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B1G 2020: So now what are we supposed to do?

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I don’t know.

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
  • 9/17/1983 Nebraska 13-84
  • 9/8/1984 Rice 31-24
  • 10/13/1984 at wisconsin 17-14
  • 9/21/1985 Montana 62-17
  • 11/9/1985 wisconsin 27-18
  • 9/27/1986 Pacific 20-24
  • 11/15/1986 at Michigan 20-17
  • 9/19/1987 Cal 32-23
  • 11/14/1987 wisconsin 22-19
  • 9/10/1988 Washington State 9-41
  • 10/8/1988 Northwestern 28-28
  • 9/23/1989 Nebraska 0-48
  • 10/28/1989 Ohio State 31-41
  • 9/8/1990 Utah 29-35
  • 9/22/1990 at Nebraska 0-56
  • 10/13/1990 Northwestern 35-25

I’ve been going to college football games nearly my entire life.

  • 11/3/1990 at wisconsin 21-3
  • 11/24/1990 Iowa 31-24
  • 9/14/1991 San Jose State 26-20
  • 9/28/1991 Pitt 13-14
  • 10/12/1991 Purdue 6-3
  • 10/25/1991 Michigan 6-52
  • 11/9/1991 Ohio State 6-35
  • 11/16/1991 wisconsin 16-19
  • 9/12/1992 San Jose State 30-39
  • 9/19/1992 Colorado 20-21
  • 10/3/1992 Illinois 18-17
  • 10/10/1992 at Purdue 20-24
  • 10/31/1992 Indiana 17-24
  • 11/21/1992 Iowa 28-13
  • 9/11/1993 Indiana State 27-10
  • 9/18/1993 Kansas State 25-30

Everyone in my family knows that when they want the easy, polite subject to talk about with me, it’s the Gophers. Other people will want to talk about fishing or their garden, I want to talk about football.

  • 10/2/1993 Indiana 19-23
  • 10/9/1993 Purdue 59-56
  • 10/19/1993 at Northwestern 28-26
  • 10/23/1993 wisconsin 28-21
  • 11/13/1993 Michigan 7-58
  • 9/3/1994 Penn State 3-56
  • 9/10/1994 Pacific 33-7
  • 9/17/1994 San Diego State 40-17
  • 10/1/1994 at Indiana 14-25
  • 10/15/1994 Northwestern 31-37
  • 11/5/1994 Illinois 17-21
  • 11/19/1994 Iowa 42-49
  • 9/16/1995 Ball State 31-7
  • 9/30/1995 Arkansas State 55-7
  • 10/7/1995 Purdue 39-38
  • 10/14/1995 Northwestern 17-27

Every year around this time of year, I start to get giddy. Football season is right around the corner. It feels like it might be instinct at this point. I can feel when football is about to start, and it’s my favorite time of year. Irresponsible optimism is a wonderful thing.

  • 10/21/1995 at Michigan State 31-34
  • 11/4/1995 Ohio State 21-49
  • 11/11/1995 wisconsin 27-34
  • 9/14/1996 Ball State 26-23
  • 9/21/1996 Syracuse 35-33
  • 10/19/1996 Michigan State 9-27
  • 10/26/1996 Michigan 10-44
  • 11/16/1996 Illinois 23-21
  • 11/23/1996 Iowa 24-43
  • 9/13/1997 Iowa State 53-29
  • 9/27/1997 Houston 43-45
  • 10/11/1997 Purdue 43-59
  • 10/18/1997 at Penn State 15-16
  • 10/25/1997 wisconsin 21-22
  • 11/8/1997 Ohio State 3-31
  • 11/15/1997 Indiana 24-12

No matter what changes, Gopher football is always there. It’s always been something to look forward to, even when I dreaded the outcome. And there have been plenty of times where that’s been the case.

