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).
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.
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).
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
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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