Right now somewhere inside the bowels of Schembechler Hall rests the Little Brown Jug.  Upon it are the score of the 93 games played in the series aligned in four columns (2 each between the Ms):

Top of the Jug

Making up those 93 scores are 68 victories for Michigan, 22 for the Gophers, with three ties (1903, 1933, and 1950).   You might know that we have a decision to make after next Saturday’s game because we are out of space in the current score configuration..

Little Brown Jug out of score …because last season Jil Gordon (above, ably assisted by the great Jon Falk) dropped in the 35-13 result in the final available slot in the column started in 1987.

Stanley Cup Style So what to do?  I looked at this question all the way back in 2009 as we knew this day was coming.   I’ve heard it all:

  • Retire this jug, put a new jug in service
  • Stop writing scores on the jug
  • Extend the jug Stanley Cup-style (inset left)
  • Find more empty space on the jug (and work in more scores)
  • Repaint the existing score columns with tiny scores to add more space
  • Via MGoShoe:  Slightly reduce the size of the 2 Ms to allow 2 new columns to be added (1 on each side). Would require a complete repaint.
  • Via @SeanRatGoBlue : Just make a new trophy at a ceramic class and start adding scores to it. Keep original jug in case and on sideline.

Historically note that the jug was been reconfigured a few times over the first few decades.  Here’s how the jug basically looked from 1903 up until around 1920:

Original Brown JugNote the first score on the crock was the 6-6 tie from 1903, with our Gopher buddies adding special emphasis on the Minnesota “6”.  Touché, Doc and Oscar. 

In the early 1920s Michigan added the two sides of the jug with block M logos, and a single column for scores:

1920s By the early 1930s the jug was repainted with restyled Ms but still with one column for scores…1930s …but note you can still see evidence of the 1920s-style Minnesota ‘M’ on the jug today:

Jug - Old Block MIn the early 1940s the single column was repainted to squeeze in another adjacent columns for scores, and we’ve just added them as needed every since.  Here’s Oscar with the shiny new column for the 1941 score:

Oscar Munson

I add these details to those who immediately dismiss either repainting the scores (smaller) or finding new space on the jug to record the results–it’s been done over and over again throughout history.  That said, what would you do?  

You have to assume the winner next Saturday will likely have a big say in what happens next.   In the meantime, brush up on your Little Brown Jug Lore:

Chapter 1: What Really Happened in the 1930s
Chapter 2: Spinning Myths
Chapter 3: Getting it Right
Chapter 4: 2013: A Space Quandary
Chapter 5: Red Wing Roots
Chapter 6: Is the Greatest Trophy in College Sports a Fake?
Chapter 7: Open Questions
Chapter 8: Doc Cooke and the Real Origins of the Rivalry
Chapter 9: Gophers Here, Gophers There – When Michigan played Minnesota Twice
Chapter 10: How It Started: Minnesota Madmen 6, Michigan Machine 6
Chapter 11: A Righteous Sip, and Why Michigan Bought the Jug
Chapter 12: Making It Official—Jil Gordon & Painting the Little Brown Jug
Chapter 13: 40,000 Jugs—Financial Analysis from 1903

9 Comments

  1. I would add two mini-columns above and below each M, which would buy us probably another 40 years? After that, I think I would prefer that we build a base for the Jug and put new scores on that, kind of like what Minnesota and Iowa do with Floyd of Rosedale, where the original scores went on the bronze pig, and after that they go on the base. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/42/Floyd_of_rosedale.jpg

  2. I agree with MM10, add some mini-columns to get us thru another half century. Those of us who are in the Brown Jug Club and own our own Jugs will need to paint some mini-columns after Jon & Jill figure it out in a couple weeks. When i visited Jon to have him autograph my Jug I asked him this question and he mumbled something like “probably a couple more columns i guess”…We will find out in 10 days or so…This should keep Jill busy for a couple hours. Go BLue

  3. My vote goes for extending the jug Stanley Cup-style.

  4. If we win on Saturday:

    1) Retire this Jug to be on permanent display in Schembechler Hall and/or Michigan Stadium.
    2) Create a new Jug to be exchanged, continuing to paint future scores on it, but also add an electronic display of All-Time scores.
    3) Give Minnesota the replica Jug that was on previously on display in Schembechler Hall.

  5. I’m not a fan of anything that would amount to physically changing the Jug itself. I think it should always remain its original size, shape and weight. Changing the paint scheme is fine, though. Shrinking the giant M’s on each side seems like a plan.

  6. I love this jug the way it is and don’t want to see it change, but if we have to, I would say add mini columns below each of the Ms. This keeps the changes happening slowly. I also think the bottom of the jug should be used.

    Scores everywhere!!

  7. The first time I ever asked about this, a guy I thought knew what he was talking about said Michigan had plans to start adding tabs above (one) and below (two) the M’s with space for 5 scores in each tab. This configuration wouldn’t be perfect but it would extend enough space on the jug to last another 30 years. By then they’ll have invented holographic clay jug paint. Or whatever.

  8. Write the score on a small slip of paper and put it in the jug. Include brief message opposite score on the note.

    Example:
    Side 1:
    Oct. 5, 2013
    Minnesota 6 Michigan 42

    Side 2:
    Cedric Thompson has a big mouth.

  9. Do we know how the space quandary was actually solved after Saturday’s game?

    Jil wouldn’t give any hints about what she and Jon may have had in mind when interviewed on WTKA before the game, and I haven’t seen any stories in the past couple of days.