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What is the Turkey Bowl?

November 3, 2017

A rivalry that began in 1888 adds another chapter to its storied history this upcoming Saturday. The football teams from Knox College and Monmouth College will meet for the 129th time.

The two schools are fighting for the Bronze Turkey Trophy which is given to the winning team each year. The Fighting Scots hold a 68-50 edge over Knox along with ten ties. Monmouth has had control of the trophy since 1999, defeating the Prairie Fire in their last 18 meetings. The trophy was created in 1928 and there are some exciting, funny, and even dangerous stories involving the turkey.

In the 1940s, the trophy was stolen and eventually found underneath Monmouth’s dirt track. Then in the 1960s, a Knox student convinced Monmouth faculty that he was a reporter and stole the trophy. In 1984, the bird thieves took a less elaborate approach and decided to break the trophy case and steal the Bronze Turkey. Nearly ten years later during a class reunion, a package was delivered to Professor Willhardt. Inside the box was the turkey.

During the nearly ten-year disappearance of the trophy, a replica was made, and that is now what is awarded to the winning team. The original trophy is locked away in an undisclosed location so no ambitious students get any ideas.

The rivalry isn’t just important to the players and coaches of each team; it’s also important to students, faculty, and community members. In 1989, Knox and Monmouth faced off for what was thought to be the 100th meeting between the two teams (actually 101st). The crowd at the game that year topped out at close to 6,000 people.

This game is an opportunity to see which school has the best football team that year, but it’s also an opportunity for the Galesburg and Monmouth communities to come together and enjoy some friendly competition.

So, make your way to April Zorn Memorial Stadium on Saturday at 2:00 PM. Wear your red and white, paint a big M on your chest, but make sure not to wear a Knuck Fox shirt because you probably won’t be at the game very long if you do. Roll Scots.

Cooper Pauley
Sports Editor

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