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ROSEMONT, Ill. — Before Minnesota played host to Iowa at TCF Bank Stadium last season, the UM athletics department put out a slick Internet program on “How to be a Minnesota Gopher Football Fan.”
It included such items as face painting, how to be social and, on page 9, it showed a chubby guy wearing a “We Hate Iowa” T-shirt.
The copy under the photo read, “Hate is such a strong word. That’s why we used it. So, when we’re playing the Hawkeyes and a group of fans chant, ‘Who hates Iowa?” the proper response is ‘We hate Iowa.’”
So, there it was, the UM athletics department not only recognizing but also encouraging the “We hate Iowa” chant.
That was a one-year deal, Minnesota athletics director Norwood Teague said from the Big Ten spring meetings on Tuesday. Apparently, he said, it was a mistake last year.
“It ended up in our game program, which I didn’t know about,” said Teague, who’s entering his third year at Minnesota. “I told our guys to take it out.”
Don’t look for it to make a comeback, at least one officially sanctioned by the UM athletics department.
“I don’t like the cheer, at all,” Teague said. “I’ve talked to Gary [Iowa athletics director Gary Barta] about that. I don’t like it a bit and, hopefully, we can try to steer away from it.
“I think for some kids it’s funny and it takes on a life of its own. I don’t like it.”
The Gophers athletics department will stay away, but, no, the “We hate Iowa” chant will likely stick around TCF Bank whenever the Hawkeyes show up. It’s the product of a healthy rivalry.
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