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Minnesota Football: Your guide to surviving a bad Gopher football season

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We can get through the next five weeks together

NCAA Football: Iowa at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

So the Minnesota Golden Gophers are bad at football this year. Like really bad. But we’re only to the halfway point of the season. How are we to survive at least five more games of this? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered here at The Daily Gopher!

Focus on the positives, of which there are a few

Yes, believe it or not there have been positives so far this season, even as the Gophers appear headed to their worst finish since 2007. Mohamed Ibrahim, for example, is having an All-Big Ten season, leading the conference in rushing yards (715) and rushing touchdowns (10). Boye Mafe is also tied for the conference lead in sacks with 3.5.

Beyond that, the Gophers have also dominated the time of possession, ranking 4th nationally by holding on to the ball for an average of 35 minutes and 42 seconds per game. And opposing teams have had such success running the ball they seem to have foregone passing the ball altogether. Minnesota ranks 37th in pass defense, allowing 209 passing yards per game.

Stop reading the scoreboard

You have to elevate your thinking beyond simple points scored, because the reality is that you’re probably not going to like what you see on the scoreboard the rest of the season. But the good news is we don’t have to be simpletons who live and die by something as arbitrary as points.

Our new points system is as follows:

  • Did Tanner Morgan target a wide receiver other than Rashod Bateman? That is worth 1 point. You can up it to 2 points if the pass completed, and then even 5 points if that receiver was Morgan’s second or third read.
  • Did the Minnesota defense stop a ball carrier for a gain of fewer than 5 yards? That is worth 2 points. If the ball carrier is dropped for a loss of yards, that is worth 5 points.
  • Did Minnesota force a punt? That is worth a whole 7 points.
  • Did you ever at any point think to yourself, “This is fun. The act of watching this game has been a positive and enjoyable experience for me,” while watching the Gophers? Well, we’re going to call it a game if that happens. Grab yourself a beer and savor the victory.

As you can see, this system is predicated entirely on what Minnesota does. The other team is not eligible to accrue points in this system. They get enough of them in the real points system anyway. And the new system is based on the Gophers accomplishing tasks that, up to this point, have been difficult for them. This allows for some uncertainty as to the result.

Brace for the GIFs of sinking boats

You’ve likely already been inundated on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn with GIFs of watercrafts sinking into a body of water, courtesy of rival fans relishing the Gophers’ slide back into suckage. These are clearly an attempt to troll Fleck’s “Row the Boat” mantra.

What is the appropriate response to these GIFs? For starters, try explaining that marine accidents are no laughing matter. You can cite the Titanic as an example. More than 1,500 passengers and crew died after the passenger liner struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean. Eighty-five years after the disaster, the Titanic also took from us Leonardo DiCaprio, who sacrificed his life so that Kate Winslet could live on and star in Jason Reitman’s Labor Day. These are losses to be mourned, not mocked.

Feel free to also remind these thoughtless cretins of the consequences of mocking the victims of a shipwreck. John Carpenter’s 1980 classic The Fog is a perfect cautionary tale. The denizens of the coastal town of Antonio Bay were terrorized by the vengeful ghosts of lepers whose ship was deliberately sank by the town founders back in 1880. So unless you like sharing your Sunday church services with ghost pirates, maybe watch your tone.