I just got home from TCF Bank Stadium about 20 minutes ago, and words can’t describe the elation that I feel! I certainly am not alone, I thought my phone was going to blow up I had so many texts, Tweets and Facebook notifications. They ranged from “Hey Nadine, I cried today. I’m really proud of our team.” to “I touched the Floyd Nadine!!! I touched FLOYD!!!” Each and every Gopher fan, that I have talked to, has said this is one of the most special games of their life, if not one of the most emotional and important ones. I can only imagine what this means to the players and the coaches. Before Jeff Horton took over, the team was 1-6, continued to lose two more games against OSU and PSU, until something finally clicked against Illinois.
I will be the first to admit, I thought this was a lost season. I asked Coach Horton at his press conference before Illinois why he wasn’t playing MarQueis Gray at Quarterback. I said all people care about now is building on what we have to be in a good position next year. I have absolutely nothing against Adam Weber, but he wasn’t going to be winning games for us next year. Horton replied that he needs to give this team the best chance to win, and put the best combination out there, and boy, did he ever. Weber won that Illinois game for us, and it finally clicked for me – this wasn’t a lost season. That win felt so good, the players felt good, the coaches felt good, I didn’t think one win, this late in the season would have that much meaning. After the bye week came the Iowa game today, and I don’t think more than 1% of the world thought we would win this game. I thought we could play them tough, I thought we could walk away with a moral victory, but we walked away with Floyd of Rosedale! What this means to the fans and team is really indescribable. None of the players on the roster had won a Trophy game at Minnesota, with our last trophy win (Floyd of Rosedale) coming in 2006. This is the first trophy win in 11 games, and first win against ranked opponent in 18 games. Over the past 4 years, there have been many ups and downs, but this was just about the best win you could hope for. Not only is this a cause for celebration, but this is now a building block to go into next year. I know many people around the country will not understand how a 2-9 football team and fans can be so elated to win their 3rd game, but there’s really no way to describe the feeling, and how special this win was to all of us.
When I wrote my blog “Gopher Football – A New Low For Fans” http://www.startribune.com/yourvoices/106394733.html I got countless emails, texts, and comments to not put this horrible Gopher team ahead of Thanksgiving and a family wedding. They told me to skip the game and go home to Wisconsin…and tonight is exactly the reason I continue to stick around. This win felt so much sweeter knowing what we’ve all endured for the past season, and honestly, the past 4 seasons. There are not many of us that did stick around all season to see this unbelievable victory today, but for those of us that did, it was unforgettable. I’m so glad that the players and coaches didn’t give up as a lot of Gold Country did, because we wouldn’t have had one of the best Gopher experiences I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing in my time as a fan.
To the team, the coaches, and especially Coach Horton (who I will truly miss, and hope he finds some way to stay on the staff as he’s a good coach, and an even better guy), Thank you. I say this from the bottom of my heart, thank you for not giving up. They say a picture says a thousand words and this was the picture I took from our previous home game against Ohio State a month ago (from the beginning of the 4th quarter):
And, of course, the celebration of bringing Floyd of Rosedale Home: