HATE WEEK: Minnesota!

[Bump! Bump! Bump! -KHD]

Mass hysteria, passion bordering on panic, the measured clearing of the streets before the onset of a riot: it’s Monday, which means it’s the beginning of Minnesota Hate Week, people.  Unlike most Big Ten hates, we’ve been mutually circling this one on our calendar since 2006.  Three years of tireless excuses, of broken relationships, three years for the fervor to spill over and wash the Nittany Nation in Golden Gopher arrogance and conceit.  I ask you once again: Can You Feel the Hate?

The Breakdown:


Minnesota was once coached by this guy: Bernie "The Silver Fox of the Northland" Bierman. This is officially the most badass nickname for a coach in college football history, and no man has ever worn a bolo tie as well as "The Silver Fox of the Northland."  It has been all downhill for Minnesota since then.

WHO: The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers come to town.  The Gophers have not been ranked all season, and have played one common opponent with PSU in the Syracuse OrangeGreg Paulus Tech played well against Minnesota in the opening week of the season before flopping (see what I did there?) in overtime 23-20.  The Gophers come in after splitting games against Wisconsin and Purdue in back-to-back weeks.  This means the PSU coaching staff is poring over recent game film of the Gophers against squads PSU won’t play until 2011.  I think this is a very sneaky way for Goldie to WASTE OUR TIME reviewing extensive game film of Wisconsin and Purdue.

If their coach was a West German music act from the late ‘70s/early ‘80s:

For crying out loud Alice, get him some damned pie!

The first of a six-part series for the remainder of the season as there are clear parallels between each.  This week features Minnesota Head Coach Tim Brewster.  Coach Brewster’s well publicized affinity for yelling and exclamation points relates with Drafi Deutscher’s performance of "Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht."  Like the video, Brewster also has a fondness for Gold Lamé shirts and an obsession for Indy Car racer Al Unser.  Like Drafi Deutscher, Brewster's mouth doesn't match up with his voice.  Eerie.  Two critical differences: Drafi has much better hair,  and Brewster prefers to offset his gold shirts with burgundy headgear, reflecting the ugliest combination of colors that any school has ever adopted.



Pic: Riots that followed the last transfer of the Governor’s Victory Bell in 2005.  Inset of the victory bell.  Fun fact: The Governor’s Victory bell is 20 FEET TALL! 
Source: Life

WHAT: The Governor’s Victory Bell. The epic rivalry between Penn State and Minnesota has its roots stretching back all the way to the 20th century!  Both teams fight over the right to control the Victory Bell, thus claiming victory for themselves and their respective governors.  Both sides have tried to gain competitive advantage by placing into power governors willing to put a smackdown on the other.  See Ventura, Jesse.  HateWeek Central is apolitical, but let’s have a look at the governors in this pitched battle.


Governor Pawlenty of Minnesota is on the left, presumably photographed at an event to benefit otters with glaucoma.  Governor Rendell is at right, photographed with a King Tut impersonators convention.  King Tut was a 19-year old who built a tomb and filled it with gold.  A glaucomic(sp?) otter is cuddly, but good luck catching fish with only one good eye!  Penn State is better prepared going in.


Minnesota’s brand new stadium!  Look, even the field is teh goldandburgundy!  Oh, we play there next year? My bad.

Source: HateWeek Central

WHERE: At home in bucolic Beaver Stadium.  The game is also Homecoming.  Hateweek Central is not fond of seven hour parades featuring every… single… campus… group. (Hey, Penn State has an Estonian Literature Club! Nice float guys!  I’ve never seen crepe paper wrapped around the edge of a trailer before!), but we must admit it’s far better than All-University Day, which we celebrate by gazing glassy-eyed on the field at half-time, still midway between a good buzz and dehydration-enhanced nausea, while overhearing out-of-state students at halftime asking their friends where Mont Alto is.


Pic: Nobody wants to see Minnesota LOLZ.

Source: ABC back in 2007.

WHEN: The game will be televised on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2 at 3:30 eastern.  Since it’s at 3:30 it means the competition will likely be a mediocre Pac-10 game and an ACC game.  The cooler you are, the higher on the ABC TV ladder your game will be.  What does this mean for PSU fans who live in Tallahassee or Bakersfield?  Well, you be the judge.  Edit: oops, it’s Nebraska-Texas Tech and I live in Big XII country.  I guess I gots schooled.

Minnesota is also the first game of the second half of the season.  As KevinHD stated, this is the first time all year the team has to actually care about three games in a row, and we only had to get through half the fall to get here.  Thanks Tim.



1999.  Party’s over, oops, outta time.  Blame Minnesota! Blame Prince! Blame the New Power Generation! Blame Iowa!

WHY:  Why?  Why??? Are you kidding me?  Other than Iowa and UM, no team has been a bigger thorn on the side of Penn State than Minnesota.  Oddly enough, you can literally throw out the record books when the Governor’s Victory Bell is on the line.  The highest ranking Minnesota has ever had entering the game is 19th in the AP poll.  This marks the sixth time in eleven matches that PSU has entered the game ranked in the top 15.  Still, PSU’s record is a pedestrian 6-4 overall. 

Let’s review:

1997Aaron Harris goes down the week before in an emotional 31-27 win over #7 Ohio State.  A loss by the #1 ranked Gators(?) also means Penn State enters the game as the #1 team in the land against unranked Minnesota.  PSU needs a horribly questionable pass-interference penalty to edge Minnesota 16-15. The Big Ten was placed in an awkward situation as this was the first time a bad ref call was in favor of the Nittany Lions, so conference penalized the Lions by openly admitting that the official had made the wrong call, and by having every call for the next five years go against Penn State---transforming JoePa into a sprinting fumarole of referee anger and expletives by 2002.

1999 – The other shoe drops.  Minnesota got us back with their share of luck.  On 4th and 16, the Minnesota offensive line collapses as the LaVar and the d-line forces an ugly desperation pass by the QB.  Derek Fox bats the ball down and begins to run off the field, thinking the game is over, only to turn around and see that a Minnesota player who tripped on his own feet ends up right between the ball and the ground.  The player makes the 27-yard catch, setting up Minnesota for an improbable 24-23 victory.

This begins a run of four straight losses to the Gophers by the Lions.

2005 – MRob.  44-14 Penn State.   Good times.

2006 – The last time PSU played Minnesota was three years ago in the Metrodome. The "Gold Out" of 30,000 fans wearing 8,000 gold shirts contrasted well with all of the empty blue seats.  Minnesota was the worst team I had seen that year, next to Northwestern.  Still, the Lions needed another very, very weak pass interference call against Minnesota to prevent a go-ahead score by the Golden Gophers.  If it was a Michigan's defender on that play, he could have stabbed our receiver and they wouldn't have called a penalty because he wasn't stabbed in the hands/arms, but it clarified PSU’s position in the referee call ladder:

Michigan -> Ohio State -> Iowa -> Penn State -> Minnesota ---> Indiana

HateCentral hates losing, but it hates winning a game it should have lost almost as much.

To finish the recap, PSU also needed a yipped extra point late in the 4th quarter to eke out a 28-27 win. 

So, in closing, we have an excitable coach with a fondness for gold clothing, the GVB, and homecoming against a lackluster program which has consistently snuck up on Penn State and ruined their season. Another loss to an unranked Minnesota squad is unacceptable. Go State! Beat Minnesota! HATE! HATE! HATE!

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