P.J Fleck rows his boat to Minnesota

Grace Foster, Staff Writer

P.J. Fleck rowed his way into Kalamazoo to transform Western Michigan University’s football program. Now, three years later, he’s made the decision to dig a tunnel to Minnesota in hopes of changing the way their football program operates.  

Throughout his current transformation from a Bronco to a Gopher, controversy has arisen from his personal mantra: “Row the Boat.”  Despite the fact that he created the mindset and meaning behind the popular slogan, WMU owns the trademark rights, which has surprised many of the university’s followers.  

The debate between whether or not Fleck should carry his maxim with him to the North Star State could go on for hours, discussing the meaning of the coined term and how the energy surrounding the concept changed WMU’s atmosphere completely.  

I stand behind the idea that Fleck needs to leave his slogan behind at WMU, allowing the school and students to continue thriving from the mindset and energy surrounding it.  By instilling the ideas into the team’s followers and his own players’ lives, the phrase has become a staple in WMU’s campus and everyday life.

Many people throughout Kalamazoo have used the obvious success of the football team as inspiration in their own lives, not to mention countless companies posting it across various products and apparel.  By moving the slogan to Minnesota, the branding would be skewed and the motto wouldn’t yield the same impact.

That being said, I totally support Fleck continuing to prove the slogan as his own and personally live life through the description it holds, rather than apply it to his upcoming coaching career with the Gophers.