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Will you be there?

With 5,400 tickets snatched up by students, and thousands more purchased from the University of Minnesota, Bison fans could very well make Minneapolis' Metrodome look like the home of the Herd on Saturday.


With 5,400 tickets snatched up by students, and thousands more purchased from the University of Minnesota, Bison fans could very well make Minneapolis' Metrodome look like the home of the Herd on Saturday.

North Dakota State University takes on the Golden Gophers in what Bison fans hope will be a reversal of last year's oh-so-close loss.

Given the fervor driven by NDSU's undefeated season and No. 1 rating in the Football Championship Subdivision, there could very well be more green and yellow than maroon and gold in the dome, with fans planning to car-caravan or hop on fan buses.

Here's a sampling of Red River Valley smack, as the followers of Thundar call for some flattened Gophers.

Mark Winkelman, 47, Fargo


Former Bison center and long snapper who grew up in Bismarck. Four-year letterman from 1978 to 1981.

"It was a great game last year, and I'm expecting one this year. Hopefully a better outcome, though," Winkelman said.

"Score: I don't like guessing scores. But, uh, my concern is the U of M offense started clicking last week against Northwestern," he said. "I'm guessing it's going to be in the area of 24-21 or something around there. I think it's going to be a closer game than people are expecting."

There will be no face or body paint for this Bison fan. He plans to stick to clothing in school colors.

But he does plan to yell a lot.

"One advantage of playing at the Metrodome versus playing at the Fargodome, fortunately, they sell lots of lubricants. I'll try to keep my voice well-lubricated at the game!" Winkelman said.

He'll be part of a family group of eight at the game. "Last year was probably the best football game I've ever been to. Up in the Bison section, you had all die-hard fans," Winkelman said.

"If you're not a true football fan, stay home. Everybody was on their feet. Everybody was yelling. And it was just a great experience."


His message to the Gophers:

"Be prepared to hit and get hit, because I think we're playing better this year than last year."

Isaac Erickson, 21, Fargo

A senior at Concordia College.

He picked up 13 tickets in the mail from the Gophers' ticket Web site.

"It's upper deck in the corner, but, we're in there," Erickson said. "For eight of us, we're getting up at 5 a.m. and getting on the road. It's all part of the experience.

"We fully expect to win, and that's new, too," he added, predicting the Bison by three, provided it's not a high-scoring shootout.

"I'd say, 'Look out, we're coming, the whole Fargo-Moorhead community,' " Erickson said. "It will be green and yellow, more than maroon and gold by the end of the day."


And just to make sure nothing goes wrong ...

"I have a good-luck shirt I always wear, the 2004 homecoming. It's my good-luck shirt," he said.

And why would a Cobber accounting major pull for the Bison?

"I have a lot of friends over there. I think the Bison do a good job of pulling the whole community together with the football team."

Amanda Satermo, 19, Fargo

Sophomore at North Dakota State University.

"I already bought my T-shirt," she said at NDSU's Memorial Union. "My entire family is going. We bought 32 tickets!

"We're going to win. They got lucky last year," Satermo said.


"You always know the Bison are going to win no matter what. And, in the off-chance the Bison lose, it's not accepted."

She plans on driving down Friday for the big family gathering.

"We're No. 1. We're going to win!" she said.

Jared Peterson, 20

A junior at North Dakota State University.

He'll be high-stepping for the Thundering Herd in the marching band for the game.

"I'm a lot more interested in Bison football now than I was before," Peterson said.

"There might be some over-confidence," he warns.


"I'm thinking we've got a pretty good chance, but it's not going to be a rout by any means."

Victoria Iyamba, 22, Minneapolis

She's a senior at North Dakota State University.

"I have to be cheering for the Bison," she said.

"I think the Bison will definitely be triumphant this time around," she said, adding that the referees couldn't be as bad as last year. "We're unstoppable, I think."

"I'm a Gopher girl at heart," she said, adding that she has a brother who graduated from the University of Minnesota.

But she's putting that aside for her alma mater, predicting a 28-17 win for the Herd.

Her message to Gophers die-hards:


"Watch out! The Bison are coming down!"

Jason Villiard,32, Fargo

MeritCare Hospital employee. A Concordia College fan who grew up going to Bison basketball games with his dad.

He's going with four other buddies to the game, getting up at 5 a.m. Saturday for the road trip.

"Last year's game, we were at a wedding. During the wedding, we had an usher who had a pocket radio. He had a piece in his ear and he was giving signs from the back of the church on the score," Villiard said.

Tug of the right ear was Gophers up by three. Tug of the left ear, the Bison were up by three. Touching the nose was tie game."

And on the way from the wedding in Forest Lake, Minn., to the reception in Blaine, they stopped at a sports bar.

"We went to a sports bar before the reception to watch the last quarter. Groomsmen, bridesmaids, the whole wedding party."

He, too, will stick with clothing instead of baring his chest for Bison pride.

"I can tell you right now, even my wife doesn't want to see me without a shirt," Villiard said. "I do have face paint. And I've got a straw cowboy hat I'm decorating."

His advice to the Gophers:

"All I can say is, we're coming, we're coming. I'm figuring Bison by 10. And how about next time they hire a coach, pick one that's better than before."

Pep rally set today for team

A pep rally is set from 11 am. to 1 p.m. today to provide a send-off for the North Dakota State University Bison football team as it heads to the Twin Cities for a game against the University of Minnesota.

The rally, hosted by radio station WDAY, will be at the Scheels All Sports store at 1551 45th St. S. in Fargo.

The event will feature free food and other giveaways. NDSU coach Craig Bohl is scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m., just before he and the team head for Minneapolis.

About the game

11:07 a.m. Saturday at Metrodome

TV: Big Ten Network


Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

Will you be there? Helmut Schmidt 20071019

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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