Jerry Kill, Gophers provide excuse to play hooky

MINNEAPOLIS — Jerry Kill wants you to be at TCF Bank Stadium on Thursday night — and he’ll even help you skip work to do so.

The Gophers posted a series of pre-written notes, signed by coach Kill, to their Facebook page Tuesday. Each of the five notes has a blank for writing a Minnesota fan’s name, followed by an explanation from Kill as to how that fan should be allowed to skip work, chores, dinner or a social outing to attend the Gophers’ season opener against UNLV.

One such note reads:

Dear _____’s wife,

Please accept this official note excusing ______ from dinner to attend the Gopher Football opener vs. UNLV on Thursday, Aug. 29 at TCF Bank Stadium. He promises to finish the Honey-Do list by Saturday afternoon, he tells me. Ski-U-Mah!

Jerry Kill

Another note to a boss promises that the Gophers fan will “get you those reports first thing Tuesday morning, promise,” while a letter to parents vows that their child will bring them breakfast in bed on Saturday if they allow their kid to go to the season opener.

Thursday’s kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at the on-campus stadium, but the University of Minnesota also has to compete with the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings — who both play Thursday — as well as the Minnesota State Fair. On top of that, temperatures in the Twin Cities will be in the 90s that day as well, and students at the U of M don’t start classes until Tuesday.

Last year’s home opener against New Hampshire drew 47,022 fans, which didn’t quite fill the 50,720-seat stadium. The Gophers’ game one week later against Western Michigan saw just 44,921 maroon and gold faithful in the stands.

Kill, in his third season at the helm in Minnesota, talked Tuesday about wanting to get more butts in the seats for Thursday’s opener.

“We hope to get a ton of support out at TCF Bank Stadium,” Kill said. “We’ve got a bunch of new students on campus right now and old ones trickling in. There’s no question we want as much support as we can get.”

Now those students — and fans of all ages — have Kill’s permission to play hooky in order to be there Thursday night. 

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