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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Investigating Carleton Football’s traditional games for coveted rivalry trophies

<y year Carleton Football has two big games circled on its calendar: the cross-town showdown with St. Olaf College and the battle against  its familiar foe, Macalester College. These games are of special significance for the Knights because they are not only battling to win the games, but also to win coveted trophies.

When Carleton and St. Olaf square off each year, the winner gets to take home the prized Goat Trophy. The tradition of the Goat Trophy was started by the Carleton and St. Olaf men’s basketball teams in 1913. A St. Olaf student created a goat out of old chairs and hung it from the rafters of the gym for the game in an attempt to “get Carleton’s goat.” Carleton ended up winning the basketball game and decided to take the Goat Trophy home.

In 1931, Carleton and St. Olaf football teams created their own Goat Trophy. Every year when the teams play, the winning team marches down to the center of Northfield, where they turn the eagle atop the memorial in Bridge Square to face the winning school until the following year when the teams play again.

The last time the Goat Trophy took its rightful place in Northfield was when the Knights beat the Oles back in 2013. After a loss to Olaf earlier this month, the Knights will have to wait until next season to take back the Goat.

Another Carleton football tradition is the Book of Knowledge. The Macalester Scots and the Carleton Knights battle for the Book of Knowledge in their annual matchup, a game that many have dubbed “The Brain Bowl.” Two of the top academic schools in the region compete for this traveling trophy each season.

This large piece of wood is carved to resemble a book and has the scores of each game engraved on it. Though the Knights lost the Book of Knowledge this season, they have dominated this showdown historically, leading the rivalry 52-9-1 all time.

Rivalry games against a known opponent are the hardest to win. Even though the Knights were unable to bring the Goat Trophy and the Book of Knowledge back to campus this season, their hard-fought battles in these rivalry games provide extra motivation for the team as the offseason approaches.

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