Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cousin Tom Welcomes Home Little Brown Jug in Honor of his Father, My Uncle Phil Belfiori

The annual battle for the Little Brown Jug is the oldest trophy in college football, dating back to 1909. The Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Michigan Wolverines this season on September 27, 2014 to bring the Jug home to Minnesota for the first time since 2005.

Above is a video that includes my cousin, Tom Belfiori’s telling a story about his father, my Uncle Phil, who played quarterback for the Gophers from 1936-1939. Tom tells a story of a little jug passed down in his family after the 1938 homecoming game:

“This little jug is from the homecoming in 1938. It says ‘Jug Michigan’ on it and the Gophers beat Michigan here 7-6 and these were passed out,” says Belfiori.

“It’s great, when I had my picture taken I had them turn it to the side where the 1930s football scores were on there to see the scores from when my father played,” says Belfiori.

My father, Tom's Uncle Bill, was the student manager of both the Gopher football and basketball teams in the early 1940s before joining the Marines in 1943.  One of my early childhood recollections is going to Memorial stadium aka "the Brickhouse" with my father and brother to see the Gophers play football on Saturday afternoons in the fall.  At halftime we would gather with M Club Alum in a cold and dank utility room in the bowels of the Brickhouse for orange pop for the kids, coffee for the adults and horrible cake donuts.  A far cry from the posh digs and edible food at TCF Stadium.

If the Gophers were playing Michigan my father would sing the chorus to a song the Glen Miller Orchestra revived for a movie in 1939:

Me and my wife live all alone
In a little log hut we call our own;
She loves gin and I love rum,
And don't we have a lot of fun!
Ha, ha, ha, you and me,
Little brown jug, don't I love thee!
Ha, ha, ha, you and me,
Little brown jug, don't I love thee!
When I go toiling on the farm
I take the little jug under my arm;
Place it under a shady tree,
Little brown jug, 'tis you and me.
’Tis you that makes me friends and foes,
’Tis you that makes me wear old clothes;
But, seeing you're so near my nose,
Tip her up and down she goes.
If all the folks in Adam's race
Were gathered together in one place,
I'd let them go without a tear
Before I'd part from you, my dear.
If I'd a cow that gave such milk,
I'd dress her in the finest silk;
Feed her up on oats and hay,
And milk her twenty times a day.
I bought a cow from Farmer Jones,
And she was nothing but skin and bones;
I fed her up as fine as silk,
She jumped the fence and strained her milk.
And when I die don't bury me at all,
Just pickle my bones in alcohol;
Put a bottle o' booze at my head and feet
And then I know that I will keep.
The rose is red, my nose is too,
The violet's blue and so are you;
And yet, I guess, before I stop,
We'd better take another drop.

I can just hear the chorus in heaven as Dad and Uncle Phil sing the chorus... ha ha ha indeed!