Days are getting shorter and temperatures are getting cooler, so that means good news: football season is here! Residents of Springs at Apple Valley and Springs at Egan Drive have two popular teams to root for. Here's an overview of each to whet your appetite for Game Day.
The Vikes, as they're affectionately known to their fans, played their first season in 1961. "Vikings" was chosen as the team nickname because it represents toughness while also paying tribute to the state's Nordic tradition.
- Home field is U.S. Bank Stadium, a sparkling new 66,200-seat facility in downtown Minneapolis that opened just over a year ago. The stadium is scheduled to host Super Bowl LII in February 2018 and the NCAA Men's Final Four in 2019.
- The Vikings are in the NFC North division, often referred to as the "Black and Blue Division" because of its reputation for hard-nosed play. Other teams in the division are rivals Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.
- Leading the team for the second season is QB Sam Bradford, winner of the 2008 Heisman Trophy as a member of the Oklahoma Sooners. Defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson and defensive end Tashawn Bower have been named rookies to watch during the 2017 season.
Follow the Daily Norseman website for the latest scoop on all Vikings news during the 2017 season.
University of Minnesota Golden Gophers
"Golden Gophers" may sound like cuddly cartoon animals, but it's actually the nickname borne by all University of Minnesota athletic teams. They were originally called the Gophers, and became "Golden" after radio announcer Halsey Hall made reference to the uniform colors.
- The Golden Gophers make their home on the U of M Minneapolis campus in TCF Bank Stadium, which opened in 2009 as the first new Big Ten stadium in 50 years. It houses the largest home locker room of any football facility — college or professional — as well as one of the biggest video boards in the country.
- Minnesota is coming off a winning 2016 season in which they had a record of 9-4 and were the winners of the National Funding Holiday Bowl.
- 2017 is the inaugural season for head coach P.J. Fleck, who comes to the Twin Cities after a successful four-year tenure leading the Western Michigan University Broncos. In 2016 the Broncos finished with a perfect 13-0 record and an invitation to the Cotton Bowl.
- The Golden Gophers compete in the West division of the Big Ten alongside Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin.
- U of M participates in two of the most storied college football rivalries. The Golden Gophers and Michigan Wolverines compete for the Little Brown Jug, while they battle the Wisconsin Badgers for Paul Bunyan's Axe.
Keep up with the Minnesota Golden Gophers and all college football news on ESPN's team page.
What are your favorite football-watching foods? Let us know in the comments!