On Sept. 8, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers begin their 2012 home season at beautiful TCF Bank Stadium. After last year's disappointing season, coach Jerry Kill and the Gophers are determined to go out and have a winning season.
Now it is time for the fans to do their part. Wear your maroon and gold and get ready to show some team spirit!
Here are some of the old and some of the new traditions to cheer our team to a golden victory:
The top 10 Gophers traditions:
1) Ski-U-Mah Chant: "Ski-U-Mah" is the heart and soul of the Gophers. "Ski" means victory in Sioux and "U-Mah" represents the University of Minnesota. This chant is a game-day tradition of the the University of Minnesota marching band, and is part of "Hail Minnesota" and "Minnesota Rouser" -- both official school songs.
2) Goldie Gopher: Goldy Gopher, a consistent UCA Mascot National Championship top-five mascot, is one of the biggest highlights of the entire Gopher experience. He is virtually everywhere! See him at the McNamara Alumni Center, at the tailgating parties or at the Tribal Nations Plaza.
3) The University of Minnesota Marching Band: Don't leave your seats at halftime, because this is when the magic of "Block M" happens. The marching band comes out and creates a huge "M." Moving 180 degrees, the M remains as the band effortlessly walks back to its original location.
4) The University of Minnesota Cheerleaders: In 1898, the University of Minnesota "pep club" transformed into the "yell leaders" and there gave birth to the modern-day cheerleader. Since that time, the University of Minnesota cheerleaders have led fans in cheers to inspire the team on the field and show pride in the stands.
5) Gopher Victory Walk: The Gopher Victory Walk is a human tunnel for the arriving Gopher team to walk through. Formed by former football players, the fans, cheerleaders and marching band, this is a great time to let your team know you support it.
6) Tribal Nations Plaza Concert: Two hours before kickoff, the U of M marching band performs traditional school songs, as well as pregame and halftime music at the Tribal Nations Plaza. This the fun way to get the party started! After these festivities, the maroon and gold supporters are revved up and ready for a Golden Gophers win.
7) McNamara Alumni Center: Three hours before gametime and after the game, McNamara Alumni Center is the place to be. There is music, entertainment and you can watch other college games on the big screen. Food, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, are available for purchase. This is a great place to relax and hang out and meet with other Gopher fans and Gopher legends.
8) Paul Bunyan's Axe: There are few rivalries greater than the Minnesota Gophers and Wisconsin Badgers. In the old days, the winner of the game would get a slab of bacon. Since 1948, it has been Paul Bunyan's Axe. Right now, Wisconsin has the axe and the Gophers want it back! On Oct. 20, expect to see the winning team chop down a goal post with this axe trophy. This is one game fans want in the win column.
9) Floyd of Rosedale: When the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers play the rival Iowa Hawkeyes, there is more at stake than a Big Ten win. Since 1935, Floyd of Roseville is the bronze pig that is awarded to the winner of this match. Often one of the most exciting games of the year, Gophers proudly have Floyd in their possession and on Sept. 29, they will fight to keep him another year.
10) The Little Brown Jug: Since 1903, in one of the oldest rivalries in college sports, the winner of the game between the Minnesota Gophers and the Michigan Wolverines brought home the Little Brown Jug. This one is especially important to Gopher fans, as the jug has been with Michigan three times more often than Minnesota. Even in the worst season, bringing home this jug is as important as going to a bowl game.
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