnesota upends Penn State and the experience was glorious

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Jon Johnston

Of all the things that happened Saturday, the best photo I took is the one on the cover. I don’t know this young man’s name. He is a leader for the Minnesota band. I’m sure he has a formal title, but I am ignorant.

He was standing on a ladder, surveying all before him after the game was over. Minnesota fans had rushed the field. Another trophy won. 9-0 for the first time since 1904.

They did the “We Hate Iowa” chant several times.

I feel like his expression tells the entire story of that game.


I run CornNation.com, the SBNation Nebraska site. I live in Chaska; I’ve been in Minnesota since 1989. My youngest son attends the U of MN. On my web site, he’s known as “my rotten son”, all in good fun. I assure you that the past two years most of the fun has been at my expense as my beloved Husker football team has sucked in a way we in Nebraska are not accustomed to. It extends across sports.

The game day experience at TCF Bank Stadium is wonderful. It’s fun. The students have an incredible time, the band is awesome, and the music keeps everything going.

Saturday’s game was one of the most joyful things I’ve seen in quite a while. I love college football. It is insane. It makes no sense, much like the stupid-ass first college football playoff poll in which Minnesota was ranked #17. The only reasons the Gophers were ranked in that place had nothing to do with “ain’t played nobody”, but more because of recent Minnesota history, and there are a lot of people who think PJ Fleck is a goofball hoax of a coach.

[Edited after publish - Jon J.]

John Gruden does this thing where he says “Knock On Wood If You’re With Me”. That sounds a helluva lot goofier than “Row The Boat”. Gruden is using a cheesy prank to... motivate grown professionals who are being paid millions of dollars? Fleck is using a concept that makes sense - it’s motivational. You read it, you get it. It’s not that hard.

People make fun of you when you’re trying to get up a hill. When you’re at the top, they’ll knock on wood for you all day long. It will be interesting to see how far this year’s team can go.

It’s already been historical.

Don’t stop there. It shouldn’t be enough. Everyone in this town talks about the VIKINGS VIKINGS VIKINGS, yet there hasn’t been a year in their existence in which they haven’t let their fans down. Is that a shot? Yes.

Love this Gopher team. Love them. Love TCF Bank Stadium. Love this band. Love the players. I want to say love Goldy, but who the hell cannot?

M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A

Minnesota Minnesota YAAAAAY GOPHERS!