MINNEAPOLIS - So, it might rain or snow during the big Gopher football game this Saturday.
Do you hear that?
That's the sound of Minnesotans collectively shrugging.
"You barely notice it," U of M sophomore Lake Martin said while standing with a KARE 11 crew outside TCF Bank Stadium on Friday afternoon. "It's snowing on us right now as we're doing this interview and it's not bothering either one of us."
Still, this week's snowfall — coupled with nasty weather in the forecast for Saturday afternoon — has added a twist to one of the most important football games Minnesota and Wisconsin have ever played against each other. To prepare for the elements, field crews spent most of Friday shoveling snow from the bleachers, spraying down icy seats and plowing the field as spectators watched from behind the gates.
Many of them had attended the Minnesota/DePaul basketball game across the street at the Barn, but they couldn't help but peek into the site of Saturday's football game for the ages.
"We're just checking out how they clear the field," Patrick May said as he held his three-year-old daughter Avery, who just might be the good luck charm for the Gophers. "She's never been to a game they've lost."
But Saturday, should her father choose to buy tickets, will certainly be Avery's coldest.
"I think it'll still be a good atmosphere," Patrick May said. "I don't think it's gonna be that cold."
In terms of the game itself, the Gophers thoroughly reject any notion that snowy or rainy conditions favor the run-heavy Badgers.
"I've heard crazy stories about how the team is preparing, where they're dousing footballs in water, pouring water on them in practices," Martin said. "I think this team's gonna be perfectly fine tomorrow."
If there's one mutual benefit for everyone, it's the fact that ticket prices dropped slightly on the secondary market to the $150 range late Friday afternoon, perhaps due to the weather forecast.
Does nobody miss the climate-controlled Metrodome?
"Of course, the Dome was special then," U of M alum Craig Ross said, recalling his time on campus in the 1980s. "But nothing compared to this."
This is Big Ten football weather, after all.
"It is to our advantage," Ross said. "so let's play it up."