Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 20, 2013.

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Honoring the 40-year keeper of the Little Brown Jug with decals, t-shirts, anniversary stoneware (a jug), and a sweet trophy replica

A custom-designed graphic depicting the deep feelings behind the oldest rivalry trophy in college football...in honor of the 40-year keeper of the Little Brown Jug.

To honor Jon Falk and his 40 years as the University of Michigan football Equipment Manager, MGoPatio and Jil Gordon have teamed up, with a collection of items for those dedicated to The Little Brown Jug. The "Home is Where The Jug Is" design illustrates the loyalty of football fans from Michigan and Minnesota. While versions of the design exist (copyrights and trademarks pending) to represent the Maize & Blue and the Maroon & Gold, this campaign is directed to the Wolverine faithful. In conjunction with this campaign, we have the privilege of being consulted by Greg Dooley of MVictors.com, the premier Jug historian and scholar of all things related to Michigan athletics.

The Little Brown Jug came to be in 1903 and has existed for 110 years. On October 5, 2013, the Wolverines and Gophers play the 100th game in the series and the 94th "Battle for The Jug." Only three of the past 40 years, has The Jug left Ann Arbor, so Jon Falk, has been the de facto "Keeper of The Jug." Hired by Bo Schembechler in 1974 and serving through four decades, Big Jon has dutifully protected the most recognized trophy in college football rivalries. Upon the announcement of his retirement at the end of the 2013 season, we wanted to express our gratitude to Jon in a very special way and give the Michigan faithful an opportunity to be part of "The Team. The Team. The Team." dedicated to The Little Brown Jug.

Home is Where The Jug Is. Few people know this better than Jon Falk. We aim to put that sentiment on decals and t-shirts to satisfy our backers and to fund the production of commemorative jugs from Red Wing Pottery, the original maker of the Little Brown Jug, including one special jug for Jon Falk. We have also secured a one hundred-year-old antique five-gallon Red Wing jug to produce an authentic replica (as close as possible) for a very lucky backer. Finally, we plan to apply the extra funds to the hosting of a tailgate reception for Jon Falk at MGoPatio with an invitation-only guest list of Michigan football dignitaries. Every single backer, at every level, will have their name appear on a thank-you card presented to Jon at his reception.

Who else is involved in the project? Greg Dooley (of the MVictors blog) is an accomplished Jug scholar who has done as much as anyone to recount the lore of The Jug and discover its truths. He informally founded the Brotherhood of The Jug when he publicly recognized the efforts of his readers in the creation of their own Little Brown Jug replicas. Jon Falk will be honored as The Keeper of The Jug and the "International Brotherhood of The Jug" will be made real (if only slightly more so than it already was).

Just a few of the LBJ replicas among the Brotherhood (photo courtesy of MVictors.com)
Just a few of the LBJ replicas among the Brotherhood (photo courtesy of MVictors.com)

Jil Gordon is a professional artist and designer with a personal connection to The Little Brown Jug. Jil has the distinct privilege of painting The Jug, inscribing the year and score each Monday following a Michigan vs. Minnesota contest. She has been a member of the Michigan football family as long as Jon Falk and is responsible for the guest list at Jon's reception. Known for more than her brushwork on The Jug, Jil paints commissioned commemorative game balls and incredible trompe l'oeil murals (jilgordon.com), both of which she has offered as stretch goal rewards in this project. She has also designed the new IBJ logo that will adorn our HIWTJI t-shirt.

Jil works on the classic crock (photo courtesy of MVictors.com)
Jil works on the classic crock (photo courtesy of MVictors.com)

So what are the backer rewards? Every backer, from first to last, will have his or her name included on Big Jon Falk's over-sized thank-you card. At the next level there's a 4" square silk-screened "Home is Where The Jug Is" decal to slap on your wall/laptop/locker/car followed by a HIWTJI t-shirt featuring the new logo for the International Brotherhood of The Jug (honor The Jug in style whether you're a full-fledged member of the IBJ or not).

Be The Jug. Hundreds of backer names (hopefully) will come together to form The Jug on Jon's card.
Be The Jug. Hundreds of backer names (hopefully) will come together to form The Jug on Jon's card.

At the next level, skip the material goods and concentrate on the experience: be one of ten backers to put your name on the exclusive guest list and join us at the MGoPatio tailgate reception for Jon Falk. Attendance is by invitation only and invitations are being extended to many in the Michigan football family, including several you've seen on the sidelines at the Big House.

