We discussed this in a podcast a few weeks ago, but it bears repeating: every year Northwestern and Illinois get together and play a game of football in which the winner gets a gigantic bronze Monopoly piece. Specifically, the top hat. We used to play for a gigantic tomahawk, which was cool and historic and was a tradition, but I guess it's better now because it really gives each school an advantage heading into Pat Fitzgerald and Ron Zook's GAME OF MONOPOLY PLAYED ON A LIFE SIZE BOARD WITH REAL MONEY because the outcome always depends on the piece you use. So I've decided to rank the 11 Monopoly pieces from which one will make the best college football rivalry trophy. College football players cannot play Monopoly because passing go and collecting $200 is an NCAA violation, ruining many a game night in college football players' dorm rooms. I am also doing this in hopes of increasing Monopoly piece-themed search traffic, since my research indicates there are surprisingly few websites where one can find good information on Monopoly pieces and I've listed them all right here!
Anyway, to me, how good a trophy is comes down to two things:
1. How awesome is it? It must be cool. This is self-evident. For example, Michigan State and Penn State play for a few blocks of wood cobbled together with pictures attached to it and Iowa and Iowa State almost played for a guy holding corn. These aren't good trophies.
2. Can you drink out of it?: There's no better way to celebrate victory than drinking things. Ideally, you can drink out of something representing your victory. Much as dope warlords used to dismember their opponents and drink from their skulls, preferably after plating them in gold, so should we drink from the symbol of our victory. Losing also calls for drinking, which is why it's important to signify your victory by drinking out of something your opponent wishes he has while he drowns straight everclear out of a solo cup.
Rankings are after the jump.
1. Cannon: THE CANNONS ARE POINTED AT YOU. Imagine Pat Fitzgerald lifting that thing over his head and you imagine dying eight seconds later. Preferably, this would be an actual functioning miniature cannon.
Can you drink out of it: HYPOTHETICALLY. If you hollowed out the barrel of the thing and made the cannon large enough, you could definitely drink out of it. This would preclude the thing being an actual functioning cannon lest drinkers run the risk of swallowing black powder, which I assume leads to death or that thing that happens in cartoons when people swallow bombs but instead of exploding their stomach just kind of balloons out and they turn black all over on the outside.
2. Wheelbarrow: I think the best rivalry trophies are the ones that are played for completely irrelevant items, like buckets and pigs and bells and things that make no sense. There is no conceivable reason Northwestern and Illinois would ever need to play for a wheelbarrow, which is kind of why they should. Plus, I like imagining the team wheeling it around after the game.
Can you drink out of it: Yes. Furthermore, it's a two person gig: one person to kneel on the ground and drink and another to slowly raise the handles. It's like a beer bong for farmers.
3. Sack of money: Is there a Miami-Auburn trophy game?
Can you drink out of it: No. This one is ranked this high on sheer awesomeness.
No. 4: Old-timey car: Clearly the best piece in the game. Not necessarily the best trophy, but I think it could work.
Can you drink out of it: Sadly, no. Why it's not No. 1, probably.
5. Top hat: Again, completely random. Obviously it represents Lincoln for us, but I prefer imagining it as either Uncle Moneybags, T-Pain, or Slash.
Can you drink out of it: In theory, yes, but sadly, NU's is welded to a piece of wood, presumably to save the bronzesmith the worry of actually having to hollow out the top hat. We'll never see it in action, although it's probably the best item in the game for actual drinking.
6. Scottie dog: The most adorable trophy in college football. If we gave it an adorable name like Fido or a completely random name like Marcus, this could work.
Can you drink out of it: What's wrong with you? It's a dog.
7. Guy on a horse: Only good if we completely refuse to answer the question of "who is that guy on a horse?" It has to be a completely anonymous guy. It would be cool if he was holding a sword or something, but instead he's just riding it, which is disappointing.
Can you drink out of it: Nope.
8. Shoe: It's a shoe.
Can you drink out of it?: Yes, but it would seem kinda gross while you were doing it because you'd think about how you're drinking out of a shoe.
9. Boat: This just wouldn't make sense. However, if you combine the last two and made this rivalry "The Sperry", I'd be down. Team no socks.
Can you drink out of it?: You can drink on it, if it was large enough, provided you're not Cedric Benson.
10. Iron: WHO WILL BE THE BEST AT MENIAL DOMESTIC HOUSEWORK? I've never ironed anything and my goal is to never have to.
Can you drink out of it?: Completely undrinkable out of, plus, you'd run the risk of electrocution.
11: Thimble: Menial housework trophy TAKE TWO, OUTDATED MODES OF HOUSEHOLD LABOR EDITION. I can't tell you what a thimble is used for.
Can you drink out of it?: Not only is this the worst item overall, it's also the worst to drink out of: whereas most things shaped like thimbles are very drinkable-out-of, since it's basically shaped like a cup, the thimble is filled with holes so it can be a thimble.