Hawaii and Fresno State share the Mountain West Conference together, having both jumped from the WAC, which no longer has football. As such, the two share more history with each other than with most of their current conference-mates. They first met on the gridiron in 1938, and Fresno State leads what’s currently a 48-game series by a 26-1-1 margin. That’s pretty good parity for a head-to-head!
Now, Rainbow Warriors coach Nick Rolovich wants to spice the series up. Examine:
Rolovich wants Golden Screwdriver awarded to winner of UH-Fresno State gamehttps://t.co/5aWVPTx3t0 pic.twitter.com/uchUgdgYz5— Star-Advertiser (@StarAdvertiser) November 17, 2016
The Golden Screwdriver. I’m in love already.
Here’s the meat of the backstory, via the Honolulu Star Advertiser:
The trophy was the result of a contest held several years ago by ESPN radio 940 in Fresno in which the station asked listeners to design something to symbolize the rivalry between the two schools.
It is in recognition of an alleged incident from the teams’ 2002 game in Fresno. In the aftermath of UH’s 31-21 victory, Hawaii’s first in Bulldog Stadium, head coach June Jones claimed several objects were thrown at the UH sideline, including a screwdriver where he was standing.
Fresno State issued an apology at the time saying, “we believe that a screwdriver was thrown by one of our fans at the University of Hawaii team bench.”
“It would be fun,” Rolovich told the paper. “That legend will grow and, pretty soon, it’ll be a mechanic jumped out from behind the goal post and was throwing screwdrivers at June like a ninja.”
The best rivalry trophies come about organically. Think of this as an idea not dissimilar to the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy, a Twitter joke turned actual rivalry trophy between Nebraska and Minnesota. That’s a cool trophy that sprung up from something between the schools’ fans (sort of), and this could be like that, too.
More generally, I think we could all endorse “the Golden _____” rivalry trophies popping up around the country, depending on what fans might throw on the field in a given game. The NFL could have an Eagles-Giants “Golden Beer Can Trophy.” If you’re OK twisting around meanings a bit, the Florida State-Miami “Golden Twitter Mention” could be a really good time, too.
The Golden Screwdriver would be good. I urge Hawaii and Fresno State to act swiftly to bring it into reality.