Go from talking about the history of the Little Brown Jug to living it. Red Wing Pottery in Red Wing, Minnesota, the original makers of the classic rivalry trophy, has agreed to issue an exclusive run of commemorative stoneware jugs. Past and present Red Wing stoneware is regarded as highly collectible and these hand-made pieces will be no exception. The Red Wing kilns no longer fire five-gallon jugs so they will turn out a limited number of one and two-gallon jugs for us. Every specially made piece will bear a mark in honor of the 110 year history of The Jug and the 100th meeting between Michigan and Minnesota. Act quickly and you can pick up one of the first six jugs, in person, at the MGoPatio reception. (A single two-gallon jug and five one-gallon jugs are currently in production at the famed Minnesota pottery.) These distinctly marked six will stand out as some of the rarest stoneware items related to The Jug. (To be clear, the limited and extended run of Red Wing jugs are not painted to match the LBJ. They are glazed and marked with the Red Wing logo, just as the LBJ was before it was made into the rivalry trophy we know today.)

Want to visit MGoPatio, but can't make it to the event on September 30th? Come back a few days later and host your own MGoPatio tailgate event prior to Michigan's Homecoming game against Minnesota on October 5th. Celebrate the 100th Little Brown Jug game in style. A backer at this level can invite up to 50 friends to a pre-game gathering just 150 yards from the nearest Michigan Stadium seat. Enjoy the patio, a finished garage, and a loft space with full bath...all with stadium views.

Finally, if the only thing you care to view is little, brown, and shaped like a beehive with a handle...well, we've got you covered. Start a 40-year relationship with a painstaking reproduction of college football's greatest rivalry trophy. Jil Gordon will laboriously recreate The Jug, matching colors and details of the original sideline vessel on a century-old, five-gallon Red Wing jug secured expressly for this project. Celebrate this season and every season by hoisting your own trophy. Amaze your Maize and Blue friends, one-up your neighbor with the Big House-shaped hot tub, or quietly honor the Jon Falk legacy by adopting your own Little Brown Jug.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Backers at the Red Wing jug levels (#5 and #6) should realize that hand-made Red Wing stoneware pieces are highly collectible and production is limited. Red Wing will do what they can to keep up with demand, but the kiln can only turn out so many pieces a month. If demand skyrockets, delivery of these custom jugs may stretch into the spring...or beyond. Rest assured that if it does, we'll keep you informed as to your place in line and the ETA on your jug.

We're pretty confident in our choice of manufacturer for the decals and t-shirts, but unforeseen circumstances may arise. At worst, delivery is pushed back a short time.

Jon Falk has already told his wife about the tailgate reception, so he's as good as there. We have coaches and former players who want to be there too. It would take something otherwordly to stop the event now.

FAQ

  • Anyone who really knows the history and tradition of the Little Brown Jug doesn't need to see another photo of it to get on board with the project. Likewise, if you know who Jon Falk is--or if you simply want to honor a Michigan Man with a dedication to the team and to The Jug--you probably don't need a video to lend your support.

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  • Absolutely, but after discussion among the organizing forces of the project, it was decided that we should not tempt fate. Superstitions abound in sports and there is no reason to jinx things by planning an early celebration. It's the same reason you never start the wave at the Big House before the game is in hand. If the unthinkable happens...it's your fault.

    As for Monday vs. Saturday...Michigan Footbal doesn't practice on Monday. It's the only day of the week that we could get Jon to come to his own reception without worry of a long day keeping the Keeper of the Jug at Schembechler Hall.

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  • No, there's only one Jug available with a full-fledged paint job. We found a 100-year-old beehive jug that Jil will paint to match the original Jug in as much detail as she can without going blind.

    All the Red Wing jugs produced for this project, from the first six to the extended commemorative run, will look just like the original Jug did when it was purchased in 1903 with the original, unpainted glaze featuring the Red Wing logo. You can put this on your shelf, as-is, if you're a collector, or you can make it the first component in your own Little Brown Jug starter kit. (If you DO make your own jug, I suggest you get in touch with Greg Dooley at MVictors.com for entry into the Brotherhood of the Jug.)

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  • Of course. We're very sorry that we didn't list international options. With several limited items, we couldn't find a good way to split up domestic and International backer options. We decided to list it all as domestic shipping.

