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National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events -- in cartoon form
80 Years Today…The Real Jug Returns!
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By Dave Granlund
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events. Dave has been an editorial cartoonist published in daily newspapers since 1977. Born in Ware, Mass., Granlund began drawing cartoons in grade school and at ...
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Dave Granlund's Editorial Cartoons
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events. Dave has been an editorial cartoonist published in daily newspapers since 1977. Born in Ware, Mass., Granlund began drawing cartoons in grade school and at age 16, he was published on the editorial pages of local weekly newspapers. His eight-year enlistment in the USAF included assignments with SAC HQ and with Headquarters Command, where his duties included work as head illustrator for the Presidential Inaugural Subcommittee and providing briefing charts for the White House and support for Air Force One. As part of NATO in Operation Looking Glass with the Airborne Command Post, he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Dave's newspaper honors include awards from UPI, New England Press Association, International Association of Business Communicators, The Associated Press and Massachusetts Press Association. His work has been nominated numerous times for the Pulitzer Prize. His pastimes and interests include history, wood carving, antique tractors and Swedish language studies.
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Many of you know the story—For those who don’t read on.  For those who do, skip to the bottom for a little Jug update.

PANIC(!) erupted in mid-September 1931.   The coveted Little Brown Jug, the symbol of the Michigan-Minnesota rivalry, vanished from the U-M Administration building.   A frantic search ensued sending media relations man Phil Pack (think of a vintage Bruce Madej) all over town chasing leads.  Based on a tip Pack even searched a few cider mills..but those visits proved fruitless.  /wink

Then, on November 19, 1931, the very same week of the Minnesota game that season, a car pulled up to the Tuomy Hills gas station (now the Bearclaw Coffee at the corner of Washtenaw and Stadium) with four men wearing “dark goggles.”   One of the disguised passengers rolled out a jug onto the pavement & it was scooped up by gas station attendant K.D. Smith.   While initial reports were skeptical of the authenticity of the crock, which was said to have been “freshly painted”, Fielding H. Yost himself inspected it and said it was indeed the real McCoy.  A local sports writer said Yost was full of it, calling it “a clever imitation.” 

Michigan retained the jug in 1931 but then headed back to Minneapolis in 1932.  Yost went along on the trip (Harry Kipke coached the squad) and was bombarded by the press with questions on authenticity of the trophy.   Old “Hurry Up” told them, “Why sure, it’s the real jug.  Take a look at it.  Does it look like a phony?”  [memo: Yes, it more than kind of looked like a phony apparently.]  Thankfully the Wolverines retained the jug in 1932 and Kipke, Yost and crew traveled home with the prized piece of stoneware.  And since we’re all friends here, I’ll add that U-M went onto to an undefeated season and took the 1932 national championship.

Then in 1933…on this day eighty years ago…another jug appeared on campus.  A little media outfit named the New York Times reported thusly:

1933 New York Times

Now Yost confirms that this is the authentic jug (effectively admitting he tried to pass off the “gas station jug” as the real deal).  The Grand Old Man claimed ignorance on what happened or who was involved with the thievery and the return, but openly asked for the person responsible for keep the jug the last 2 years contact him.

The full timeline events from the 1931 disappearance is here.   And all of your Little Brown Jug Lore is here.

 

Note 1: Commemorative?:  Attention Jug fans and Jug Brotherhood.  My spies tell me that the outfit that undoubtedly spun and kilned the original Brown Jug, Red Wing Pottery, are considering issuing a commemorative jug in honor of this special season which is the 110th anniversary of the 1903 6-6 tie (that launched the LBJ rivalry) and/or the 100th meeting between our two schools.   Nothing firm..but I’m efforting the details.  Stay tuned.

Note 2: Fourth and Long:  Unconfirmed…but there might be a little shoutout to the Jug and a Jugologist in John U.’s soon-to-be released book, Fourth and LongGet it now!

Note 3:  Follow MVictors on Twitter 

Michigan Football Tickets

** H/T goes to Craig Barker of The Hoover Street Rag for dropping this tasty morsel into the very rich with tradition Michigan Football History Calendar, effectively validating why we creating the calendar in the first place.

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