It’s Bacon Week on the University of Minnesota campus, as Iowa travels north to face the Golden Gopher football team.
Above: Minnesota Gov. Floyd Olson, Iowa Gov. Clyde Herring and Floyd in 1935.
After a nasty game between Iowa and Minnesota in Minneapolis in 1934, tensions were high in Iowa City the following year as Minnesota traveled south to play the Hawkeyes. Iowa Governor Clyde Herring threatened anarchy from the local fans if the game became as vicious as the previous year’s.
In an effort to ease tensions, Minnesota Governor Floyd Olson challenged Herring to a wager on the game, suggesting a Minnesota prize hog against an Iowa prize hog. The loser would have to deliver the hog to the winner in person.
In an incident-free game, Minnesota would win 13-6. A pig, the brother of Blue Boy of the Will Rogers film “State Fair”, was donated by Rosedale Farms near Fort Dodge, Iowa and promptly named Floyd after the Minnesota governor.
Since trading a live pig back and forth seemed problematic, Governor Olson commissioned a St Paul artist to capture Floyd’s likeness in bronze for the 1936 season, and the two teams have fought for that little, bronze pig ever since.
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society