Monday, October 31, 2011

Minneapolis Weekend

 For the second straight year the Iowa Football team travelled to Minneapolis for their rivalry with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Due to divisional play and a revamped schedule, the battle for Floyd of Rosedale, which has been played in late November since 1983 is now being played in October.  It allows for better, more "fall-like" weather. And on this last Saturday before Halloween the skies couldn't be any bluer and the temps couldn't be more seasonal. And while part of the nation was digging out from an unseasonal winter storm, it was perfect football weather at TCF Bank Stadium.
TCF Bank Stadium, the conference newest, is one of few that run east to west. Most in the country are north-south with the press box on the side of the setting sun. But the open end of the Gopher's stadium is open to the downtown Minneapolis skyline, west of the Minnesota campus.
And with all Hawkeye games, Gary Dolphin (right) and Ed Podolak call the game on Learfield's Hawkeye Radio Network.
 A familiar face and voice to those in the Eastern side of the state of Iowa, Mike Grimm now calls the action for the Gopher Radio Network. Grimm spent much time at WMT in Cedar Rapids calling high school sports before getting the chance to be the voice of Iowa Women's Basketball along with Karen Schulte. Following his stint there he moved to St. Louis and did work with the St. Louis Cardinals on KMOX. This is his first year calling Gopher football, adding to his workload as voice of Golden Gopher Men's Basketball.
 A year ago the Hawkeyes were unsuccessful in their first game at TCF Bank Stadium. And the results weren't much different this year.
But the last time the Hawkeyes took to the Metrodome field, the outcome was memorable. It was also the final home game for the Gophers inside. Many Hawkeye fans referred to the inflatable structure as "Kinnick North" as the black and gold clad fans bought up as many tickets as were available. There were two memorable moments in the dome. The first was in 2002 when the Hawkeyes capped a perfect Big Ten season with a victory, and the fans taking down the goal posts. Then the final game inside was 2008 and the Hawkeyes shut out the Gophers 55-0.
Downtown Minneapolis was the overnight stop for the Iowa Football team. And a couple of blocks away was Nicollet Mall and the statue of Mary Tyler Moore depicting her famous hat toss in the open of her show, staged in Minneapolis.

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