So They Got Rid Of The Peace Pipe

The new Battle of I-75 Trophy. Isn't it nice 'n generic? (Photo via Toledo Athletics)

For some time I didn't even know what the Peace Pipe trophy looked like. The annual Toledo/Bowling Green game had been playing for this trophy since right after World War II but its visage escaped me until recently. The most recent incarnation of it was an orange and gold plaque with a pipe resting atop it. So I'm not too broken up that they are discontinuing the Peace Pipe, citing insensitivity to Native American stereotypes.

You can debate the merits of cleaning up a trophy to be politically correct and not offend, like, whole racial groups. I personally didn't identify it was being a hostile symbol of Native American culture, but who am I to talk? Back in the days I once printed a joke in the campus newspaper that some Native Americans found offensive and so the whole paper had to attend a session about racial sensitivity. I'm not a PC guy. I'm also not a businessman, and the move away from this symbolism is probably for the best.

Enter this new shiny trophy, shown above, as the "Battle of I-75" trophy. It's been colloquially known as the Battle of I-75. Nothing wrong with that, but to make that the official name sort of cheapens the rivalry, because it's not all that exciting to say that the two cities share a common designation of cement.

It'll probably stick around for a while, but what about a rivalry that plays off their common geographical historical area, the Black Swamp? Nobody can be offended by that except for perhaps the woodland critters that used to live in the swamp before we built condominiums on their habitat.

Overall I won't mind it — I have a larger annoyance with how early in the year they're scheduling BG-UT now — because the aesthetics of the trophy doesn't represent how fun this game is. There are so many trophies these days, it wouldn't surprise me if in 10 years every game had some type of tangible object the victors could hoist.

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