Seven reasons you should go see the Gophers on Saturday

This year’s Minnesota football team has done something fans have waited for since the late 1980s — qualify for a postseason bowl.
The Gophers are on a high. They shocked second-ranked Penn State on Saturday and risen to their highest ranking since 1982. They have earned attention nationally. So, why not locally?
As of Tuesday night there were only 38,000 tickets sold for the showdown against Indiana. Don’t ask me how, but that translates to 26,000 unsold seats.
That’s 26,000 blue, empty, plastic seats. Last time I checked this was a football town. The so-called “football fans” pack the Metrodome when the Vikings are “good,” so why can’t you pack the Dome on Saturday to cheer on the Gophers?
I’ll tell you why you should.
ù It’s college football.
These guys aren’t playing for a new, multiyear, multimillion dollar contract. They don’t whine all the time — they’re too busy balancing school with football to have time to whine.
ù You are a freshman who hasn’t experienced Gopher Pride yet.
You have nothing big planned and you need a break from schoolwork. I don’t care if you don’t know a football from the hamburgers they serve at the cafeteria. Put on that maroon sweat shirt at the bottom of your dorm room closet and go support your school. Everyone knows you pay enough money to be able to call yourself a Gophers fan.
ù You are greek.
You, too, have nothing big planned, and you don’t bother to do homework. So wake up from the Friday night hangover and stroll on down to the Dome. You showed your pride at the Homecoming parade; now show it at a late-season game.
ù You are a third-year graduate student.
You have been at the University since 1997, and you still think the Minnesota Rouser is a happening bar in Dinkytown. You were a sports fan before you locked yourself in Wilson Library so you could work on your thesis. Why not become one again? Go down to the Dome; learn the Rouser.
ù You are a middle-aged University employee who has a young child.
Your son or daughter loves football and has never been to a big game in person. Well, good luck getting Vikings tickets, those are all gone. So take your kids to a Gophers game. They won’t know the difference, but they’ll love the experience of big-time football.
ù You are a 70-year-old University professor.
You haven’t been to a Gophers game since they played in Memorial Stadium — in 1961. Go to the Dome and root for the kids you teach every day. God knows you only live once, and in your case you probably don’t have much time left.
ù It’s the last home game of the season — a remarkable season.
A season that might change this one-time Big Ten basement program into a legitimate conference contender every year.
A season that saw Thomas Hamner become a big-game running back who rushed for over 1,000 yards.
A season that saw Karon “K-Boogie” Riley tear up opponents’ offensive lines.
And a season that saw Tyrone Carter — the little man with a large heart — break the NCAA record for tackles by a defensive back.
There you go. No excuses. If that can’t convince you to go see the Gophers beat up on Indiana, I don’t know what will.
Because when Saturday morning rolls around I will be sitting in my blue seat — section 113, row 15, seat 1 — enjoying what might be my last chance to see the Gophers in person this season.
Get down to the Dome and join me. You won’t regret it.
John R. Carter covers volleyball and welcomes comments at [email protected]