Souhan: Unlike Fireman Ed, Goldy Gopher sticks through tough times

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 27, 2012 - 9:11 PM

The Jets fan/mascot doesn't know suffering like this Gopher.

The following is re-printed without permission from the personal diary of Goldy Gopher:

I just read about Fireman Ed, the self-appointed Jets mascot who quit his fake job that nobody hired him to do after taking so much grief for wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey.

I hope he enjoys that special line for unemployed mascots who weren't asked to be mascots, but he should be prepared: Every five minutes, that guy who used to bang the newspaper on the Target Center court during Wolves games is going to ask for stock tips and gum, and the San Diego Chicken will try to sell him Amway.

Fireman Ed is pathetic. If you're going to quit, everyone in Minnesota knows that you don't announce your intentions in a giveaway newspaper. You write 4,000 words on Tumblr.

What is Ed complaining about?

He cheered for a team that won a Super Bowl in 1969. In Gophers years, that's, oh, yesterday.

He wore the jersey of a quarterback who has won four playoff games. If I wanted to wear a quarterback's jersey this year, I would have needed removable numbers and a phone booth on the sideline, so I could quick-change every time we picked a new starter. By the end of the season, Coach Kill was taking the redshirt away from players he hasn't even recruited yet.

Fireman Ed wore the jersey of a guy with a cool nickname: 'San-chize.' We call our quarterback, 'Poor kid.'

The Jets' team MVP probably will be someone like Antonio Cromartie, a talented cornerback. We just named our MVP. It's MarQueis Gray, a quarterback who got hurt and benched.

Fireman Ed: You cheered for a team with real ambitions. Your head coach likes to challenge Bill Belichick. Ours ducks North Carolina.

Yours knows how to manage his roster. Ours wasted a year of eligibility to play Phil Nelson in a few games; yours seems determined to save a year of eligibility for Tim Tebow.

And the difference in the fan bases! Sure, Jets fans booed and left early during the game on Thanksgiving. Gophers fans, anticipating traffic this season, leave earlier. Like September.

But do I complain, Fireman Ed? No. I recognize that my job has its perks.

I hang around lots of winning teams. Minnesota is great at volleyball, wrestling, cross-country, track, and men's and women's hockey. We major in the minors.

At a lot of schools, the mascots work themselves to exhaustion, doing pushups for every touchdown their team scores. Me? Let's just say I don't exactly need Lance Armstrong's blood-doping expertise to get through the games.

Plus, Fireman Ed had no chance to get to know all of the Jets fans. The crowd is just too big. You've heard of being on a first-name basis? With Gophers football fans, I'm on a home- address basis. I know middle names, social security numbers and favorite microbrews. We're very close.

I have it so much better than Ed. He voluntarily showed his face while sitting in the stands, becoming the unfortunate symbol of a dysfunctional team and an angry fan base. Me? I have anonymity. Life is great. It's like being Kermit with cheerleaders.

Fireman Ed is a wimp and a quitter. I may look like Post-Steroid Elmo, but when it comes to sticking it out through tough times, nobody tops Goldy.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. jsouhan@startribune.com

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