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Found: The ugliest rivalry trophy in all of college football

This past weekend, Michigan State took on Penn State in their Battle for The Land Grant Trophy.

Of all of the rivalry trophy games out there, The Land Grant Trophy is one of the strangest looking trophy designs in all of sports. Some would call it the ugliest trophy in sports.

Behold the awkwardness of this trophy, as Onward State broke down it down feature by feature last October with this picture.

 via Onward State

via Onward State

After firing off a tweet that the oddly designed trophy has to be the ugliest rivalry trophy in college football, I was quickly corrected with an image of...well, you've got to see it for yourself.

Screen Shot 2020-12-15 at 10.30.03 AM

Yeah. That's a troll on a stump.

The curious college football fan that I am, I had to get the backstory on that, so in addition to bringing the Troll to my attention, Concordia College (D-III - MN) defensive coordinator Kyle Bakken also sent over an article from Concordia's website in 2013 that explains the history of what we can now definitively call the ugliest rivalry trophy in college football.

...and to be clear, in this instance we're using the term "ugly" here as the highest form of endearment.

The Troll Tophy is now proudly used as a traveling trophy awarded to the winner of the Concordia College vs. St. Olaf College game - two Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference members. The two teams, who both share a Norwegian heritage, have been playing for the trophy since 1974.

Four decades ago, that troll was made from moss, harvested from pine trees in Norway as a way to welcome St. Olaf back into the league after two decades away. The entire trophy is natural, all the way down to the pine cones used for the fingernails and toe nails.

Part of the legend of the trophy is that the creator of the trophy was legally blind (which may or may not be accurate) who would climb pine trees and bag the moss through the winter in order to create trolls to sell.

The Troll even made an appearance on the College GameDay set in 2013. See that video below.

Next time you hear someone talking about the ugliest trophy in a rivalry game, you'll be able to flex your college football knowledge on them with the story of the Troll Trophy.

...and now you know.

Read more on the history of the Troll Trophy here.