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Gophers Illustrated

The Incredible Complete History of Minnesota Football

2009
Author:

Alfred C. Papas Jr.

Gophers Illustrated

A unique graphic history of Gopher football—meticulously researched and drawn by Al Papas Jr.

Beginning with their first game in the fall of 1882 against Hamline University, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are one of college football’s oldest and most storied programs, winning six national championships and inspiring countless fans. Wonderfully illustrated, painstakingly researched, and full of stats, game charts, and stories both whimsical and poignant, Gophers Illustrated collects both the well-remembered and long-forgotten moments that have made the Golden Gophers a Minnesota treasure.

Gophers Illustrated is the ultimate book on University of Minnesota football. It takes you through all the history and tradition of our program from the 1800s right up to the stars of today. This book is a must for anyone who loves Gopher football.

Tony Dungy

Beginning with their first game in the fall of 1882 against Hamline University, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are one of college football’s oldest and most storied programs, winning six national championships and inspiring countless fans across generations of Minnesotans and university students. What Gophers Illustrated makes abundantly clear is just how fascinating this past century of Gophers football has been.

Illustrated by a wealth of original detailed sketches, Al Papas Jr. collects both the well-remembered and long-forgotten moments that have made the Golden Gophers a Minnesota treasure. From the 1903 game against Michigan when the Little Brown Jug was first left behind (and where students were arrested and fined two dollars for practicing their “ski-u-mah” chant at a “nightly hour”) and the golden era of the 1930s and early 1940s under legendary coach Bernie Bierman to the 1962 Rose Bowl and the more recent rushing exploits of Lawrence Maroney and Marion Barber III, Gophers Illustrated highlights the players and games throughout the decades that brought the crowds to their feet.

With Gopher football returning to the University of Minnesota campus for the first time since the days of fabled Memorial Stadium, this book does not just celebrate the seasons past but helps usher in a new era of Gopher players, games, and fans. Wonderfully illustrated, painstakingly researched, and full of stats, game charts, and stories both whimsical and poignant, this new and completely updated edition of Gophers Illustrated is a must-have for any fan of the maroon and gold.

Gophers Illustrated

Al Papas Jr. grew up attending Minnesota Gopher football games with his father, who played for coach Bernie Bierman. A one-time sports cartoonist and newsroom artist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, he has also created artwork for teams in the ABA, the NBA, the NHL, and for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Gophers Illustrated

Gophers Illustrated is the ultimate book on University of Minnesota football. It takes you through all the history and tradition of our program from the 1800s right up to the stars of today. This book is a must for anyone who loves Gopher football.

Tony Dungy

It was the University of Minnesota that gave me an opportunity to get an education and compete at the highest level. To be remembered, and to reminisce over the memories is a treasure I will never outgrow. This book is a tribute to all who suited up in the maroon and gold.

Darrell Thompson

So you think you know your Gopher football history? Al Papas Jr. will make you think again. With a clever blend of illustration and research, Papas reviews the history of the Little Brown Jug, the ‘Talking Play,’ the final successful drop kick, and the story of how the contest runner up for the U of M Rouser was slightly rewritten to become ‘On Wisconsin.’ Did you know that Carleton punted 50 times against the 1918 Gophers? Papas knows all that and so much more.

Dave Mona

Once in a while something comes along that is absolutely perfect for Gopher fans, and this would qualify; hands down! What made this book incredible was the unexpected. What separates this book from the rest is the details, the uniqueness and the one-of-a-kind sketches that dominate the book. Each page had a unique drawing of the player done by Papas and then had a well written and always interesting bio of the player. The book is outstanding and anyone who considers themselves a Gophers fan should have one in their possession.

The Daily Gopher

Incredible. Simply incredible. For Gopher fans, I really can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s like holding the ‘M’ Football Hall of Fame in your hands. It’s like someone dumped the entire contents of the football archives into your lap. Combine it with the U Libraries Memorial Stadium site, and you need virtually nothing else Gopher football-related in your personal library. Al Papas Jr. has not only written, but drawn by hand, the best Gopher book I’ve ever seen.

Jon Marthaler, TNABACG

A fascinating journey through what was once an almost mythical time in our local sporting culture.

The Minneapolis Observer Quarterly

The kind of book you will get hours of entertainment out of. . . . If you are a Gopher football fanatic, you absolutely must own this book.

Down With Goldy

There is a load of information here and those who have a memory of an era in Gopher football will find this a charming and nostalgic adventure. Things long forgotten will be brought back and things you never knew will amaze and amuse veterans of the frozen tundra.

Sports Literature Association

Papas’s artwork is stunning.

Lavender

This book is not only a storehouse of information, it’s also a testament to Papas’s passion for the maroon and gold.

Minnesota Magazine

A treasure for all Gopher fans.

Minnesota Magazine

From the origins of the Little Brown Jug through the six national championship teams and the Rose Bowl teams of the 1960s, Papas takes fans through the times when there truly was a Gopher nation.

Chanhassen Villager

This book will keep any Golden Gopher fan busy with factoids and visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads until the current championship drought is over.

Twin Cities Daily Planet

Gophers Illustrated

UMP blog - The Sunday 'Peach': Putting together Gopher football pages at the Minneapolis Tribune

10/7/2009
You could count on extensive coverage of Gopher football in what was called the "peach" section of the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune. It was literally peach in color and stood out on Sunday morning to whomever grabbed the paper first. I worked on the section in the 1960s.
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