This Saturday at St. Olaf, the Oles are hoping for a victory over Carleton which will enable them to keep the goat trophy which has gone back and forth between the schools since 1931 when St. Olaf prevailed 25-6. There is a different goat trophy for basketball superiority dating to 1913.
Although the football trophy itself has at times been wrongly ascribed to a “St. Olaf carpenter,” the Northfield News of Oct. 16, 1931, announced that a “relative of the famous basketball goat” would go to the winner of the Oct. 17 football game. The story said: “the new goat, which is carved from a wood plaque, has been stamped ‘official’ by the athletic departments of both colleges. It is the work of a Minneapolis man who designed the ‘bacon’ Minnesota and Wisconsin universities fight for on the gridiron each fall.”
This “Minneapolis man” was Dr. Ranthus B. Fouch, a graduate of the college of dentistry at the University of Minnesota in 1914 who was handy with tools. In 1930 he created what was called the “Slab of Bacon” trophy which was given to the winner of the football game between the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin (the team which “brought home the bacon”). This trophy disappeared after a Minnesota victory in 1943 and was replaced by Paul Bunyan’s axe in 1948. (Strangely, it was discovered in a storage room at the Wisconsin Athletic Department in 1994.)
Archivists at St. Olaf and Carleton do not have a record of why Dr. Fouch was approached to design the goat trophy. Fouch died in a 1945 auto accident. But his creation lives on every year in the annual clash between St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges.