The Minnesota Golden Gopher football team has finally done it. For a program that used to be an afterthought and brought you the sound byte gold that is "Gopher Nation" and "I wasn't my wife's first choice, either," the opportunity to host ESPN "College GameDay" for next Saturday's battle with Wisconsin is quite the accomplishment.
However, that leaves some business to tend to. One of the staples of the Saturday morning pregame show is a predictions segment where not only does Lee Corso don the head of the mascot he predicts in the game of the week, but also a celebrity guest picker that has ties to the hometown university.
While Baylor had the Fixer Upper duo of Chip and Joanna Gaines and Auburn had Bo Jackson, Minnesota has what seems like an endless list of celebrity options. With this being the first appearance in the 32-year history of the show, the Gophers can't afford to screw this up and we have some suggestions.
Professional wrestlers in a normalized setting are always a good time and that's been evidenced by several with squared circle ties being called upon to be the guest picker this season. While Memphis had Jerry "The King" Lawler and Texas had The Undertaker, we don't need to wind up like South Dakota State and settle for Pat McAfee.
The good news is we don't need to rely on preshow hosts when we have the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Champion right in our back yard. Lesnar is about as mythical of a creature as Paul Bunyan in these parts and the former NCAA and UFC Heavyweight Champion would be a perfect candidate to deliver an F5 to Corso when he picks Wisconsin.
You want a Minnesota sports legend? How about The Minnesota Miracle Man? Bombay was the key figure in one of the greatest sports stories in the State of Hockey, coaching a pee wee hockey team to a state championship before taking down the mighty Iceland national team with the knuckle puck and the triple deke in the chaotic final of the 1994 Junior Goodwill Games.
Don't even try to tell me that Bombay is a fictional character because it happened in my world. If anything, call Emilio Estevez up, throw some Hendricks sports gear on him and have him take on Eden Hall's administration again and we'll be good.
Lesnar has a long list of accomplishments, but so does the head coach of the Minnesota women's basketball team. Whalen's team is on the cusp of their respective Top 25 polls and brought the same program to their lone Final Four appearance in 2004. The four-time WNBA champion has also appeared on Kevin Garnett's "Area 21" and already has a low-key campaign going on Twitter by showing her excitement of the announcement.
When Brewster arrived on campus, he promptly declared that he was going to bring "Gopher Nation" back to Pasadena. What he didn't know is that it would take another 12 years for the Gophers to have a legitimate shot at the Rose Bowl.
Some may point to the similarities of both him and P.J. Fleck being full of hot air, but Fleck's actions have produced a winning product on the field while Brewster's left Gopher fans starving for more. If he's not busy blocking people on Twitter, perhaps Coach Brew could energize Gopher Nation one more time for this big matchup.
If you've flipped on the TV lately, you've probably heard a Lizzo song being drilled into your brain. The pop sensation has been on every commercial from cellphones to vodka to food delivery services, so what's one more appearance to really drive the point home?
Let's sweep under the rug that Lizzo was actually born in Detroit, but grew up in Minneapolis, leading out a national media mob to find out who exactly the new man on the Minnesota Vikings is. Perhaps we could find out the answer on GameDay and if it's former Viking and Badger Michael Bennett, wooo boy we could have some heat.
Bonus: John Legend and Chrissy Teigen
Mostly, the superstar couple have zero connections or history with Minnesota. But Legend is like Uncle Gopher and constantly rooting for them on social media because his nephew is Michael Brown-Stephens, a true freshman wide receiver on the team. His true love is for Ohio State, but he's part of Gopher Nation so long as his nephew is here.
And Teigen would be ideal as well because every time you walk into Target, whether you know it or not, you're likely looking at her Cravings line of kitchen and tabletop products.