Before there was Paul Bunyan’s Axe…there was the Slab of Bacon. The Badgers and Gophers began playing for this trophy back in 1930, with the belief that the winning team would “bring home the bacon.” The Bacon was lost in the hullabaloo following the 1943 contest, and it disappeared for over 50 years.
The trophy was found in a Camp Randall Storage closet in 1994, with the scores of every Minnesota and Wisconsin game from 1930-1974 engraved on the back. So someone was taking care of this misplaced relic.
Today you can visit the Slab of Bacon in the Wisconsin Football Office, though it does not travel. However it’s our hope that this classic piece of college football tradition joins Paul Bunyan’s Axe as the prize to the winner of the annual Gopher-Badger clash. This way the longest-played rivalry in Division I football can be the only one where the victor takes home two rivalry trophies.
The Slab of Bacon is our first “retro” rivalry trophy and it features the exact same dimensions as the actual trophy, with length of 17 1/2 inches, wide of 9 3/4 inches and 1 1/4 inches in depth. It weighs around 8 lbs. As the trophy comes adorned with the rope shown, it will allow for creative display opportunities.