To the men’s basketball student section

Students should find clever, creative ways to badger the opposition.

Tony Zosel

I am a huge Gophers fan âÄî a season ticket holder for football, hockey and hoops. While in school, I helped to start the first student section of its kind for menâÄôs basketball at the University of Minnesota. In our second year, the Gophers made it to the Elite Eight and lost a heartbreaker to Georgia Tech to qualify for the Final Four. While in college, I was no saint. In fact, on one occasion I was asked to leave by University police. I threw a couple of pom-poms over the railing from the upper deck (yes, the students used to be in the upper deck) right after we took a 20-point lead over first-rated Illinois to kick off the much-anticipated 1990 Big Ten season. As embarrassed as I was that night being ejected, I was even more embarrassed Thursday night when your section threw down the effenheimer to both our neighbors to the east and more emphatically to their head coach. For proper perspective, all of my in-laws are from Madison so my disdain for the Badgers, and their head coach is very high. I have been called every swear word in the book at Wisconsin games on their turf. In fact, my 4-year-old son was even sworn at; he didnâÄôt even know it was a swear word, but it goes to show no stone was left unturned in the classless category. Needless to say, I consider the Badgers our biggest rival mostly because of their rude and obnoxious fan base. In all of my years as a Gophers fan, I have never seen poor or classless behavior by our fan base. Yes, IâÄôve seen good-natured ribbing, but never foul language or behavior that was unbecoming of a Minnesotan. Please donâÄôt read this as a âÄústop being crazyâÄù note from some old guy. That is the last thing I want. In fact, I would prefer you to be even rowdier. Just do it with a little more creativity than âÄú[expletive] the BadgersâÄù or âÄú[expletive] Bo Ryan.âÄù Any 19-year-old chump can think of that garbage. Use that brain of yours and get clever. Show our neighbors to the east that the Minnesota Gophers are a cut above, not cut from the same cloth. Go Gophers. Tony Zosel, University alumnus