ESPN just named the 2016 SMU vs. North Texas game it's pillow fight of the week. Apparently because they think the game won't be worth tuning in for. Well screw those guys. First of all they stole that idea from the Roundup's "Planning Your Football Weekend" way back in 2013 when we bestowed the title "Pillow Fight of the Week" on the Cal/Oregon matchup. It's documented on the interweb. Plus, ESPN only cares about promoting their agenda and destroying everyone else to do it. In that way they're very similar to North Korea.
The Roundup won't stand for that kind of disrespect. That being said, the SMU/UNT game does need a little punch. The rivalry needs a narrative beyond being the game that drove June Jones crazy. How do we punch it up a bit? Simple, a trophy.
Trophy games are common place in the great white north of the Big 10. Iowa and Minnesota play for the statue of a pig known as the Floyd of Rosedale. Michigan and Michigan State play for Paul Bunyan's Trophy. Minnesota and Wisconsin play for Paul Bunyan's Axe.
Nebraska and Iowa play for something called Heroes Trophy which they claim dates to 1891, which is great except that trophy was created in 2011 after Nebraska joined the league. The two schools played a grand total of six times from 1945 to 2011.
My favorite is the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy between Minnesota and Nebraska which was created by the epic Twitter account Faux Pelini and the Golden Gopher Mascot's twitter account. It's origin story can be found here. Even better the schools now recognize the trophy and it's presented to the winner just like all that Paul Bunyon swag.
So what does this tell you? Do trophies need to be based in fact? Hell no. They've got a whole series of trophies based on a mythical lumberjack who destroyed the environment. Do they even need to commemorate actual rivalries? Nope, not unless Nebraska and Minnesota share any good old fashioned hate and if you've met anyone from either of those state's you know they're lovely people who only get riled up when you take away their dairy or carbs.
There's a window of opportunity here to place the SMU/North Texas game on its proper pedestal. So, in the spirit of fake and contrived trophies of non-rivals, mythical creatures and folklore we give you this...
The Hippogriff Trophy
Behold the majesty. The Hippogriff Trophy is of course based on the ancient poet Virgil's Eclogues, depicting a mythical half eagle half horse beast that was a symbol of the Greek God Apollo.
Actually we didn't know about all that, we found out about the old Hippogriff when we saw the Prisoner of Azkaban. Think it's childish? That Harry Potter shit got pretty dark there at the end.
We're not saying the trophy has to look like this exactly, but we don't see why it shouldn't. It's pretty freaking awesome.
Instead of engraving each team's victories on the base we'd suggest that each team get a pocket knife, take a side and just make a notch whenever they get a W. Surely Seth Littrell carries a pocket knife with him at all times.
So, let's make this happen. We think the next step is to find a generous benefactor from one or both of the schools to put up the money for the build. The top should be made of gold or diamonds or diamonds infused with gold. Something real classy.
If you guys make the phone calls to the proper people, we'll send over the specs. If we put a rush on it maybe we can get it ready to hand out Saturday night.