I. Case History/Opening Argument
A. Case History
Time for the annual optimism to set in. Time for the "I really like this team" chest puffing to begin. Time for some tremendous Tim Brewster hyperbole to make its way into some outstanding articles about Gopher Nation's football team.
But Timmy seems to have toned things down a bit this year. There seems to be a little less talk coming from the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex this year, and perhaps a bit more of the Gophers just going about their business. I'm not here to tell you that Tim Brewster is being quiet... that is by no means the case. And I'll be honest with you, I like Tim Brewster's confidence, because as Gopher fans we're not used to hearing our head coach say that the goal of this program is Rose Bowls.
More Closing Arguments:
B. Opening Statement
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, I'm just a caveman. I fell on some ice and was later thawed by some of your "scientists." Your world frightens and confu... oops, my bad.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, I rise in defense of my client, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. I would ask you, humbly, to ignore the predictions of 1 or 2 win seasons and last place Big Ten finishes that you have undoubtedly heard in your daily reading. I would ask that you jump back from your assumptions and conclusions.
You have without question heard the cries of "9 starters lost on defense," "Adam Weber is a hack," and "Tim Brewster couldn't coach his way out of a wet paper bag."
I would instead submit that you clear your mind of those backward facing thoughts. The past is not our destination. For in the words of George W. Bush: "I think we can all agree, the past is over."
While the plaintiff tells you that my client has lost 9 starters on defense, I would remind you that of the 13 games that the Gophers played in 2009, 10 returning players saw action in 11 games or more.
While the plaintiff tells you that Adam Weber is a hack, I would remind you that he holds, or will by the end of the 2010 season hold, every major passing record in Gopher football history, and is entering his 4th season as the starting quarterback of this team. I would also counter by reminding you that Jedd Fisch is gone.
II. Factual Summation, or Discovery, as the Barristers Might Say
A. Off Tackle Empire Says
Here's some of what we've written about the Gophers in the off-season:
- Could Adam Weber be poised for a comeback?
- "The Bank" - TCF Bank Stadium
- Evaluating the mechanics of Adam Weber
- An Iowa fan spews venom
- Minnesota Spring Field Guide
- The Gophers are inconsistent
B. Spoon says "You have no fear of the underdog..."
Because all blogs are required to compare athletic teams to some random entertainment icon, we're equating Big Ten teams to "famous" artists.
To paraphrase some lyrics...
You got no time for the messenger
Got no regard for the thing that you don't understand...
You don't talk to the water boy
And there's so much you could learn but you don't want to know...
The thing that I tell you now
It may not go over well
And it may not be photo-op
In the way that I spell it out
But you won't hear from the messenger
Don't wanna know about something you don't understand
You got no fear of the underdog
That's why you will not survive
III. Emotional Plea
This should be my section. This should be the place where I try to get you to feel my pain, my agony over being a fan of this football program for as long as I can remember. This should be what I'm best at.
But Tim Brewster has rubbed enough people the wrong way, both inside of and outside of Gopher Nation. An emotional plea isn't going to persuade anyone, outside of Gopher fans, when it comes to the Gophers.
What I can tell you, however, is that those of us that are fans of the Gophers think that the national pundits are selling this team short. We know that things don't look good, but we also feel strongly that this incarnation of the Gophers has more raw talent than we've seen around here in a long time. The defense was the closest thing to a strength that we had last year, but we lost 9 starters from that team, and when opening day rolls around (because of injury to Royston and legal troubles with Theret) it's not unlikely that this team will be showing 11 new starters on the defensive side of the ball. And the offense, well that's where we've got the starters coming back.. 9 of them. But that squad was nothing short of horrible in 2009, so what is there to be excited about.
So this is as close to an emotional ploy as I will get... watch 'em. Watch the Gophers. Watch how they play, how they swarm to the ball, how they do things the right way, how they play like a team.
This could very well be a 6-6 football team... but that 6-6 will be much better than the 6-6 we saw last year.
A. The Staff calls the games