This weekend marks yet another great chapter in Bison history. Not only does Coach Bohl have an opportunity to become the winningest coach in Bison history, he gets the chance to do it on a weekend with ESPN GameDay in town for the first and possibly only time. This has certainly spiced up what could otherwise have been one of the less exciting matchups scheduled this season.
Unless you happen to live under a rock or in Grand Forks, you’ve probably heard that some of the Bison Nation are less than thrilled with the venue chosen for GameDay. Although portrayed as an expression of supreme ingratitude, this is actually understandable considering two main factors. The first is a lack of familiarity with the details of the show. GameDay often chooses offsite locations in an attempt to capture more of the flavor of the host community and to gain more control of what is intended to be a G rated show. The second is a lingering mistrust of Fargo and NDSU authorities’ ability to manage the event.
This second cause is well-earned, if outdated. Back in the day, but well within the memories of many fans, Fargo and NDSU were almost openly hostile to their own fan base and discouraged overt enthusiasm and celebration of Bison home games. The degree of support from the BisonNation was also severely underestimated. If the old guard were still in place, it is very likely that they would have managed to botch downtown GameDay, leaving fans stranded in a congested downtown with no feasible way to get to the game. However, AD Taylor, Coach Bohl, and President Bresciani have made great strides toward improving the gameday experience for Bison fans. With the 18 shuttle buses planned, I believe it will not be an either/or choice for Bison fans between GameDay festivities and catching the game. So let’s go out there, make this a GameDay the ESPN crew will never forget, and cheer the Bison on to a 3-0 start.
P.S. NDSU fans have been discouraged from making fun of our neighbor to the north during GameDay. I see the appeal of heckling UND, but I reluctantly agree. Most people watching won’t get the “Sioux Suck” references, and frankly, UND’s program is at the point where even negative attention is good attention. As an exiled North Dakotan, I feel a sense of embarrassment when thinking about UND, and believe they should be regarded as a shameful family member never to be discussed with outsiders.