Northwestern defeated Illinois 27-10 last Saturday, but the story line that attracted national attention was the discontinuation of the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk trophy. On the one hand, I regret the ending of this tradition, and the 50% reduction in pre-modern hand-to-hand weaponry in Big Ten rivalry trophies. On the other hand, I support the NCAA's crusading effort to prevent Illinois from using any Native American imagery, only because they will eventually find the urge to put a hung-over frat boy in buckskin and have him flail away at some sort of 1950s version of Indian-themed calisthenics irresistable. Ending the Sweet Sioux tradition is a small sacrifice we all must make in order to avoid seeing this again:
With the Sweet Sioux retired, Illinois and Northwestern bigwigs will meet to determine the next trophy that will symbolize this heated, tradition-rich rivalry. No doubt they will not give the search for the trophy the seriousness and gravity it deserves.
I suggest that they replace the trophy with Dick Butkus. Dick Butkus can be transported by crate to the site of the game every year, before he is released to the winning team. He will then spend the year running a neighborhood bar and grill, like he did on "My Two Dads." In the event of Dick Butkus's death, he will be replaced by J Leman and Tim McGarigle, assuming that McGarigle is let off of traffic duty after telling the Commissioner where he can stuff his red tape and his due process.
Alternatively, the trophy could be named after the Tully Monster, Illinois's official State Fossil. The Tully Monster is, of course, a tiny worm-like creature, so I suggest that we take advantage of our crumbling school systems' promotion of scientific illiteracy and re-imagine the Tully Monster as a flying Tyrannosaurus that has an entire bleeding populace hanging from its jaws while its useless, vestigial forearms carry a crude bludgeoning instrument, which would look much more intimidating and symbolize the intensity of the rivalry between these two programs. If anyone asks how fierce the rivalry is, it can be described as a flying Tyrannosaurus with the ability to make crude tools and possibly shoot laserbeams from somwhere on its face, so yeah that's pretty goddamned fierce, I would say an order of magnitude more fierce than an old oaken bucket.