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Dear Nebraska, Welcome to the Big Ten... From Minnesota

Dear Nebraska,

Hey, um... welcome... I guess. Your younger fans probably don't even remember it, but we used to meet you guys on the gridiron quite a bit. 51 times from 1900-1990 actually. We pretty much dominated the series for the first 60 years of the 20th century. In fact only 8 of the 37 times we met from 1900-1960 didn't end with a Minnesota win (the others were 6 Nebraska wins and 2 ties). We'd like to ask you to remember that and that only, but that would be the move of a snake oil salesman (see Wikipedia: Tim Brewster).

Of course, you  may or may not have heard that the 60's were really the last time Gopher football was relevant outside of Dinkytown (that's what we call the section of our campus where TCF Bank Stadium is... but there's some debate as to why that name came about). In fact, since 1960 you guys have owned us, beating us all 14 times that we have played. I'm not even using hyperbole when I say that you have owned us. Seriously, it's been gross. The last 8 times we've played, you guys have outscored us 412-34.

So, look, here's the thing, I know we're all just getting to know each other here, and that you guys are really excited to join us, and believe me, for the Big Ten as a whole, we're happy to have you.  Please don't take offense when I say that we're a little nervous for this relationship to start, and I know that normally this phrase comes at the END of a relationship instead of the beginning, but Nebraska, it's not you, it's us.

We've got a new guy with a sweet name (Kill) and some folksy phrases ("stroke the posts"), and we're excited about him, but we're not really sure what we're in for quite yet. We think we'll be much more disciplined and fundamentally sound, and we think that if we lose games it will be because we get beat by the other team, not because we make mistakes and give the game away. These are things we think we know... please bear with us because there are a lot of things that we don't know.

Geez, since this thing is just kicking off, and I've already told you that it's not you, it's us, and that I really can't give you anything concrete about what you should expect from us, I should probably go ahead and tell you about some of our other relationships, so that you have some kind of frame of reference for who we are.

Iowa. You're going to see these guys around quite a bit and there's a very good possibility that the two of you won't get along. We know a thing or two about not getting along with Iowa. I will spare you the "it's not you, it's Iowa" talk, but know that, at least from our perspective, those Hawkeyes aren't too easy to get along with. Mostly it's because they're generally pretty damn good, but also because their fans tend to be a little bit loud and... I'll go with boisterous.

There are exceptions to this, however. Like last year, when Iowa came to visit us at The Bank, they were so quiet. It was almost eerie how quiet they were. It was so strange that we didn't really know what to do, almost like we were shocked, so we kind of stayed quiet ourselves. After the game our players ran across that field and grabbed a bronze pig named Floyd of Rosedale and they paraded around the field with it. We had quite a bit of fun with that situation, but again, the Iowa fans just kept quiet. So strange.

Wisconsin. These guys live next door to us and they've got a pretty good recent history against us too. The fans from Wisconsin are a bit like the Iowa fans in their boisterousness (and drinking. Did I mention drinking? They both like to drink, quite a lot, and they like to show up at our place a bit in the bag. But, let's be honest, don't we all?). We'd like to also give them a reason to be quiet too, but we haven't been able to manage that for awhile. Speaking of getting someone to be quiet, you'll probably hear a thing or two from the Badger's head coach, Bret Bielema. Bielema is the kind of guy who asks out your younger sister, keys your dad's car on the way up to the door, hits on your mom while waiting for your sister to come downstairs, sleeps with her on the first date, calls you to tell you all of the creepy details, and then comes over to your house to kick you in the nuts just for good measure. The problem is that it's hard to hate the guy because... oops, sorry, lost my train of thought there. Well, anyway, look, you didn't hear it from me, but I'd suggest practicing your two-point conversion defense... I'm just sayin'.

You'll be coming to our place this year and we'll likely be pretty hospitable. There's this thing that some of our people might mention to you called Minnesota-nice as a way to get you to feel comfortable with us. Essentially all this really means is that when you come to our tailgate we'll give you a Bud Light or two, maybe a hot dog, and we'll share a few laughs and a love of college football. After you leave, however, we'll break out the steak kabobs, the Stella Artois and the cigars. And if you stop by after the game, shucks, we're fresh outta beer.

So, we want to wish you are hearty MINNESOTA WELCOME (as far as you know)! We can't wait to see you (leave) in October!