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We Recreated The Land-Grant Trophy For $154.84

The Land-Grant Trophy, given to the winner of the Penn State-Michigan State matchup every year, is one of the most recognizable awards in all of sports to say the very least. 

It boasts some of the least inspiring design components I have ever laid eyes on, but that’s precisely what makes it so beautiful. The Land-Grant Trophy even has one of the best unofficial accounts on all of Twitter.

In 1993, the Land-Grant Trophy came into existence, much to the chagrin of eyes everywhere.

We took it upon ourselves to see what it takes to make a trophy of this sort. For those of you who are looking to become journalists in the future, prepare yourself for some capital-J, hard-hitting Journalism. With absolutely no power tools, we set out to recreate the Land-Grant Trophy — and we took the liberty of making a few adjustments.

On Thursday morning I saw that Roar Lions Roar posted an impressive step-by-step guide to creating your own Land-Grant Trophy. I felt slightly defeated because I wasn’t able to finish my trophy before that post came out and our idea seemed a little less original suddenly. 

Then, a wise man by the name of Tony Colucci told me, “Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the Land Grant Trophy. It is the product of centuries of establishing a Republic, destroying it, and conquering every nation in your way only to be destroyed by a bunch of Germans.”

So, I continued on my journey to finish this thing.

Before I show you what I’ve created, I just want you internet commenters out there to understand that I know this trophy looks bad. My craftsmanship isn’t great, but I still got a 97% on my final project in eighth-grade woodshop which is pretty good if you ask me.

It all started with a trip to Home Depot to purchase wood and wood glue. That trip cost a grand total of $63.08 and provided the basis for our beautiful creation. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time or energy to stain the wood that beautiful dark color, but I’m still happy with the end product.

We didn’t have the time to order trophy figures, so we took some artistic liberties here. Those artistic liberties — in the form of a mini Gaff sign, Herlocher’s mustard, and a mini Nittany Lions — cost a grand total of $91.76.

The general shape of the thing, in my opinion, is pretty accurate. If you disagree, just take a look at the real thing.

Photo: Penn State Athletics

You’ll notice a few obvious changes, as we generally removed the aspects of the real trophy that we deemed relatively unimportant. For example, instead of keeping Michigan State’s Beaumont Tower on the trophy, we placed a wooden “Shandygaff” sign in its place.

Just remember that all roads lead to Gaff.

Also, we nixed the Spartan statue for a jar of Herlocher’s dipping mustard. I dumped about half of the mustard because the full jar was too heavy and there’s just something about Big Mustard that threatens classic State College structures.

Instead of paying for an engraving that says “THE LAND-GRANT TROPHY,” we simply printed out a label. This is Sean Clifford’s world that we’re all living in, after all.

We did, of course, keep the Nittany Lion on the statue — mostly because you can pretty easily find these miniature ones downtown. Up top, we replaced the stupid, generic trophy figure with a miniature Joe Paterno statue. This trophy just has too much class for a generic figure.

Along the side, we decided against listing all of the previous winners of the trophy. Instead, I stuck some Onward State stickers on there because this trophy makes me feel like a winner. 

I don’t really recommend making your own Land-Grant Trophy, honestly. The chances are that it won’t look as good as the original (unless you’re the eighth-grade version of myself) and the original trophy looks atrocious as it is. You’re basically doomed to make an ugly, strewn together hunk of wood. 

But maybe that’s what college football fandom is all about.

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About the Author

Derek Bannister

Derek is a senior majoring in Economics and History. He is legally required to tell you that he's from right outside of Philly. Email Derek compliments and dad-jokes at [email protected]


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