Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Anyone Seen Kent Youngblood?

Anyone? Youngblood is supposed to be the Gopher football beatwriter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, yet here we are in Game Week One and we haven't seen anything from the man that's Gopher related. Sure, I did see his stories today about the Big Ten fighting for respect (which we've been reading and writing about here and everywhere for about the last eight months of the off-season), as well as his Big Ten predictions (no qualms about that. Glad to see it in print), but where the heck is some coverage about the Gophers? Last I checked, a beatwriter is paid to write about the team he or she covers- presumably as much as possible. We haven't seen a Gopher-related article or blog post by Youngblood since August 24th- that's over a WEEK! I could understand such a hiatus during the college football dog days of May or June, but in late August?!? During the game week for the opener?!? That's inexcusable.

I'm not asking for an Adam Rittenburg-level of blogging where he's posting about the Gophers 10 times a day, but now that we're into real games, it'd be nice to get at least a daily update of insights, matchups, roster changes, coaches thoughts, etc. You know, things BEAT WRITERS WRITE ABOUT!?!?! That's what his blog Gridiron Gold is supposed to be for after all, and yet he hasn't posted anything since August 25th. I know Gopher football is a distant fifth on the Twin Cities fall sports scene (behind The Favres, Twins, Wild, and Gopher hockey), but I don't think I'm being unrealistic to ask that the beat writer for the biggest paper in town to actually write once or twice a day about the local division one Big Ten football team.

Marcus Fuller, the guy with the same job on the other side of town, seems to have no problem doing it. Today he has not one, but TWO articles up for the Pioneer Press about the Gophs. One focuses on defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove while the other is about offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. See? Not that hard.

And speaking of Rittenburg, he also has two interesting nuggets on the Gophers: one is an interview with expected starting tailback Duane Bennett, who really could surprise some folks outside the Twin Cities with an all-conference performance this year- if he can just stay healthy, which has been his only problem thus far. Also, if we never see the all-yellow unis Bennett is wearing in the pic in that article, it'll still be too soon. Yellow jerseys/white pants is kind of cool, but the banana look is definitely not. Rittenburg's other piece is Minnesota's Best Case-Worst Case. He's even more optimistic than I am in believing that in the Gophs' best case they could upset Cal, win nine games and then the Outback Bowl. He is just as pessimistic as I am with his worst-case armagedon-level scenario being about three wins. Let's not even think about or talk about the worst-case scenario ever again.

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