Fleck played 'The Dark Knight' soundtrack throughout Minnesota practices before its Week 1 win over South Dakota State.

By Michael Shapiro
September 03, 2019

Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck is no stranger to interesting motivation strategies and has most notably employed his "row the boat" mantra at Minnesota and previously Western Michigan. And the 38-year-old head coach pulled out another strange motivational tactic in Week 1 of the 2019 season.

Fleck dove into the 2008 film 'The Dark Night' for motivation to kick off 2019, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune's Megan Ryan. Fleck reportedly blasted the movie's soundtrack during practice, and on Friday night, he gave each player a Batman Pez dispenser. 

"Whether people like [Batman] or don’t like him, whether people consider him a hero or a villain, and whatever people’s opinions of him are, he’s him,” Fleck told Ryan. “He always does the right thing. Our whole thing is, it doesn’t matter who we play. We have to play our best, and we have to go do a job.”

The motivational tactics appeared to pay off for Fleck and the Gophers in Week 1. Minnesota defeated South Dakota State 28-21 on Saturday before a west coast trip to face Fresno State on Sept. 7

Fleck is in his third season as Minnesota's head coach after four years at Western Michigan from 2013-16.

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