One thing I love and hate about sports is tradition. Look tradition can be a very good thing, maybe you and your family eat this same meal on Xmas eve or you do this same vacation together every so often to conjure up memories of yesteryear. Those are dope traditions. Lots of sports traditions kinda suck ass tho’, especially the ones in baseball that involve temper tantrums by the starting pitcher who’s getting lit up or the manager choosing antiquated strategies because in the 1920’s they worked.
One strategy that is GREAT, albeit in a sport fraught with ill, is how NCAA Football (I’ve just been deemed “ineligible” for typing that and I can also no longer work at my job because I made over $7 this calendar year, putting my scholarship in jeopardy) rivalries have “trophies” for whoever wins the match-up each year. That’s right, for those that don’t know about this, at least in the BigTen, these games not only matter for bowl positioning and conference titles, but they also involve a 90 year old trophy that gets carried around by the players after the victory. It would be like if they ran to the sidelines after the victory and grabbed Milton Berle and hoisted him over their heads in a joyous fashion. Just keep ole Milton’s pants on or you’ll get a BIG SURPRISE.
Little Brown Jug’s and Paul Bunyan Trophy’s aside, I thought it was time for us baseball folk to adopt this fun tradition and cast it onto our favorite teams. Since my favorite team is in the AL Central, I figured I could create trophies for each match up with those teams. A few ground rules though.
1 – It has to have meaning to both cities in question. We can’t go and have the Mall of America Trophy or some bullshit like that, it needs to be a way to link these two historic midwest cities.
2 – No corporate sponsors, I don’t want the Little Brown Canteen Trophy sponsored by Casey’s General Store or some bullshit, that isn’t the spirit of this.
3 – Jason Benetti must be able to easily make fun of the trophy
Okay, I think we gots our ground rules, let’s get on to the names. I’m only spitballin’ so if you come up with something better, just alert me in the comments or on twitter.com that seems to be the best place to tell me how stupid I am.
Cleveland vs Sox – Smoky River Trophy
It is no damn secret that two of the funkiest bodies of water in the continental United States have resided in our fine cities. The Cuyahoga River caught on fire (ALLEGEDLY upwards of 50 times) and the Chicago River used to be as stinky as that pair of shoes you wore with no socks for the last decade. Even when the Chicago River was basically cleaned up, the Dave Matthews Band emptied their bus toilet directly into it (and on a few unsuspecting bystanders). I went with the term “Smoky” here as to elicit a flavor and keep it classy, we don’t want things to get off the rails too quickly with these trophies.
KC vs Sox – The Yankees Fucked Our Grandma in the 60’s Trophy
Okay, things are completely off the rails. There is no team that was more a “Daddy” than the 60’s Yankees and the two teams that they beat up on most were the Royals and White Sox. I wrote about the White Sox here. The Royals on the other hand served as more of a farm team for the Yankees, selling them players as needed for both sides (when the Yankees needed more talent and the Royals needed more $$$). Regardless, the fucking was regular and painful to our respective fan bases.
Detroit vs Sox – Our Pizza is Cut in Squares Trophy
Pizza City fights are passe in the Lord’s year of 2020, but our two cities both get it right cutting up the pie in squares for maximum sharing. Detroit’s pizza tends to be doughier but both cities choose this tact, so why not bond (or not) over a comfort food we can all enjoy?
Minnesota vs Sox – Fuck Jared Allen Trophy
Most of yous (this is Bridgeport) don’t know who Jared Allen is, because you aren’t big into football or you are just too young to have a working memory of Jared Allen. This guy was a beast of a pass rusher and basically dominated for the Minnesota Vikings of the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, UNTIL, the Chicago Bears wrestled him away in 2014 with a 4 yr $32M contract. That was also the last time he was good, so despite Vikings fans not being particularly happy he was leaving, they got the last laugh and Allen came to Chicago and was, umm, not good. Traded away less than 2 years after inking the deal. Yea, FUCK JARED ALLEN!!!
Got some thoughts on these rivalry trophy’s, hit me up and let me know whatchu got!