Saturday, December 2, 2023

The Long-Lost Minnesota-Wisconsin Slab of Bacon


The Athletic - "The Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry trophy: What happened to the Slab of Bacon?"

"Dr. R.B. Fouch of Minneapolis created the trophy, which was first played for in 1930, with the idea that the winning team would bring home the bacon. It was presented each year through 1942. Wisconsin won the game 20-6 in 1942.

One version of the story goes that Peg Watrous, the president of Wisconsin women students, was supposed to exchange the trophy with a student from Minnesota after the 1943 game. But Minnesota fans stormed the field following a 25-13 victory, the task was never completed amid the chaos and Watrous didn’t know what happened to the trophy from there.

Another version of the story is that the trophy was presented to Minnesota that year, but Gophers interim coach George Hauser refused to accept it out of respect for World War II (head coach Bernie Bierman was ordered into active military duty during the war). Either way, the trophy never again exchanged hands because it disappeared. Upon its discovery in 1994, there was debate as to which school was the rightful owner, but it remains housed inside a glass encasing in Wisconsin’s student-athlete performance center. Alvarez famously remarked, “We took home the bacon and kept it.”

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