It's been a quiet holiday season for high-end college and pro sports in Minnesota, and what seems to have gotten swept furthest under the rug is the Gopher football team's appearance in the Texas Bowl tomorrow.
Even without the Wild and Wolves playing for four and five-day periods respectively, Jerry Kill and Co. seem to have been overwhelmed by Metrodome mania, a bunch of funny-but-not-serious tidbits, and the holidays as a whole.
We get it, it's not a Jan. 1 bowl, and by many accounts, they were very close to getting to one, so this is a bit of a let down.
Still, the game will go on whether you like it or not, so here's a few notes going into the "showdown" in the Lone Star State.
- The crowd appears as if it may be a tad sparse, though this should come as no surprise considering Syracuse is in Syracuse, New York, Minnesota is in Minnesota, and the Texas Bowl is in Texas. The three places are almost 2,500 combined miles apart. According to Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune, a little over 3,000 tickets have been sold to Gopher fans, about a fourth the amount of passes the university was given. It's still 200 more tickets than were sold last year to Gopher fans for their appearance in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, which is now the Texas Bowl, but Christensen indicates that Syracuse fans did less traveling than Gopher fans. Last year the Gophers played Texas Tech, so there was built in interest for the game since Texas Tech is in Texas, and the game is in Houston. No close team in action this year, and the host venue, Reliant Stadium, which holds over 71,000, will likely never look more empty than tomorrow at 5 p.m.
- Gopher head coach Jerry Kill would not rule out coaching from the sidelines in a press conference held Thursday.
Any other changes Marcus?
There you have it, Marcus is ready, we're ready, and Ra'Shede Hageman is ready.
If Ra'Shede, Marcus, and us are the only ones that are pumped, then get off the bandwagon because there is no room for you when the Gophers bring back a Texas Bowl crown...or trophy...or ribbon. We're not quite sure what it is, but you will not get to touch it at the victory parade...or luncheon...or seminar.