Goldy Gopher

Goldy Gopher is the mascot for the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus and the associated sports teams, known as the Golden Gophers.

During the year, Goldy makes over 1000 appearances and is at virtually all home games for University teams, usually wearing the appropriate sporting attire, and was nominated to and made the 2004 Capital One All-American Mascot Team.

Goldy also competes in the UCA Mascot National Championships, and regularly makes the top 10. He placed 3rd in 2005.

In a comparison between Goldy and several kinds of rodent, the [(animal)|gopher] was judged to look least like Goldy -- the results judged that his appearance was closest to a chipmunk or squirrel. Another animal Goldy is claimed to look like is the beaver, due to the buck teeth and tail. These inaccuracies are because when the gopher was declared the mascot of the University, the artist hired to create the mascot did not know what a gopher looked like. As a replacement, he drew some furry animals he saw at a rest stop. The gopher drawn and used as the original mascot was based on a picture of a thirteen-lined ground squirrel.

The University's Marching Band was in charge of Goldy until 1992. Up until that time when it was taken from the band and given to the athletic department, Goldy would be in every pregame and halftime show of the band. Each week a new band member would be Goldy, and the mouth could open wide enough so the person could play his or her instrument while marching the drill that Goldy was doing for that show.

The mascot's appearance morphed over the years, and around the late 70s and early 80s, became more aggressive looking, but was revamped in 1986 when the athletics department was trying to change its image. However, Goldy still retained most of the characteristics of a thirteen-lined ground squirrel.

Goldy Gopher has no gender, and there was talk of an unofficial female gopher, "Goldie" that women's athletics would use, and it looked more feminine in appearance. When the men's and women's athletic departments merged, the unofficial Goldie officially went away. Despite this, Goldy is generally accepted by the University population to be male. This apparent misconception is helped by Sally's Saloon, a popular bar off campus with a female gopher mascot named Sally, purported to be Goldy's girlfriend.


University of Minnesota, University Relations, history of and storyline on Goldy Gopher Is Goldy Really a Gopher?

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