    If you're not in the US, please contact us for information on international shipping. If you're willing to work with us on the details (perhaps a few dollars more for increased shipping costs), we'd be MORE than happy to ship across the border.

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  • Pledge $4 or more
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    5 backers

    A symbolic $4 to honor 40 years of Michigan service...that's a bargain. As a backer at this or any level, you'll have your name included in the over-sized thank-you card to be presented to retiring Michigan Equipment Manager Jon Falk at his tailgate reception. Plus, you'll have access to a PDF file of the art work that includes your name.

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  • Pledge $8 or more
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    21 backers

    Your name in the card and... One 4" silk-screened vinyl decal with the "Home is Where The Jug Is" graphic featuring the state of Michigan outline with The Jug situated in Ann Arbor.

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  • Pledge $20 or more
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    1 backer

    Put TWENTY NAMES in Jon's thank-you card...yours and nineteen other members of your family, team, office, alumni group, etc. that might not join the Kickstarter movement on their own. The final version of the PDF card art file will be accessible for you to share with the others.

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  • Pledge $40 or more
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    22 backers

    Your name in the card, one 4" HIWTJI decal and... One "Home is Where The Jug Is" t-shirt (your choice of size) showing The Jug at home in Ann Arbor. The front of the shirt features the IBJ (International Brotherhood of The Jug) logo.

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)

    Your name in the card and...your name on the guest list for the MGoPatio invitation-only tailgate reception to honor Jon Falk on September 30th! Eat, drink, and be merry with a select list of football aficionados and Michigan dignitaries. This is your only way to attend without being a member of the Michigan football family. (This is for the event only. Ann Arbor travel and accommodations are not included.)

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    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    An invitation for two (you +1) to the tailgate reception for Jon Falk. All the same benefits, but now include a friend. Space is limited so the +1 option is scarce. Of course, both names will go in the card!

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  • Pledge $185 or more
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    8 backers

    Your name in the card and... A commemorative ONE-gallon jug from Red Wing Pottery, the original maker of the Little Brown Jug, produced exclusively for this campaign and event. The bottom of the jug will be adorned with a graphic stamp marking the occasion of the 100th game between Michigan and Minnesota.

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  • Pledge $240 or more
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    4 backers

    Your name in the card and... An exclusive, commemorative TWO-gallon jug produced by Red Wing Pottery, the original LBJ producer. The 2-gallon jug is the largest currently made by the classic crock maker and will feature the graphic stamp on the base.

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  • Pledge $245 or more
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    5 backers All gone!

    An invitation to the reception, your name in the card and... One of five Red Wing ONE-gallon jugs hand-made in time for you to pick up AS A GUEST at the Jon Falk tailgate reception at MGoPatio (see reward at $75). Your jug will stand apart as even more collectible because it will be one of just a half dozen bearing a hand-assembled printers stamp commemorating the 100th Michigan-Minnesota match-up.

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  • Pledge $280 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    An invitation to the reception, your name in the card and... One of just two pre-production TWO-gallon Red Wing jugs--and Jon Falk is taking home the other one. You'll have the only jug in this size--other than Jon's--with a printer typeface stamp on the base. In the future, your stoneware crock may even be part of Jug lore. Oh yeah...and you get to pick it up as an INVITED GUEST at Jon's party.

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  • Pledge $4,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Host your own MGoPatio tailgate party across the street from the Big House at the October 5th Michigan Homecoming game against Minnesota. You'll have the run of the MGoPatio site to host your own event for up to 50 friends. There's no better place to bring friends, family, or corporate guests (yes, Michigan businessfan, there really is a tailgate write-off).

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  • Pledge $4,040 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Your own top-tier Little Brown Jug replica. Yes, you have the option to ATTEND THE JON FALK RECEPTION and your name is in the card honoring the 40-year Keeper of The Jug, but YOU can be caretaker to the next closest thing to the classic trophy when you receive a hand-painted replica of The Little Brown Jug, by the painter of The Jug, artist Jil Gordon. Enter The Jug Brotherhood with one of the most authentic Jug replicas ever. A hard-to-find antique 5-gallon Red Wing jug will be painstakingly reproduced to match the actual colors and detail of the 110-year-old rivalry trophy. This level of detail takes time and you will receive your jug by the end of January 2014. (Local pick-up or shipping included.)

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Funding period

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