Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

In comfort zone among Gophers fans

Wick's World


After sitting in the University of South Dakota fan section at a womens basketball game at Williams Arena last week, I realized living 40 years in the Gopher state had made me a true Minnesotan. Although I was born and raised a South Dakotan, I soon left the state after my 17th birthday.

I left South Dakota and spent a year in Panama. That became the best year of my life. The following year was spent in the Big Apple of New York City. That became the best year of my life. For the next 10 years I was back in South Dakota living in the small town of Vermillion. That became the best decade of my life. Life is a constant series of changes — hopefully for the better. I eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in December 1979. Although I was the first graduate of USD’s Anthropology program, I had no visions of wearing the Indiana Jones brand, except for the hat.

This week I had the honor of watching the University of South Dakota defeat my beloved Minnesota Gophers womens basketball team by scoring over 100 points. If you jocks out there are still clinging to the notion that womens sports are boring and somehow inferior, this NIT playoff game would have proven you wrong. Williams Arena drew a decent crowd but few were students. Noticeably absent were the raucous young males that provide a lot of the thunder for the mens basketball program.

At halftime we moved across court to sit with Gopher fans. I approached an usher and explained my handicapped buddy was having a hard time watching the game because the USD fans were continually on their feet cheering, thus blocking our view. I asked if we could sit in some vacant Gopher seats.

With a sideward glance he said, “I’m not checking ticket stubs.” I guess this was his way of saying OK.

Then he told my buddy, “As far as I’m concerned, this is where you belong anyway.”

Sitting amongst Gophers fans, I found my comfort zone. I was no longer a true South Dakotan. The game made me realize South Dakota had come a long way with their sports programs since I left the state 40-some years ago. Earlier in the year, the Minnesota Gophers mens basketball program had lost to both The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State. This Sunday, it was the women’s turn. In spite of the Gophers' loss, it offered more excitement than any mens game I had been to this year.

The women could shoot! The two teams knocked down 24 three-pointers. They were almost flawless from the free throw line as the Gophers shot 90 percent; the Coyotes shot 91 percent. The fast-paced game made me realize just how far womens athletics has advanced since the advent of Title IX. The upshot of this amendment opened the door for womens athletics by ending discrimination in sports, at home, in the workplace and everyday life.

The arrival of Title IX in American sports was a huge incentive. It got with the program by simply allowing women a chance. That’s all they have ever asked for. If males in this country would stop fearing females and understand male privilege defines part of the problem, then everyone would benefit. A patriarchal society has ruled the world for several millennia, ever since the Goddess was replaced and abandoned by most religions. This resulted in world-wide male dominance and women are only now slowing crawling out of the abyss.

“Behind every great man stands a great woman,” Anonymous.

“Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand for the times they are a changing,” Bob Dylan.

The new prime minister of Canada wrapped up a speech at American University with this powerful request. He asked for the male students in the audience to fortify the feminist cause by stating, “Come on, guys. This is 2016. Let’s get with the program,” Justin Trudeau.

“This is my opinion and if I want yours, I’ll give it to you,” Wick Fisher.


Reader Comments

wiggy writes:

Great last line Wick. I agree that women's Bball is a very fun game to watch.


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