It started, like so many things do these days, on the internet. Back in 2014, well-known Nebraska fan @FauxPelini and Minnesota's mascot, Goldy, made a bet ahead of the teams' 2014 game.
@GoldytheGopher OK how about if we win you give me $5, if you win I get to smash a wooden chair over your back
— Faux Pelini (@FauxPelini) November 20, 2014
Thanks to the community of football fans at Reddit, the trophy actually became a thing – a rough-hewn broken chair with fake $5 bills on the bottom – and somehow made it's debut at the 2014 game, a 28-24 win for Minnesota. Nebraska took it back the following year, but the trophy mysteriously disappeared last year with neither school seemingly that interested in seeing the new, unofficial tradition continue.
But you can't keep a fan-favorite trophy down. A group of Husker and Gopher fans has revived the trophy and this time they're hoping it can benefit some worthy causes. The trophy's creators are calling it the Chair-ity Fundraiser, and the group is raising donations to benefit the Team Jack Foundation and University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.
"We are excited to be part of the fan’s efforts in bringing back this trophy," said Kylie Dockter, Executive Director of the Team Jack Foundation. "The awareness and funds raised for pediatric brain cancer is a great addition to this event and we appreciate the opportunity. Pediatric brain cancer is the leading cancer cause of death in children affecting 4,600 kids each year. It is important that we make this a national priority which is exactly what being tied to this fundraiser does. We are forever grateful to the fans for including us."
All of the donations collected in the weeks leading up to this year's Nebraska-Minnesota game will be split evenly between the two charities and the trophy will be on display outside Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium prior to the game on Nov. 11. For more information on how to get involved visit brokenchairtrophy.com.
Also check back with HailVarsity.com later for more on the story of how the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy got its second life.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.