Gophers are the “New York Yankees” of college hockey? I still need more convincing…

7 Nov

Fresh off a weekend sweep of their main and highly-touted conference rival University of North Dakota, the 2011-2012 University of Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey team returned to the highest point of any of the collegiate teams, a number one ranking across the country.  A local newspaper blog exclaimed that they are often referred to as the “NY Yankees of college hockey” when they resumed their perch as no. #1 in the land.  I, for one, have never witnessed a conversation where this was exclaimed, in fact, this was the first time I read it in print.  But, instead of being offended and swaying to the defensive, I look at it as a compliment…if the author was being sincere.  The New York Yankees represent excellence in their particular sport of baseball, albeit they’ve gone about their business in sort of a brute-force manner within the rules- buying/overpaying/outbidding for the best available baseball players.  In that sense you’d expect them to succeed, the laws of averages would simply be in their favor.  No doubt excellence would be achieved, although they had a gap of 9 years in-between championships.  The Golden Gopher hockey team, on the other hand, is at the collegiate level, is recruiting players on the same level as any of the other schools with a NCAA Division I program, and in theory has no advantage over anyone else (notice I said in theory).  I would argue, their excellence had been achieved across an even playing field that anyone else could have also achieved as the University of Minnesota players could have simply gone to school somewhere else.  To me, winning championships at this collegiate level is a greater accomplishment.  However, since they haven’t been in the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament the last several years, they probably don’t deserve to be compared to the Yankees based on consistency-sake alone, but I guess I shouldn’t complain.  Even the best teams must persevere through championship droughts.  Look at the facts, by the spring of 2012, the University of Minnesota will be on it’s own nine year drought.  :tongueincheek:  Just sayin…

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