Saturday, November 08, 2008

Jug Win #66

The Big Putty Jug.

Fielding Yost began coaching Michigan in 1901, and was undefeated. On October 31, 1903 Michigan rolled into Minnesota. Yost feared that the Minnesotans would spike the water, and instructed a young trainer, Tom Roberts, to obtain a receptacle to store potable water. Roberts went to a century old version of The Dollar Store, and bought a pottery jug:

The Crazed Minnesotans Kidnap the Jug.

Michigan was ahead 6-0 with 2 minutes left in the game. The team drank from the Jug clean water without a taint of spkeage. With 2 minutes in the game remaining, Minnesota tied the score. The 20,000 fans in attendance rushed the field. Roberts left the Jug behind, it having served its purpose as a safe harbor for Michigan's water. Michigan went on to win the National Championship, which was Yost's 3rd in 3 years as Michigan's coach. The sole blemish in Fielding Yost's first 4 years, was this tie, coming to the crazed Minnesotans.

Jug Reclamation.

Michigan didn't play the Minnesotans again in 1904 following the fans rush onto the field which ended the game with 2 minutes remaining. But, in 1909, Minnesota wrote to the Wolverines reminding them that the Jug had been kidnapped following the fans rush on the field. Michigan accepted the challenge to take back the Jug and won the game 15-6.


Since, that pottery jug has become the most famous game trophy in football. It's been painted and glazed, and bears the record of 66 Michigan victories, only 22 by Minnesota and 3 ties.

But, The Little Brown Jug sounds better that the Big Putty Jug. And, it looks better, too:

66th Celebration Of Jug.

This year, the Little Brown Jug was far from a gimme. Michigan was an underdog for the first time in as long as I can remember. And after the coaches, especially the defensive coaches, put together a nice gameplan which allowed Morgan Trent and D. Warren and Brandon Harrison to blow up Minnesota receivers; and Rich actually purposefully used clock with a lead in the last 10 mnutes of the game, a celebration is long overdue.

So, in celebration of of the first win in 6 games, and in the theme of this victory, I offer you these Little Brown Jugs:

Sweet Victory!

* Thanks to John Woodford, whose archive at contributed to this rendition of the storied Jug.