The pig’s the thing
Roundabout statue will feature homage to iconic sports trophy
When former Iowa Hawkeye quarterback Chuck Long arrived on the University of Iowa campus in 1981, one of the first things he heard about was the rivalry with the Minnesota Gophers and the Floyd of Rosedale trophy that goes along with it.
“One of our trainers did this Floyd of Rosedale chant and he did it every single time we were about to play Minnesota,” Long recalled during a Floyd of Rosedale ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon. “Get Floyd back was the name of the chant.”
The ribbon-cutting was held at the North 32nd Street roundabout, where a Floyd of Rosedale sculpture will be located in the future. The event, hosted by the Floyd of Rosedale Planning Committee and the city of Fort Dodge, marked an occasion for fundraising efforts to continue for the project.
Floyd was a pig who really existed years ago, and he lived on a farm on the east side of Fort Dodge near Rosedale Rapids, which is now the city’s aquatic center.
In 1935, Minnesota Gov. Floyd Olson offered a bet to Iowa Gov. Clyde Herring. Olson bet a live hog on the outcome of the football game, and Herring accepted.
Iowa lost the game, so Herring obtained a hog from Allen Loomis, the owner of Rosedale Farms. Herring named it Floyd after the Minnesota governor and had it delivered to Olson’s office.
Olson later commissioned a 98-pound bronze sculpture of the animal, which became the traveling trophy for which the two teams compete today.
During Long’s playing days, he held a record of 2-2 against the Gophers while he was the Hawkeyes’ starter.
That means on two occasions he was part of bringing the Floyd of Rosedale trophy home to Iowa.
“It was a tough rivalry,” Long said. “We knew it would be. It was so enjoyable when we won that game, to rush over there and get Floyd back and carry Floyd of Rosedale back to Kinnick and back to our locker room.”
But when prompted by Fort Dodge City Councilman Dave Flattery, Long admitted he never actually hoisted the trophy himself.
“The linemen lifted it for me,” Long said. “I was just a weak little quarterback.”
Flattery is on the Floyd of Rosedale Planning Committee.
The sculpture will be of an artist’s creative interpretation of the Floyd of Rosedale.
It will not look exactly like the trophy does, according to Flattery.
Flattery said artist proposals have been received by the committee and he anticipates announcing a winner within the next couple of weeks.
An exact timeline for the project hasn’t been revealed.
Randy Kuhlman, chief executive officer of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way, said he appreciates the history of the rivalry.
“I heard an analyst on ESPN say that this is the No. 1 rivalry trophy in the country,” Kuhlman said. “And we have a piece of that history in Fort Dodge. We are pleased to be a small part of this effort.”
Of course, the ceremony wasn’t complete without the presence of a real pig.
That’s where Dolly came in. She’s a pig from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, belonging to Mikaela Haugan. Haugan is the niece of Fort Dodge City Councilman Terry Moehnke.
“She’s had the pig since she was a baby,” Moehnke said. “It lives in her house. It has its own bedroom.”
Dolly, who was dressed in an Iowa Hawkeyes-themed tutu, seemed plenty happy to be there as Haugan fed her grapes and Cheerios.
“She’s a Hawkeyes fan today,” Haugan said.
Long enjoyed seeing Dolly as well.
“That’s awesome,” he said. “I haven’t seen a real-life pig in a while.”
Floyd of Rosedale history
(According to the Floyd of Rosedale
It all started in 1934, when the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers played a football game against the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.
Iowa’s running back Ozzie Simmons, who was one of few black players at the time, was singled out to be hit with excessive force during a 48-12 home loss to Minnesota. It’s said that Simmons was knocked unconscious three times before leaving the game in the second quarter.
When the time came for Iowa and Minnesota to face each other again in 1935, Iowa Gov. Clyde Herring warned Minnesota not to pull the same stunts it had the prior year. The day before the game, Herring issued a statement that read: “The University of Iowa football team will defeat the University of Minnesota tomorrow. Those Minnesotans will find 10 other top-notch football players besides Ozzie Simmons against them this year. Moreover, if the officials stand for any rough tactics like Minnesota used last year, I’m sure the crowd won’t.”
Minnesota Gov. Floyd Olson sent a telegram to Herring on game-day morning, which read, “Dear Clyde, Minnesota folks excited over your statement about the Iowa crowd lynching the Minnesota football team. I have assured them that you are a law-abiding gentleman and are only trying to get our goat. The Minnesota team will tackle clean, but, oh! how hard, Clyde. If you seriously think Iowa has any chance to win, I will bet you a Minnesota prize hog against an Iowa prize hog that Minnesota wins today. The loser must deliver the hog in person to the winner. Accept my bet through a reporter. You are getting odds because Minnesota raises better hogs than Iowa. My best personal regards and condolences.”
Herring accepted. The Gophers won 13-6 without incident and Iowa star Ozzie Simmons played an injury-free game. Afterwards, the Minnesota players went out of their way to compliment Simmons, and Simmons praised the Gophers for their clean, hard-fought play.
Herring obtained an award-winning prize pig which had been donated by Allen Loomis, the owner of Rosedale Farms near Fort Dodge. Dubbed Floyd after the Minnesota governor, the pig was the brother of Blue Boy from Will Rogers’ movie “State Fair.” A few days following the game, Herring collected Floyd of Rosedale and personally walked him into Olson’s carpeted office.
Since the two schools could not continue wagering a live pig, Olson commissioned St. Paul sculptor Charles Brioschi to capture Floyd’s image. The result is a 98-pound bronze trophy, 21 inches long and 15 inches high. Iowa and Minnesota have played for Floyd of Rosedale every year since. The winner of the game is entitled to keep the trophy until the following year’s contest.
Learn more about the Rosedale Roundabout project at fortdodgepublicart.org/floyd-of-rosedale.