Trophy Rivalries

The Old Oaken Bucket

One of the oldest and most prestigious football trophies in the nation, the Old Oaken Bucket goes annually to the winner of the Purdue-Indiana football battle.

While the presentation of the trophy dates back 75 years, the bucket itself is more than 100 years old.

The bucket was found, in a bad state of repair and covered with moss and mold, on the old Bruner farm between Kent and Hanover in Southern Indiana, after the Chicago alumni groups of both Purdue and Indiana enthusiastically decided in 1925 that a traditional trophy for the winner of the gridiron clash would be appropriate.

Russell Gray of Purdue and Dr. Clarence Jones of Indiana were given the task of finding a suitable trophy. They recommended that "an old oaken bucket would be a most typical trophy from this state and should be taken from a well somewhere in Indiana."

Purdue's Fritz Ernst and Whiley J. Huddle of Indiana found the historical bucket and it is said that General Morgan's command used it during a jaunt through Indiana during the Civil War. It has had a no less exciting history since 1935, several times having been kidnapped by partisans from both schools - a couple of times missing so long that it was given up as lost, only to turn up mysteriously just before or after the annual game.

The bucket was presented as a prize by the late George Ade, distinguished humorist from Purdue, and the late Harry Kurrie, then president of the Monon Railroad, representing Indiana.

The first game ended in a 0-0 tie, resulting in the "I-P" link attached to the bucket. Since then, there have been 48 "P" links, 24 "I" links and two additional "I-P" links attached to the chain. Purdue won the 1999 meeting 30-24 in Bloomington.

The Cannon
The Cannon was conceived by Purdue students 95 years ago but was first presented as a trophy by an Illinois alumnus in 1943.

It all started in 1905 when a group of Purdue students took the weapon to Champaign in anticipation of firing it to celebrate a Boiler victory. Although Purdue did win the game 29-0, Illinois supporters, including Quincy A. Hall, had discovered the Cannon in its hiding place - in a culvert near the old Illinois field - and confiscated it before the Purdue students could start their "booming" celebration.

Later, Hall moved the Cannon to his farmhouse near Milford, Ill., where it survived a fire and gathered dust until Hall suggested it be used as a trophy in the football series between the two schools when the rivalry was resumed in 1943 after a 12-year lapse.

The Tomahawk Service and Leadership Honorary at Purdue and Illini Pride now share the maintenance duty. The Boilermakers won the 1998 meeting 42-9 in West Lafayette and now lead the series 25-24-2.

The Shillelagh
Sixteen miniature gold footballs signifying Purdue victories adorn the base of the Shillelagh, the trophy that goes to the winner of the annual Purdue-Notre Dame football game. The Irish have "ND" in 27 such footballs.

The newest of the three trophies, the Shillelagh was donated in 1957 by the late Joe McLaughlin, a merchant seaman and an Irish fan who brought the club from Ireland.

Following each Boilermaker-Fighting Irish football game, a football with the winner's initial and the final score is attached to the Shillelagh's stand.

Purdue broke an 11-year Irish winning streak with a 28-17 victory in West Lafayette in 1997, and the Boilermakers won again in 1999 with a 28-23 victory in West Lafayette.

The Monon Spike:
When most people think of the on-going athletic rivalry between Purdue and Indiana they think of the hotly-contested encounters which take place in football and basketball.

But volleyball competition between the Boilermakers and Hoosiers also has captured the fans’ attention.

A little incentive was added to the series in 1981 with the creation of the Monon Spike. The traveling trophy is presented to the winning team after one of the two annual matches.

Donna Hardesty and Anne McMenamy, seniors on the 1981 Purdue team, created the trophy idea. They set out to find an object that would be a reminder of the competition on the court, as well as something rich with the tradition of the state of Indiana.

They chose the Spike from the Monon Railroad, which originated in Indiana in the late 19th century. It was taken from a portion of railroad track in Lafayette. The trophy was unveiled at a media luncheon Sept. 2, 1981, at the Lafayette Country Club.

As with its sister trophy, the Old Oaken Bucket, a "P" or an "I" link is added to the chain signifying the season’s winner. The Spike currently has 18 "P" links and nine "I" links.

Purdue won 24 consecutive matches against Indiana from 1978-85. The Boilermakers won the 2000 Spike and lead the overall series 39-28.

The Barn Burner:
Beginning with the 1993-94 season, the Purdue and Indiana women’s basketball teams have played an annual game for the Barn Burner Trophy.

The traveling trophy is similar in concept to football’s Old Oaken Bucket and volleyball’s Monon Spike. It is a wood plaque with a drawing of a barn and an attached basketball hoop, which best describes basketball in Indiana.

Sara Lee Corporation funded the plaque as part of its Discover Women’s Sports Program.

The Hoosiers won 17 of the first 19 meetings between the two schools from 1976-86, but Purdue has turned the tables by winning 26 of the last 30 to take a 28-21 advantage in the all-time intrastate series.

The Golden Boot
The Golden Boot is on the line each time the Purdue and Indiana women's soccer teams meet. The Boilermakers currently hold a 3-1 advantage in the young series with the Hoosiers.

After each victory, the winning team takes the trophy home and adds a letter to the chain attached to the gold-dipped soccer shoe. The first letter on the chain is an 'I', marking Indiana's overtime win in the inaugural meeting between the two intrastate rivals in 1999. The next three letters are 'P's, denoting Purdue's three subsequent victories. On each letter is engraved the date and score of the match it represents.

The concept for the creation of a trophy to match football's Old Oaken Bucket, women's basketball's Barn Burner and volleyball's Monon Spike originally was discussed in 1998. But it was not until 2002, when former Purdue assistant Ian Rickerby joined new Indiana coach Mick Lyon on the Hoosier staff, that the Golden Boot came to fruition. Purdue head coach Rob Klatte convinced Lyon that a traveling rivalry trophy would increase the significance of each meeting between the heated adversaries. Both coaching staffs pursued its design and construction, which was completed in fall 2002.


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