  • 9/5/1998 Arkansas State 17-14
  • 9/19/1998 Memphis 41-14
  • 10/10/1998 Penn State 17-27
  • 10/17/1998 at Ohio State 15-45
  • 10/24/1998 Michigan State 19-18
  • 10/31/1998 Michigan 10-15
  • 11/21/1998 Iowa 49-7
  • 9/4/1999 Ohio State 33-7
  • 9/1/1999 Louisiana-Monroe 35-0
  • 9/18/1999 Illinois State 55-7
  • 10/9/1999 wisconsin 17-20
  • 10/16/1999 at Illinois 37-7
  • 10/23/1999 Ohio State 17-20
  • 10/30/1999 Purdue 28-33
  • 11/13/1999 Indiana 44-20
  • 11/20/1999 at Iowa 25-21

Birth, death, wedding, divorce. The one constant through all of them has been football.

  • 10/31/1999 vs. Oregon 20-24
  • 9/9/2000 Ohio State 17-23
  • 10/7/2000 Penn State 25-16
  • 11/18/2000 Iowa 27-24
  • 9/8/2001 Louisiana-Lafayette 44-14
  • 8/31/2002 SW Texas State 42-0
  • 10/10/2002 Northwestern 45-42
  • 12/30/2002 vs. Arkansas 29-14
  • 8/30/2003 Tulsa 49-10
  • 12/31/2003 vs. Oregon 31-30
  • 9/4/2004 Toledo 63-21
  • 9/25/2004 Northwestern 43-17
  • 9/17/2005 Florida Atlantic 46-7
  • 9/24/2005 Purdue 42-35
  • 11/12/2005 Michigan State 41-18
  • 9/16/2006 Temple 62-0

I used to joke that I wouldn’t get married until the Gophers made it to the Rose Bowl so I could propose in Pasadena. At some point along the way, the desire to have a family outweighed my youthful confidence in my team eventually overcoming itself.

  • 10/21/2006 North Dakota State 10-9
  • 11/4/2006 Indiana 63-26
  • 11/18/2006 Iowa 34-24
  • 9/1/2007 Bowling Green 31-32
  • 9/8/2007 Miami (OH) 41-35
  • 9/22/2007 Purdue 31-45
  • 10/20/2007 North Dakota State 21-27
  • 11/3/2007 Illinois 17-44
  • 8/30/2008 Northern Illinois 31-27
  • 9/20/2008 Florida Atlantic 37-3
  • 10/4/2008 Indiana 16-7
  • 11/1/2008 Northwestern 17-24
  • 11/8/2008 Michigan 6-29
  • 11/22/2008 Iowa 0-55
  • 9/12/2009 Air Force 20-13
  • 9/19/2009 Cal 21-35

My Dad took me to my 1st game when I was 2. We got shellacked. I took my oldest daughter to her first game when she was 5. We hung on to win. I took my youngest daughter to her first game the day before her 6th birthday. We hung on to win for that game as well, somehow.

  • 10/3/2009 wisconsin 28-31
  • 10/10/2009 Purdue 35-20
  • 10/31/2009 Michigan State 42-34
  • 11/7/2009 Illinois 32-35
  • 11/14/2009 South Dakota State 16-13
  • 9/11/2010 South Dakota 38-41
  • 9/18/2010 USC 21-32
  • 9/25/2010 Northern Illinois 23-34
  • 10/2/2010 Northwestern 28-29
  • 10/23/2010 Penn State 21-33
  • 10/30/2010 Ohio State 10-52
  • 11/27/2010 Iowa 27-24
  • 9/10/2011 New Mexico State 21-28
  • 9/17/2011 Miami (OH) 29-23
  • 9/24/2011 North Dakota State 24-37
  • 10/22/2011 Nebraska 14-41

I’ve met some of my best friends thanks to Gopher Football, and “writing” here is something I do for catharsis. Life can be tough, and having a “creative” outlet has been very therapeutic for me when dealing with some hard times.

