To a degree unlike any other sport in America, college football is built on legacy and tradition. If the heart of those traditions and legacies is loyalty to alma maters and long-time fanhoods, then rivalries are the blood pumping through its chambers. But every sport has rivalries. Red Sox and Yankees. Lakers and Celtics. Machester United and Liverpool. Blackhawks and Red Wings.
But what makes college football rivalries unique are all the bits in between. The personal connections to each school. The deep history involved with those rivalries that often spills beyond the bounds of the playing field.
Many of the best rivalry games in college football involve a unique trophy, often painted with a colorful tale describing its inception and coveted status.
Michigan State and Indiana play for the Old Brass Spittoon. USC and Notre Dame for the Jeweled Shillelagh. Ole Miss and Mississippi State for The Golden Egg. Hell, Wisconsin and Minnesota fight for the six foot long Paul Bunyan’s Axe.
Obviously, Iowa State already has its one trophy game with Iowa, but the trophy is famously kind of lame. Before the last wave of major realignment, we also fought for The Telephone Trophy with Mizzou, but that trophy will likely not be played for again anytime in the near future, if ever at all.
However, all is not lost. The beloved Farmageddon rivalry between Iowa State and Kansas State is somewhat newly named, but is an old rivalry between two land grant schools dating back over a century. Though both programs are historically bad, the games between the Cyclones and Wildcats are typically tight, gut-wrenching affairs. The series record is close as well, with Iowa State holding a razor-thin 50-49 lead in the series, though the teams tend to win the series in streaks.
However, as Iowa State and Kansas State have both become consistent performers in the Big 12 (with Iowa State’s emergence obviously being more recent), the rivalry has picked up significant steam, and has evolved from a friendly contest between two astonishingly similar schools and fanbases, to a real, passionate rivalry.
We’ve been advocating for a trophy for quite awhile now, but we decided it was finally time to actually do something about it, rather than let it fall by the wayside like many a barroom spark of genius.
This game will probably never truly capture the imaginations of a national audience like Ohio State-Michigan or the Iron Bowl will, but it’s a quirky, but fiery regional rivalry that embodies the essence of college football and its many traditions.
So how do we take the rivalry to the next level, and turn it into something more real and palatable for people outside the two fanbases to appreciate? A trophy.
And that’s where you come in.
We want to create a grassroots movement bridging both the Iowa State and Kansas State fan bases to create and promote a trophy with the intention of creating enough social pressure for the athletic departments of each school to adopt the trophy as the official prize for the winner of the Farmageddon rivalry game.
We’ve already got some ideas in the works for what the eventual Farmageddon trophy could look like, but we want you to help us.
We’re accepting fan submissions for trophy designs at least through August 1st, 2020. If we still have lots of good submissions coming in on the deadline, we may extend it.
After that, we’ll take the best ones, and we’ll put them up to a fan vote to determine which design will become the official trophy for the movement, and hopefully the official trophy for the game.
So what should the trophy be? Well, anything! As mentioned before, these trophies are usually about tradition, so something that reflects the culture and history of the two schools may be appropriate, but that’s certainly not the end all be all. Let your imagination run wild.
Instructions and Guidelines:
- All submissions should be sent to widerightnattylite at gmail dot com. (written out to avoid spam)
- This is going to be an actual attempt at getting a real trophy, so ideas should be realistic and practical. It’s probably not realistic or practical to have an actual tractor as a trophy, no matter what size. The trophy will almost certainly need to be able to be carried by hand.
- We’ll accept just about any submission, but visual representation of your idea in the form of a sketch, drawing, etc. is highly encouraged. We don’t have the resources to draw everybody’s ideas up, and ideas that people can’t physically see in front of them are probably less likely to win votes.
Good luck, everyone!