Holy shit, the Chair is back.
I’d heard some rumblings about its potential return from some peeps of mine in the Gopher Deep State (the Gopher illuminati is absolutely real, btw, and magnificent), but didn’t think much of it. I mean, this was a trophy that came to be after a parody Twitter account threatened to smash a chair over the head of a university mascot. It was a fun shtick, but I reckoned the schools’ respective brass – particularly Nebraska’s - would rather walk on the surface of the sun than sanction the return of an icon emblematic of a former coach’s, uh, tendencies toward the mercurial.
Well, suck choade FrothyGopher, because the ghosts of the innertronz (read: Reddit and a few highly-enterprising Gopher and Husker fans) made it happen. It’s not abundantly clear yet whether it’s officially sanctioned: aside from the banner pic from a game, there’s no Minnesota or Nebraska branding, so I suspect this is being done with tacit permission, but no direct engagement from the universities.
That’s totally fine with me. I guess I’d rather have the players grab it after the game and tote it around the stadium; but we do that with all of our other trophies we never win. Plus, I think the idea of a fan trophy is pretty rad. It could live in a campus bar between games and fans could drink from it or dry hump it like NHL players do with the Stanley Cup.
I spent about 15 seconds on Google looking for examples of fan trophies and I came up with nothing, so we may really be breaking new ground here. Our existing rivalry trophies are tits compared to most other teams’, so adding a brand new fan tradition into the mix will make us the most interesting kinda shit program in the country. I’m kidding. We’re going to be great this year and mark down 2019 as #TITTY. See y’all in the ‘Dena on 1/1/20.
I do wonder about the exchange of the trophy. Say it’s kept at Sally’s or Sterb’s In years that we’ve won it. If we lose, will Husker fans go rampaging across campus to pillage our watering holes and take their bounty? That could be fun. Or are we thinking some ceremony where the trophy is presented to the winning fans by representatives of the losing team, like a king who just lost a war and has to give his daughter away to some Hun warlord? My current vote is we dispense with the game itself and have a massive knife fight for it every year.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention there was a Chair-ity (GET IT?!) component to this resurrection. There’s an effort to raise funds for the U’s Masonic Children’s Hospital (which truly does life changing work) and Nebraska’s Team Jack Foundation to research pediatric brain cancers. Two awesome causes so if you’ve got a few bucks to spare, peep this link.
I’m genuinely excited about this, so will probably revisit the topic a few times in the coming weeks. With the corporatization of college sports, grassroots, fan-driven movements like this breathe fresh life into the game we all love. Whether you’re waiting for your chance to grind your crotch into the chair or couldn’t care less, we should be genuinely grateful to the squad that brought back that beautiful broken chair.