Guest Entry: "The More Things Change"

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Occasionally here on the official Golden Gopher Football Blog, we'll be featuring guest contributors, including Mike Ricci, editor and webmaster of the football program's official site --

I've always enjoyed the phrase, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." This is a phrase that could just as easily be associated with the game of football.
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Sure, the game has evolved so much in the last 120 years or so. From the outside looking in, the game might not look the same on the surface. The T-Formation has given way to the Wildcat. The Green Bay Packers have gone from the Packer Sweep to an aerial assault that would make Dan Marino blush. Yes, the game has change drastically--on the surface. But the core of this wonderful sport remains the same. Regardless of offense and defense schemes, football is about brotherhood and camaraderie. This is something hasn't changed and will never change.

I recently came across a video on the University of Minnesota Library database. It's 16 or 17 minutes of behind the scenes footage from the 1960 National Championship team as they travel to Wisconsin. What struck me upon watching this video is how similar traveling back then is to traveling today. Granted the advancements in technology and travel since 1960 have made everything more sleek, modern, and comfortable. "The more the world has changed, the more it has stayed the same".

A little over a month ago, I followed Donnell Kirkwood on the team's trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan. One of the scenes in the video was Donnell goofing off with his traveling roommate, David Cobb in their hotel room. It's moments like these--on the road, just hanging out with teammates, brothers in arms--that will stay with the players long after their playing careers are done. Last season, before the USC game, the 1960 team held a celebration at TCF Bank Stadium and just about everyone from that team was together again. The former players took turns telling stories about beating Iowa at Memorial Stadium that season, the superhuman strength of Tom Brown, and reminiscing about their off the field moments. That's what really sticks out with me when I watch this video: the happy memories of youth and football still stuck with these men 50 years later. And when I watch players like Kirkwood and Cobb interacting today, I realize that in 50 years, these men will have their own set of memories they will have been able to carry with them their whole lives.

The game of football has changed over the years, and it will continue to change forever and ever. The lifestyle of the game, however, will stay pretty much the same. You travel on planes with your teammates, you eat with them, you live with them, you look out for them on the field of battle.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same"

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