The life and lies of Goldy Gopher - famed mascot is not who the University claims to be

By: Olivia Hultgren, Chris Shea, and Tala Alfoqaha


For decades, Goldy Gopher has been a symbol of school spirit and wholesome fun for students attending the University of Minnesota.


That all changed in the early hours of December 1, when Mr. Gopher was spotted being handcuffed and thrust into the back of a UMPD squad car.



The scene has sparked mass confusion, hurt, and even anger, and has left thousands of University of Minnesota students wondering, “Who really is Goldy Gopher? How did he end up this way?”


Here at The Wake, we took it upon ourselves to find the truth.


The beginning of the end

Our investigation begins on a cold Saturday night, when an unnamed witness spotted a striped figure stumbling down University Avenue, clutching what appeared to be a blanket and pillow. It wasn’t until the figure began spinning its head that the witness was able to identify the straggler as none other than Goldy Gopher.


“It was frightening,” said the onlooker. “I was not aware this school had a mascot.”


After retracing Goldy’s steps that night, we discovered that the popular U of M mascot had been prowling the campus streets due to being evicted from his home beneath Comstock Hall.


The eviction criteria? Noise complaints.


“The silence was just too deafening,” one of the Comstock front desk workers wistfully explained. “We couldn’t take it anymore.”


His eviction occured two weeks prior to the December 1 incident. Since then, a Gopher football coach who wished to remain anonymous admitted that Goldy had been sleeping on his couch.


“It was definitely NOT ELITE,” he said. “Work and home life started blurring together. I found holes burrowed in my floor boards, fur in my wife’s tilapia. NOT ELITE.”


The anonymous football coach explained how Goldy could be seen scootering away from his house in the darkest hours of the night, only to return unannounced days later on an entirely different scooter, sometimes even wearing an entirely different jersey.


“The final straw was seeing him in a Badger jersey,” the coach recalled as he appeared to blink back tears. “I can deal with loss, but betrayal is where I draw the line.”


Goldy was asked to leave shortly after the incident.


Life of the party

With no place to call home and no one to call a friend, Goldy dropped off the public radar. Weeks passed, and Goldy missed one spirit squad practice after another. Soon, reports began surfacing of our spiraling furry mascot trying to get into various frat parties, though his attempts appeared to be unsuccessful.


Two unnamed members of the thriving Alpha Epsilon Sigma Fraternity recalled Goldy trying to force his way through the door of their frat house on University Avenue.


“He just wouldn’t say who he knew,” one of them explained with a shrug. 


“Yeah, man,” the other one agreed. “He was just, like, completely silent or something.”


Other witnesses who were at the same party claimed to watch Goldy angrily shadow box with the two large cat statues that sit on the fraternity’s front lawn.


“I don’t think he knew that they’re just statues,” one witness who wished for her name to not be published said. “He couldn’t even tip them over. I guess all those push-ups he does at football games aren’t doing much for him.”


And Goldy sightings occurred at more than just seedy house parties. In mere days following the lion incident, an individual who requested to remain anonymous but self-identifies as a very credible source said the mascot appeared at Sally’s Saloon.


“I’m not sure how he even drinks through that mascot head,” the witness said. “But he was definitely wasted.”


Later that night, this compelling witness explained that Goldy got into a fight with the bartenders because they would not let him use flexdine to buy a drink. According to our witness, Goldy proceeded to ransack the bar, diving past the bartenders to reach Sally’s supply of Vodka and Red Bull. Clutching several beers, Goldy shoved his way through a crowd of university students.


One student who refused to be publicly identified but definitely exists claimed that Goldy spilled beer on his very nice coral shirt. The student, who is not involved in Greek life, was furious.


“I was just jamming out to Jordan Belfort, and then I was like, dude! You just ruined my Vineyard Vines shirt!”


“My dad paid good money for that!”



