There are many weird traditions in college football and the kinds of things that make casual fans scratch their heads in confusion are in many cases the exact same things that make extremely zealous fanatic fans love their pass even more. – favorite time. One of the strangest traditions in college football is that the annual state rivalry soccer game between Indiana University (located in Bloomington, IN) and Purdue University (located in West Lafayette, IN) ) has been played for decades for a rather unique trophy called the Old Oaken Bucket.
To understand the reason for the unique title of this tête-à-tête, we must first understand the historical origin of the term. The traveling trophy known as the Old Oaken Bucket actually dates back to the 1920s and is one of the oldest football trophies in existence. The concept of the trophy which is now contested by two rivals from the Big Ten Conference was first thought of at a 1925 alumni reunion in Chicago. Former Hoosiers and Boilermakers gathered to discuss options for how best to commemorate the rivalry between the two schools which are only located within 115 miles of each other.
The specific phrase Strange Oak Bucket is jointly attributed to Dr. Clarence Jones (an Indiana alumnus) and Russel Gray (a Purdue alumnus). The wording of the resolution adopted at a 1925 joint alumni meeting in Chicago, essentially stated that an “old oak bucket” (oak simply means made of oak wood) would be best as it was considered to be. “Hoosier’s most typical form of trophy.” In this specific case, the word Hoosier was not specifically referring to the Hoosiers at Indiana University, but rather all the citizens of Indiana who are collectively known as Hoosiers. This would of course include the Purdue students and alumni who also fell under the Hoosiers umbrella. In fact, Indiana’s state nickname is Hoosier State.
The origin and inspiration of the phrase “old oak bucket” actually predates the 1925 joint alumni reunions between Purdue and Indiana by about a hundred years. Dr Jones and Mr Gray chose the term Old Oak Bucket in part because it is the title of a now famous poem that the poet Samuel Woodworth wrote in 1817. Although Woodworth was an East Coast American (Massachusetts) not Indiana, the words he wrote about the endearing memories he had for where he grew up were feelings that many natives of Indiana could relate to. .
Amusingly, the first game of this epic series ended in a 0-0 draw in 1925. Since then, Purdue has led the Old Oaken Bucket series with a 56-23-3 record against the University Hoosiers. of Indiana (IU).