Just what we need: another mascot controversy. In this case, it’s over who invented Goldy Gopher’s famous “head spin” move.

The genesis was a recent piece in the New York Times about Goldy and his signature move. Per the story:

“The tradition has roots in something acutely Minnesotan — hockey. Ross Bernstein, an author and board president of the Herb Brooks Foundation, said he invented the move while serving as Minnesota’s hockey Goldy from 1989 to 1991. Bernstein turned his experiences into his first book, “Gopher Hockey by the Hockey Gopher.”

Seems simple enough.

But an informal group of former U band members and former Goldy Gophers remember things a little differently. I talked Tuesday afternoon with Brent Turner, a marching band member from 1986-1990, who says there is evidence of Goldy’s head spin that predates Bernstein’s time as the mascot. He and others of that era have been trading Facebook messages and are convinced the head spin goes back at least to the early 1980s.


RandBall: startribune.com/randball