  • 10/29/2011 Iowa 22-21
  • 10/12/2011 wisconsin 13-42
  • 11/26/2011 Illinois 27-7
  • 9/8/2012 New Hampshire 44-7
  • 9/15/2012 Western Michigan 28-23
  • 9/22/2012 Syracuse 17-10
  • 10/13/2012 Northwestern 13-21
  • 10/27/2012 Purdue 44-28
  • 11/3/2012 Michigan 13-35
  • 11/24/2012 Michigan State 10-26
  • 8/29/2013 UNLV 51-23
  • 9/14/2013 Western Illinois 29-12
  • 9/21/2013 San Jose State 43-24
  • 9/28/2013 Iowa 7-23
  • 10/26/2013 Nebraska 34-23
  • 11/9/2013 Penn State 24-10

My Dad had season tickets from 1975 through 1998. His heart just wasn’t in it anymore, and he just couldn’t bring himself to go to games. But he still watches every weekend, and I always know that he’s going to have some smartass comment about what the Gophers did wrong.

  • 11/23/2013 wisconsin 7-20
  • 8/28/2014 Eastern Illinois 42-20
  • 9/6/2014 Middle Tennessee 35-24
  • 9/20/2014 San Jose State 24-7
  • 10/11/2014 Northwestern 24-17
  • 10/18/2014 Purdue 39-38
  • 11/8/2014 Iowa 51-14
  • 11/15/2014 Ohio State 24-31
  • 9/3/2015 TCU 17-23
  • 9/19/2015 Kent State 10-7
  • 9/26/2015 Ohio 27-24
  • 10/17/2015 Nebraska 25-48
  • 10/31/2015 Michigan 26-29
  • 11/21/2015 Illinois 32-23
  • 11/28/2015 wisconsin 21-31
  • 9/1/2016 Oregon State 30-23

It may eventually end. Everything ends. As my girls get older, I’ll probably start missing games for their sports. They’re probably more competitive than I was, which feels like it should be impossible, and this year has been heartbreaking watching them suffer through not having sports or being able to play with their friends.

  • 9/10/2016 Indiana State 58-28
  • 9/24/2016 Colorado State 31-24
  • 10/8/2016 Iowa 7-14
  • 10/22/2016 Rutgers 34-32
  • 11/5/2016 Purdue 44-31
  • 11/19/2016 Northwestern 29-19
  • 11/26/2016 at wisconsin 17-31
  • 8/31/2017 Buffalo 17-7
  • 9/16/2017 Middle Tennessee 34-3
  • 9/30/2017 Maryland 24-31
  • 10/14/2017 Michigan State 27-30
  • 10/21/2017 Illinois 24-17
  • 10/28/2017 at Iowa 10-17
  • 10/11/2017 Nebraska 54-21
  • 10/25/2017 wisconsin 0-31
  • 8/30/2018 New Mexico State 48-10

I counted it up again today after the season was postponed. 192 games. The Metrodome and TCF Bank Stadium. 11 B1G stadia as a guest. 4 bowl games. Countless stupid games played while on the road. I’ve long accepted that it would be idiotic to play football this fall, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks.

  • 9/8/2018 Fresno State 21-14
  • 9/15/2018 Miami (OH) 26-3
  • 10/6/2018 Iowa 31-48
  • 10/20/2018 at Nebraska 28-53
  • 10/26/2018 Indiana 38-31
  • 11/10/2018 Purdue 41-10
  • 11/17/2018 Northwestern 14-24
  • 8/29/2019 South Dakota State 28-21
  • 9/14/2019 Georgia Southern 35-32
  • 10/5/2019 Illinois 40-17
  • 10/12/2019 Nebraska 34-7
  • 10/26/2019 Maryland 52-10
  • 11/9/2019 Penn State 31-26
  • 11/23/2019 at Northwestern 38-22
  • 11/30/2019 wisconsin 17-38
  • 1/1/2020 vs. Auburn 31-24

My 200th Gopher football game should have been on October 24th in Champaign. I now have no idea when it’ll be. But whenever it does happen I’ll be there with my girls and hopefully my Dad. As far as they know, it’ll just be another Saturday wasted on my favorite thing with my favorite people.