The Quick 10: 10 Weird College Football Trophies

Iowa is a state divided this weekend. Our two biggest schools "“ Iowa State and the University of Iowa "“ face off at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames tomorrow (that's ISU turf). The winner not only gets bragging rights, but also the coveted Cy-Hawk Trophy. Ain't she a beaut, Clark?


OK, maybe it's not the most original trophy out there. These 10 are a bit more creative.

platypus1. The Platypus Trophy is awarded to the victor of the Civil War "“ no, not that Civil War, but the one between Oregon State and the University of Oregon. Why a platypus? Because the platypus has qualities from the mascot of each school: a duck bill for the Oregon Ducks and a beaver tail for the Oregon State Beavers. This one is fairly recent "“ after being traded for a few games in the late "˜50s and early "˜60s, the trophy went missing. It was rediscovered in 2005 and started being traded between the schools again in 2007.

2. The Dutchman's Shoes trophy goes to the winner of an annual game between Rensselaer Polytechnic University in Troy, New York, and the Union College Dutchmen of Schenectady, NY.

3. Paul Bunyan's Axe is the mythical object at stake when the Minnesota Golden Gophers face off against the University of Wisconsin Badgers. Prior to the Axe, the two schools traded the Slab of Bacon trophy.

BUCKET4. The Old Oaken Bucket is one of the oldest trophies in the history of college football. It's traded between Purdue and Indiana. The trophy has literary origins "“ it was named in an 1817 poem by Samuel Woodworth that waxed nostalgic about a childhood homestead, which people from Indiana apparently felt was similar to their feelings about the state.
5. The Wagon Wheel trophy that the University of Akron and Kent State vie for has a nice little story, although I'm not sure how true it is. Allegedly when John R. Buchtel, the founder of what would become the University of Akron, was trolling for a spot to put his school in 1870, his wagon became stuck in the mud. The wheel was so stuck that the only solution was to leave it there and get a new wagon. In 1902, the wheel was discovered near Kent State and ended up in their hands. In 1945, it was suggested that the wheel be used for a football trophy between the two schools, both located in Akron, and it has been traded back and forth ever since.

6. The Little Brown Jug was lost by Michigan coach Fielding Yost during a 1903 game against Minnesota. The game ended in a tie, but Minnesota found the jug and kept it as sort of a victory trophy, writing the score on the side and making sure that Minnesota's name was much bigger. When Yost asked that the jug be returned, the head of the Minnesota athletic department told him he would have to win it back. It has been the trophy between the two schools ever since, even though Michigan seems to have it most of the time "“ they lead Minnesota in wins, 66 games to 22.

Floyd7. Minnesota sure likes their trophies. Floyd of Rosedale is a giant bronze pig that Iowa and Minnesota play for. But he represents the real thing. Back in the "˜30s, Iowa Governor Clyde Herring and Minnesota Governor Floyd Olson bet a prize hog on the matchup. Minnesota won, so Herring coughed up "“ he obtained a hog from Rosedale Farms in Fort Dodge. Floyd was named after the Minnesota Governor, obviously. The pig died a few years later, but the tradition was kept by commemorating him in bronze.

8. The Jeweled Shillelagh between Notre Dame and USC is really quite the prize "“ the Irish club is studded with rubies and emeralds. Every Irish win is another emerald shamrock for the shillelagh and every Trojan win is another ruby Trojan head. The original became so gem-adorned in 1989 that it had to be retired; it now resides at Notre Dame. The new one was thrown into rotation in 1997 and is currently in Los Angeles.

9. Although the Illibuck sounds like a mythical creature along the lines of unicorns and pegasuses (pegasi?), the Illibuck is actually just a little wooden turtle that sometimes lives in Illinois and sometimes lives in Ohio. The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Ohio Buckeyes duke it out for the honor of taking Illy Illibuck home every year. Like Floyd of Rosedale, the "trophy" was an actual turtle from 1925-1927, then was replaced with a wooden likeness once the original turtle passed on. The turtle's shell holds the year and the scores, but since there's only room for so much writing on the back of a turtle, the current Illy is the ninth incarnation (10th if you count the living turtle).

nails10. The Keg of Nails is the bizarre award of choice between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Louisville Cardinals. They've been exchanging it since 1929 and it's believed that it originated between fraternities, with the thought that the game champions were as tough as nails. The original was lost, so today's version is just a replica.

Does your college or alma mater trade a weird trophy? Share in the comments! And Go Cyclones!!

10 Sweet Facts About Candy Canes

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.


While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.


It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.


Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.


Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.


The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.


Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.


According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?


Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.


December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.


Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Films

1. Sylvester Stallone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his film career. Despite co-starring with the delightful Estelle Getty as the titular violence-prone mother, Stallone knows just how bad the film was:

"I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes."

2. Alec Guinness, Star Wars.

By the time he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, Guinness had already appeared in cinematic classics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations and Lawrence of Arabia. During production, Guinness is reported to have said the following:

"Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young."

The insane amount of fame he won for the role as the wise old Jedi master took him somewhat by surprise and, ultimately, annoyed him. In his autobiography A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness recalls a time he encountered an autograph-seeking fan who boasted to him about having watched Star Wars more than 100 times. In response, Guinness agreed to provide the boy an autograph under the condition that he promise never to watch the film again.

3. Bob Hoskins, Super Mario Brothers. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As far as I’m concerned, Bob Hoskins is forgiven for Super Mario Bros. Hoskins, though, doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself. Last year the Guardian spoke with the veteran actor about his career and he summed up his feelings rather succinctly:

What is the worst job you've done?
Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

4. George Clooney, Batman & Robin. Sure, Batman & Robin made money. But by every other imaginable measure, the film was a complete failure, and a nightmare to the vast majority of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent fanatics. Star George Clooney recognized what a stinker he helped create and once plainly stated, “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

5. David Cross, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. When actors have a movie out, it's customary that they publicize the film by saying nice things about it. Earlier this year David Cross took a different approach. When it came to describing his new film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the veteran comedian — better known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development — went on Conan and called the film a “big commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines” and told people not to go see it.

6. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up. Judd Apatow’s unplanned pregnancy comedy was a huge hit and helped cement her status as a bankable film actress. After the film’s release, however, Heigl didn’t have all good things to say. In fact, what she specifically said about it was that the film was:

"…A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

7. Charlize Theron, Reindeer Games. The 2000 action film Reindeer Games starred Ben Affleck, Gary Sinese and Charlize Theron and was directed by John Frankenheimer. But it all somehow failed to come together. In the end the film lost a lot of money and compiled a wealth of negative reviews – including one from its star actress who simply said, “Reindeer Games was not a good movie.”

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Happening. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t exactly seem like a guy who lives his life afraid of trees. But that is the odd position M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film The Happening put him in. Wahlberg, as it turns out, doesn’t look back too fondly on the film. He went on record during a press conference for The Fighter when he described a conversation with a fellow actor:

"We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” F*** it. It is what it is. F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook."

9. John Cusack, Better Off Dead. John Cusack reportedly hated his cult 80s comedy so much that he walked out of the screening and later told the film’s director Steve Holland that Better Off Dead was "the worst thing I have ever seen" and he would "never trust you as a director again."

10 Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is considered a classic and has delighted many generations of fans. But the film's own lead actor, Christopher Plummer, didn't always sing its praises. Mr. Von Trapp himself declined to participate in a 2005 film reunion and, according to one acquaintance, has referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus.



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