Gerard P. Göfur 

And yet Goldy’s downwards spiral may not have been so newsworthy or unique from Britney Spears’ or our own semi-annual crises during midterms if not for one damning bit of evidence that our team stumbled upon during the investigation: when searching through the police files on Goldy’s arrest, we found that the incident was registered under the name “Gerard P. Göfur.”


After contacting every animal clinic within a 500-mile radius and subpoenaing the mascot’s tax returns, we were able to confirm that Goldy Gopher is not, in fact, our beloved mascot’s true name. He was born Gerard P. Göfur in a small town outside of Madison, Wisconsin to a family of 13-lined ground squirrels. And his past is much more complex than we could’ve imagined.


A litany of offenses


Aside from the mascot’s former life in Wisconsin, Göfur is also a career criminal. Upon the discovery of his original name, our investigation led us to a litany of criminal offenses committed by the beloved mascot going back decades.


According to a complaint filed as recently as March 2017, “Goldy” was alleged to have traumatized children at a Gopher football game after spinning his head while a crowd chanted at him to do so.


“There’s no way a head should move like that,” said the child while fighting through tears.


When reached for comment, Göfur responded with silence.


Our investigation also uncovered that the university mascot is a serial jay walker. In total, he has been charged with with this misdemeanor over 40 times. And often, he pays the fines for this crime by using University funds.


Roads do not matter to this rodent, and neither does your tuition.


As for what happened on that December night? Well … it would appear that Göfur’s past finally caught up with him.


You see, over the years this staple of U of M football games had on several occasions injured a number of students at parties. Most of this was unintentional, but did follow a trend. People would see Goldy at a party and try to get a high five, but he would misread the situation and throw them through a window.


“He’s lucky I’m still on my parent’s health care plan,” said she-who-must-not-be-named.


It was only recently that Minneapolis Police was able to confirm that Goldy was the one responsible for injuring all of those people at various parties, thanks in part to new innovations in DNA technology.


Goldy is set to appear before a judge later this month.


●      Birth certificate found!

○      Actually a 13-lined ground squirrel

●      Goldy is the Zodiac Killer

○      Picture side by side

○      UMPD officer: “Well he didn’t say no.”

○      Ted Cruz: “Ha! I’m off the hook!”


●      Kicked out of parties, can’t get into frat

○      Frat dude: “He wouldn’t say who he knew.”

○      Refuses to spin his head at a party

○      Goldy kicked out for misinterpreting a high five as an aerial and throwing a girl out a window

- Student: “I was just going for a high five, then he just threw me through a window,” said she-who-must-not-be-named.

●      Goldy ransacks Mystic Lake after they tell him he can’t use his FlexDine

○      Mystic Lake

○      Stealing from the buffet

○      Steals chips, little does he know they are worth nothing outside the casino

●      Gets into a fight at Sal’s

○      Frat dude: “I was just jamming out to Jordan Belfort, and then I was like, dude! You spilled jungle juice on my Vineyard Vines shirt! My dad paid good money for that!”


Fake sources:

-       Unnamed sources

-       A person who definitely exists but wishes not to be named in this article

-       Descriptions get longer every time

-       Student quotes:

-       frat dude, spilled booze on my Vineyard Vines shirt

-       PJ Fleck: A gopher football coach who wishes to remain anonymous: Goldy sleeping on my couch

-       When we approached Goldy for comment, he said nothing.





Breaks the law


○      Stays intact the whole time

○      Interview “experts”

●      Serial jaywalker

●      Not even licensed to scooter

●      Tax evasion (WE HAVE THE FORMS)

○      Find public docs

●      Gives high fives without permission


Not even a gopher

●      Birth certificate found!

○      Birth name

○      Examples:

■      Terry Bloskowitz

●      Literally not even a gopher, is a 13 lined ground squirrel



●      Birth certificate found!

●      Goldy is really a distant relative of Bucky Badger                             (real name is Bucky jr.)

●      Badger love child.

●      If you are Goldy for long enough, he will be forever tattooed on you.

●      Literally not even a gopher, is a 13 lined ground squirrel

Wake Mag