We all know that chicks dig winners. I mean we can all debate the merits of Jonathan Moxon and Charlie Conway all day, but each guy walked away a winner at the end of the day. But neither of them got the glory of raising a trophy over their heads at the end of the game. That moment, whether it’s the championship at the end of the season, the recognition of your pure domination, or the hard-fought victory over your bitter rivals, is unmatched in sports. But not all trophies are created equal; some are more equal than others (sorry, I was feeling a bit Orwellian today.) Hoisting these trophies instantly take you from the realm of winner to legend.
Here are the Top 5 Best Sports Trophies.
Since 1948 the winner of the Badgers-Gophers football game gets to wield this bad boy, a six-foot long axe that usually takes at least 2 players to hold up. Not only is the trophy cool, but it’s also probably one of the most deadly trophies in all of sports. Here’s hoping one year some poor sap (probably a kicker) accidentally drops the thing and decapitates themselves. The only thing that’s cooler than a kick-ass weapon as a trophy is a weapon that has spilled blood, and is still used as a trophy.
That being said, the poor Minnesota Golden Gophers have a bunch of pretty cool rivalry trophies (including the Little Brown Jug with Michigan and the Bronze Pig against Iowa) and an absolutely abysmal football team. How anyone could play for so many cool trophies and just botch the whole thing up is beyond me. Minnesota needs a good football team, if only to make rivalry trophies more relevant.
Continuing down the rivalry trophy road, and keeping up with the theme of deadly weaponry, the Fremont Cannon is possibly the largest trophy in sports. This thing is literally a howitzer cannon, but surprisingly, hasn’t been used as a tactical weapon by the defending team. While not the oldest rivalry, the cannon gets painted in the colors of the winning team, and has been played close to 40 times since 1969.
This being a Nevada trophy, it’s possible that we will see this thing on an episode of Pawn Stars at some point. My guess is that Rick will appraise this thing at between $20,000 and $30,000 dollars, and someone will end up selling it for money at the craps tables. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I watch way too much History Channel.
Who knew the Red River Rivalry had a weird trophy to go along with it? Not only that, it’s a trophy you can wear! Now, not only can you gorge yourself at the Texas State Fair on unholy abominations like deep-fried Coca Cola and bacon-wrapped, chocolate-dipped fried dough, you can also picture your favorite Big 12 conference players wearing a patently ridiculous golden 10-gallon cowboy hat.
Right now, Rod Belding is already planning on how to position his flowing locks inside the Golden Hat for maximum effect. Rivalry trophies should all aspire to be at least as awesome as this hat. Anything less and you’re just not trying. I’m looking at you, Old Oaken Bucket.
For all the faults of the NHL, they more than make up for them by having the best collection of trophies among all the professional sports leagues. Even Gary Bettman can’t take that away from them. This is my personal favorite, if only because Maurice Richard is quite possibly my spirit animal.
For years, the Art Ross trophy was given to the player with the most points in an NHL season, but someone decided that individual scoring prowess should also be commended, and so they made this trophy in honor of one of the biggest badasses in league history. Richard was the first player to ever score 50 goals in 50 games, and did it in a league without helmets, adequate padding, or even a shred of sanity. Naming a trophy after you is a compliment enough, but actually having a sculpture of you as the trophy, that’s something special.
The Stanley Cup (NHL Champions)
Dear other sports leagues,
Comparatively, your championship trophy sucks.
The Stanley Cup is by far the coolest trophy in sports. Tall, intimidating, full of a rich history, and able to be drunk out of, the Cup is the standard by which all other trophies must be judged. The fact that since 1995 every player on the team gets a day with the Cup makes Lord Stanley even greater. Who knows what has happened to the Cup, the things it has seen, or what has been drank from its chalice. All I know is every guy who has even put his lips to it is a much braver man than I.
Matt Brockway still has an MVP trophy he earned in a Pee-Wee hockey tournament, find him on twitter @subtlehyperbole.