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):
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..
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:
Note 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:
In 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:
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