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10 Questions With The Land-Grant Trophy

If you thought the White Out was the highlight of this Penn State football season, brace yourselves. After dropping consecutive season-ruining stinkers the last two years, Penn State is entering its game against Michigan State with a vengeance — not that players need any additional motivation when the Land-Grant Trophy is up for grabs.

From its ornate shelving to its textbook butt joint to the handful of artifacts representing Penn State and Michigan State, the trophy is truly, a sight to behold, and there’s nothing like it out there.

We sat down with what James Franklin would call the most beautiful trophy in college football via Twitter DM to get to know it better and pick its brain about the Big Ten, the two teams that vie for it every year, and some of its features.

1. You’re going to be on national TV this weekend. Are you doing any extra preparation for your close-up on ABC? Some polish on the football player figurine? Dusting off the Nittany Lion? Tuning up the lasers?

I like to think that I’m always ready for the camera, but the equipment team here in East Lansing has been putting in some extra time and elbow grease so that I look my best. The lasers can be tricky (the 2017 laser delay was entirely my fault), but I’m ready to fire!

2. Do you have a favorite feature?

Aside from the rich mahogany, everything. What’s not to love? Old Main and Beaumont Tower show off the beauty of the campuses, and the Spartan and Lion Shrine are beloved by all. Many may say my lasers are my most notable feature, but they’re just a byproduct of how excited I get for this game.

3. You’ve been caressed and held by many lovers, from Nick Saban to Joe Paterno to Mark D’Antonio to James Franklin. Who has the softest hands and warmest embrace?

I’m a trophy, so I can’t actually feel physical warmth or softness. That said, Coach Franklin has called me the most beautiful trophy in sports, and that makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

4. Is Big Ten smash-mouth football dead?

Of course not. Look at Noah Cain or Elijah Collins, plus these two defenses, and try to tell me Big Ten smash-mouth football is dead!

5. Would you rather drape a LawnBoyz chain or a Michigan State Wrigley’s Doublemint alternate jersey over yourself?

You know I’m not shy about ornamentation, so I would pick the chain. But if Jake Zembiec is really ready to #dripsohard, how about he wears a certain 76.2-pound mahogany trophy on a chain?

6. Which school has a better, more Land-Grant original name, Michigan Agriculture or Farmers High School?

I think the fact that Penn State was a farming education institute even before the passing of the Morrill Act of 1862 means quite a bit, but I need to acknowledge that agriculture is more than just farming. Michigan State was the first land-grant university, so they take this one.

7. Obviously you’re the creme de la creme when it comes to trophies. But if you had to choose a second-best in the Big Ten, which would it be and why?

The $5 Bits of Broken Chair trophy is an instant classic™. I have lots of respect for what he’s doing for charity.

8. If you had your lasers pointed at incoming Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and would let him go only if he fulfilled one request of yours, what would it be and why?

Move the battle for me back to Rivalry Week. There’s no other trophy that so directly impacts the participants in the Big Ten Championship game, and there’s no other rivalry in the conference in which both teams have won in Indianapolis. Rivalry week is simply incomplete without me.

When Kevin Warren was announced as the new commissioner of the Big Ten, I was fortunate enough to attend the press conference and issue a statement. I think the fan consensus is clear on this issue.

9. Both Michigan State and Penn State try to be known as “State” and use the letter S as an alternate logo. Which school is the true “State?”

Oh, easy one: State. Next question?

10. As per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur, which would it be and why?

As you might imagine, I would be the Argentinosaurus, the largest dinosaur who ever existed. The world already envies my girth, but just imagine if I were 115 feet tall and weighed over 100 tons! Absolute. Unit.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected]. All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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