And how was your bacon this morning?
To Gophers fans it tasted like filet mignon.
Down in Iowa it tasted more like cardboard.
Minnesota won its rivalry game against Iowa yesterday in Iowa City, 12-10, in a controversial affair that sent Floyd of Rosedale back to Minneapolis. The bronze pig is supposed to symbolize how tensions can be eased and sportsmanship encouraged between the two rival schools and states.
That flew out the window late in the fourth quarter when too many Hawkeye fans lost control following a review disallowing an Iowa touchdown that would have put the hometown team ahead 16-12. Cooper DeJean’s punt return for the go-ahead score was negated after officials determined that before fielding the football, he signaled an illegal fair catch.
Iowa fans reportedly threw bottles, cans, and food onto the field. The Minnesota bench was targeted with debris, forcing the players to move out of their sideline area. Players and coaches had every right to be concerned about their safety.
Justin Gaard, sideline reporter on the Gopher radio network, put this up on X (formerly known as Twitter) yesterday: “This is year 13 on the sidelines. Trying to recall if fans anywhere have ever thrown so much stuff on the field like Iowa fans did tonight. I don’t remember it ever happening like that.”
The ruckus caused a delay in the game. It was a bad look for the Iowa fanbase.
Worse was the 2002 incident in Minneapolis when anarchy surfaced after Iowa’s 45-21 win over the Gophers. Fans stormed the field and tore down a goal post. Then they attempted to carry pieces out of the stadium but were stymied trying to get through the revolving doors. The Iowa athletic department later was billed for damages.
The creation of Floyd in the 1930s came during a time of perhaps unparalleled tensions between Iowa and Minnesota. I remember my family telling me of how whiskey bottles hurled past Gopher players while playing at Iowa in that era. There must have been a lot of truth to that because before the 1935 game Iowa governor Clyde Herring threatened the Gophers saying, “If the officials stand for any rough tactics like Minnesota used last year, I’m sure the crowd won’t.”
Minnesota governor Floyd B. Olson responded with diplomacy, proposing a bet between the two state leaders over who would win the game. At stake were prize pigs from each state. The Gophers won the game and days after Herring marched a live pig into Olson’s office.
Calm had been restored in the rivalry. But never permanently as shown again yesterday when the Gophers ended an eight-game losing streak against the Hawkeyes.
There are classy Iowa fans for sure but even they would say there are too many boorish patrons among the Hawkeye faithful.
Minnesota safety Tyler Nubin committed a difficult to understand unsportsmanlike penalty late in the second quarter when after the whistle he flipped the football out of an Iowa player’s grasp. It was one of four penalties for 40 yards the Gophers committed in setting up Iowa’s lone touchdown drive of the game.
The deadline is tomorrow for NBA contract extensions like the one the Timberwolves are trying to make with Jaden McDaniels. Owner Glen Taylor told Sports Headliners he isn’t sure if there is time to “cover the difference” between what the Wolves are offering and McDaniels wants prior to the deadline. Taylor said there is no questioning the Wolves value McDaniels, but a deal might have to wait until after the season.
“I don’t know where he’s really at,” Taylor said. “So far they have not been flexible, and I think we’ve tried to meet what we think is fair.”
That offer might be something like four years, $100 million for the 23-year-old versatile forward who the Wolves like a lot, including because he can guard at least three positions. “He’s gotta play this year, whether we sign him or don’t sign him,” Taylor said. “I mean it’s in his interest to play really well, and certainly at that point he’ll go out and try to get offers from other teams. …We have a right to match them (other team’s offers). I don’t know that it’s going to cost us any more that way than if we do it now. We’d like him to do it now because we’d like him to stay here for the long run, and we’d like him to know that.”
Predictions: John Hollinger from The Athletic has the Timberwolves tying with the Suns for the third best record in the Western Conference at 48-34. Sports Illustrated’s basketball issue out this month has the Wolves finishing No. 11 in the 15-team conference.
On the S.I. cover is former Wolves star Jimmy Butler, one of the most proven clutch players in the NBA who could lead the Heat to two consecutive NBA Finals. “…And I’m gonna whoop all y’all ass. Again,” he said in S.I.
Beth Goetz, who was deputy athletics director at Minnesota from 2013-2015, is interim athletics director at Iowa, and receiving strong support for the full-time job from school president Barbara Wilson, according to The Daily Iowan.
Honors: RB Darius Taylor of the Gophers was named a 247Sports Midseason True Freshman All-American last week. Minnesota senior safety Tyler Nubin made The Athletic’s second team for Mid-Season All-American.
The Wild is again close to 14,000 season tickets and some games are sold out, per owner Craig Leipold. Season tickets are still available for 2023-2024.
The Wild host a free open to the public outdoor practice starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, November 5 at the Recreation Outdoor Center in St. Louis Park. The event includes fan giveaways and activities. With space limited, fans are encouraged to arrive early.
Happy Birthday to Minnesota sports and entertainment icon Dick Jonckowski who turns 80 today, October 22. University of Minnesota alum and former Gopher golfer Harvey Mackay, widely known as a best-selling author and syndicated columnist, will be 91 on Tuesday. Happy birthday, Harvey.
Name, image and likeness rewards are a reality for a small number of Minnesota high school athletes. An educated guess is a dozen or so male and female athletes in the state are making money and receiving product in return for NIL.