Impromptu potluck question. Illinois buried a bulldozer under its stadium in 1789 or whenever. It’s an amazing story and bulldozers are awesome. Illinois should definitely use this (i.e. “bulldoze your opponents, sponsored by Bobcat” as a marketing stunt / inspirational story / whatever PJ Fleck has done with rowing the boat). QUESTION: Has your school taken a physical object of lore and used it to inspire or make money? If not, what hilarious/famous tool should be ceremonialized and utilized by your school for inspiration?
Thump (Illinois): In 1905, some cocky-ass Purdue students thought they were gonna whip us so badly that they brought a goddamn cannon to fire off on our campus after the victory. WELL WE PROVED THEM absolutely correct, losing 29-0, but then in a moment of defiance a group of Illinois students leaving the game happened upon the Purdue supporters fetching the cannon and seized it from them. Illinois won the next 6. that’s now called the Purdue cannon
WSR (Minnesota): That’s not even tough. When Bernie Bierman went up to northern Minnesota on a recruiting trip, he got lost and asked a young Bronko Nagurski for directions. Nagurski responded by guiding him in the direction he was looking for by lifting a field plow with his left arm and pointing it. We need a bronze antique plow somewhere around or inside TCF Bank Stadium. It can’t be too tough to find an old horse-drawn field plow, can it?
Creighton (Iowa): I mean, the obvious answer is Floyd of Rosedale being a statue of an actual pig that was wagered, but rumor has it that Jabrill Peppers’ Heisman Trophy is buried somewhere under the south end zone after Akrum Wadley tore it from his arms in 2016.
I’m so thankful the Civil ConFLiCT trophy existed. It saves us from having the dumbest trophy of all time.
BRT (Nebraska): I’m not sure we have any cool mundane object stories, not being B1G for most of our existence. But we SHOULD be leaning into the “$5 bits of broken chair” trophy. That the school keeps disavowing it is a great shame. We should also take the vinyl corpse of Lil’ Red and bury it secretly in the territory of one of our enemies. This may be our best hope for dealing with Wisconsin.
Also, Iowa absolutely should be rallying around their Precious Corn Moments trophy. In fact, I’d love to see them build a big statue version of it in front of the stadium. It’s so Iowa, after all, and they need to own that. (Ed note: hang on here...)
There it is.
MNWildcat: I do not understand how TARP has not been leaned into more. I’d like to see Northwestern really embrace that as a scare tactic to drive up ticket sales. Show a tarp lurking over some helpless students in a half-empty section of the stadium, about to gobble them up. They scream, but it’s too late. The tarp has taken another section. Fade to black.
Lights come up, and there are Northwestern students hacking TARP to death with slide rules and straight edges and one has a machete for some reason oh god where did he get that think of the children. A whistle blows, and you cut to a Northwestern football game. Jeremy Larkin spins around a Notre Dame would-be tackler and plunges into the end zone for a touchdown. He points to the sky and is enveloped by celebrating teammates. The camera pans to the student section, where thousands of jubilant Northwestern students wave bits of the mutilated purple tarp like banners. The scoreboard reads “Northwestern 48, Notre Dame 0.” Tarp is dead.
[NU Athletics, if you’re reading this, you can contact me for more great marketing ideas at minnesota wildcat at gmail dot com.]
Aaron: Before the Nittany Lion, Penn State’s mascot was a mule named Old Coaly. He helped build Old Main. Instead of burying him, we just put his bones in the student center.