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The New NU-UI Rivalry Trophy - My Thoughts/Your Thoughts?


While we’re waiting to see which warm destination the Wildcats will go on or about New Year’s Day, let’s talk about rivalry trophies.
As you know, the rivalry trophy for the annual Northwestern versus Illinois football game - The Sweet Sioux Tomahawk - is being retired. The game needs a new rivalry trophy. There are a number of considerations for the trophy: it needs to be politically correct, portable, and preferably tacky.
Tacky? For the Big Ten, tacky is a requirement. Look at the other Big Ten rivalry trophies - none of them rate as junk I'd buy even at a garage sale. If I brought home the "Old Brass Spittoon" or "Illibuck" I'd get shot. So forget something tasteful - tacky it is.
Now, do we go for something 19th Century (the series started in 1892 with a 16-16 tie [1]), or 20th Century (the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk started in 1945 [2]), or 21st Century as a new beginning? And if you go for 21st Century symbolism, what do you pick today that people 50 years from now will shake their heads and wonder what you were snorting?
Another factor is the whole State of Illinois thing. You could pick the Illinois state amphibian (Eastern Tiger Salamander), the state bird (Cardinal), Fish (Bluegill), Animal (White-tailed Deer), or Reptile (Painted Turtle - but a turtle's been done elsewhere in the Big Ten) [3]. One can imagine the Bluegill or White-tailed Deer made into some sort of taxidermy tchotchkie with engravable brass plating. The Cardinal might actually be tasteful, which eliminates it. (That and the potential threat of Stanford taking legal action for copyright infringement.) A salamander might make a cool tacky trophy.
So factoring both the 21st Century and State of Illinois angles, that seems to leave you with a chrome plated salamander that is also a MP3 player. Or a certain green gecko. Or something like that.
I can get you a good deal on a stuffed Australian Cane Toad on a wooden plaque.
Ideas can be forwarded to me via fantalk@sportsmixed.com address them Re: New NU-UI Trophy, Attn: NUMBSpiritLeader. Best entries get space in my column. (That is, if there are any entries.)
Next: More about possible trophies or bowl games.
Go ‘Cats!
BJ Mitchell (Former NUMB Spirit Leader)
Like any good NU grad, here are my references:
[1] http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/bigten/northwestern/opponents_records.php?teamid=1502
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_Sioux_Tomahawk
[3] All from http://www.illinois.gov/facts/symbols.cfm

5 comments:

  1. Golden "Stove Pipe Hat" in honor of Abe Lincoln

    ReplyDelete
  2. Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
    Caveats: NONE

    How about the ass end of a White tailed deer and it goes to the "Losing"
    team. It could have "KISS THIS" or KISS THIS GOODBYE" over the top. It
    could also have some sort of reference directing it towards to the NCAA
    to "KISS THIS"

    WATERBORNE!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think it should be a figurine of an screaming political correctness warrior, regailed with hippie attire, protest sign, and a rank odor.

    What should we name the little guy though?

    ReplyDelete
  4. What about this idea?

    http://hailtopurple.com/grahamgrange.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Since Illinois & Northwestern are charter members of the Big Ten and since the Big Ten began at a meeting in the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago (see History of the Big Ten at the official Big Ten site), how about "The Keys to the Palmer House"?

    ReplyDelete