Last night I went to a bar called “Stub and Herbs.” Stub and Herbs is a legacy that exists near the University of Minnesota - think Barry’s or PO Pears before Pears went away - where fans gather before sporting events. It’s been around forever, possibly since 1638. It might’ve been here before the French showed up – just found it there sitting amongst the untouched wilderness as a place waiting for its time – waiting for something to happen.
For one night it was the home of the “5$ Bits of Broken Chair Trophy”. You know this trophy. I got a chance to meet the Minnesota people involved with the only “fan-led” trophy in college football and talked to several Gopher fans. Faithful fans - yes, Minnesota has them.
I scored an interview with the “Minnesota founders of the chair,” which is what they will be known as because this thing can only get more popular as time goes on. The interview is on our Five Heart podcast - THE PODCAST OF CORN NATION - and I hope you’re listening because we’re certainly having a lot of fun putting it together and that fun should come out when you’re consuming.
Fans on both sides are waiting for the day that this trophy becomes legitimate, recognized by both schools. What fans want to see as their favorite team running toward the other sideline to collect it after a win. We are tired of the constant need for corporate-sponsored everything. The chair was not put together in a boardroom. It was not cleared by lawyers. Human resources is not involved. It did not come from money.
A trophy out of “nowhere” makes people nervous. Corporations, whether nonprofit or not, don’t trust “organic.” These are organizations who are worth millions and billions of dollars. They recognize that they must participate in social media, but one wrong slip can cost them unmanageable crap-pockets full of money.
They are not about to take their chances on a trophy that some guy built in a garage and some other guys - good intentions or not - decided that it was a good idea for them to get together and raise some money.
If you are a fan who is worried about making this trophy legitimate, then you must start contributing to the cause. Money talks. Especially money for children.
That’s the beautiful part of what these organizers have done. They recognize that if the athletic departments poo-poo this trophy that they are, in essence, spitting on children. Not just any children. Sick children. These friggin’ guys who put this together are young geniuses. They may or may not be millennials who eat avocado toast. I forgot to ask.
If you listen to the interview on the podcast - I trust you are listening to the podcast - you will discover that the charities who are accepting money from this chair were cautious at first, as well they should be.
If you want this trophy to be legitimized by both schools, then contribute to the cause. Give them $1, $5, $10. How much does one beer cost at a bar? Give them that much? Money cannot be denied. The funds will not be ignored. We are America, dammit! If the charities receiving this money get more of it, people will notice.
As of this writing, the chair is at $8,111 of the stated $10,000 goal. It’ll probably make it. WELL SCREW THAT. Let’s hit $20,000. Or $30,000.
The $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy will be at Blue Bloods in Lincoln tonight. You should go.. Because there’s a chair waiting for you to take a photo. Because Blue Bloods has the best stout, I’ve ever had. Because the organizers of this trophy want your support. Because it’s for the children, you soulless bastard. Because it’s for the goodness of humanity.
Get off your ass and go.
Tell Joe Bernard that Jon Damn Johnston said hello. Then buy him a beer, and give him $20.