The Rivalry Is Over

The North Dakota State Bison continued their run in the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs by defeating the Montana State Bobcats in Bozeman this afternoon.  Many of us are excited by the Bison’s success in this year’s football postseason; something that’s been missing in recent years.  Not all people in Grand Forks, however, are anxious to wish the Bison the best.

Although the Bison and Sioux have not met on the football field for almost a decade, some Grand Forks people still have a tough time viewing the Bison with anything but hatred.  Virg Foss, a longtime “Grand Forks Herald” sports writer, who has “Hall of Fame Journalist” included on his byline, is a perfect example.  His story in today’s “Grand Forks Herald” is filled with the kind of rhetoric and Fargo bashing that makes me embarrassed to call Grand Forks home!  While people in Fargo, and all across our great state, are proud of Fighting Sioux hockey, especially when they make it to the post-season, the people of Grand Forks still can’t seem to find anything good to say about the Bison, no matter how successful they are.

North Dakota State is my Alma Mater, and I have been a fan of Bison football and basketball since I first stepped foot on campus in the fall of 1981.  Upon graduation, however, I found employment with the University of North Dakota, and we have called Grand Forks home ever since.  This community views its hockey players as gods, and it didn’t take long for me to begin kneeling at the altar of Fighting Sioux Hockey along with everyone else.  UND represents our state well and I’ve always been proud of how tiny North Dakota stands up against larger states like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Colorado in Hockey.

The rivalry is over!  It’s been over since the Fighting Sioux took the Nickel Trophy to Grand Forks and refused to allow the Bison a chance to win it back.  The Bison are now arch rivals with South Dakota State in football:  They even have a traveling trophy.  The Sioux, or whatever they will be called next year, will develop new rivalries with teams from the Big Sky Conference, which they will join in a few years.  The rivalry is over!  The sooner the fans of the two universities realize their sporting teams are co-ambassadors of our great state, the better off they all will be.

7 Responses

  1. Amen! I responded directly to Mr. Foss’s article and expressed much the same sentiment. As an NDSU student in the early 80’s I remember staying up late on Friday and Saturday night to watch replays of Sioux hockey games from earlier that evening. I’ve always been a supporter of UND hockey and have been proud of their accomplishments and to have them represent the state of North Dakota on a national stage. Small minded people on both sides will always grab the opportunity to express negative, idiotic ideas in public forums on-line. However one would think we could expect a higher standard from someone in Mr. Foss’s position. To end an article telling the people of Fargo to “shut up” is just about as tacky as it comes.

  2. ? Virg

    I dont see why anyone would be surprised, as that type of bovine excrement has been the norm coming out of GF for some time.
    Try and stay classy Virg dispite yourself.

  3. concerned citizen

    True, no real bison fan care. Real ndsu fans are into our new rivals, many of them, and into these fball playoffs.


    Most of us true ndsu fans will be in spokane for a real game Saturday.

  4. Brad

    To even think that your so called “new rivals” even compare to the rivalry between NDSU and UND is crazy. Do people talk in Fargo about the heated rivalry with SDSU? Are you having arguments with your uncle Bob about which school is better? Are you bragging at the Thankgiving table with all your relatives who are Jackrabbit fans that you won the “Dakota Marker” that year? The answer is NO. A forced rivalry can not take the place of a real rivalry. Heck, we haven’t played in football for 7 years now and UND fans still hate the Bison!! And I would hope that Bisoun Fans hate the Siou as well.

    1. I didn’t say the new rivalry is as good as the old because it’s not! What NDSU-UND had was one of the best rivalries ever: Two schools with similar enrollment from the same state in the same conference, who both fielded good teams most years. It was fantastic while it lasted. Most years when the Bison and Sioux played football, one or both were in position to win the NCC, and that made it even more exciting!

      The two teams don’t play each other any more, so all I see remaining is all the hate with none of the competition. That’s a bad combination! Even if the state makes them play each other, the rivalry will never return to what it was with the two now playing in different conferences. It’s sad, but I feel it’s time to move on and develop new rivalries even if they will never be as good as the old.

  5. John

    It seems like alot of the hate that you NDSU fans are talking about is comming out in you with your words to Mr. Foss. Little brother will always have a complex over big brother, but big brother needs to deal with it better than some of you have.

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