SB Nation's excellent Sunday Morning Quarterback blog took some time out to review some of college football's rivalry trophies. Unfortunately, that includes the Paddlewheel and the emailed me and Matt Opper from our Cincinnati blog, Down the Drive for our insight, such as it is.
Yeah, we're not impressed.
Paddlewheel Trophy- Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Pittsburgh Panthers- 9/6/2012
I tried to warn you at the offset that the keepsakes featured this week weren't exactly keepers. In the case of the Paddlewheel Trophy it seems as though nobody from Cincinnati or Pitt will be sad to see it go. When Cincy joined the Big East conference in 2005, they colluded with Pitt to juice up a rivalry between them. They called in "The River City Rivalry" which is good, because, as Matt Opper of Down the Drive put it Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are "two cities that share a river a little else". Unfortunately the prize offered to the victors failed to inspire much devotion. Now with Pitt leaving the Big East at the end of this season, the trophy may be mothballed for a long time after Thursday night. That's kind of shame because after seven straight Panther victories the two schools have played four very competitive games in the last 4 years and were just starting to build a real hatred for each other. In the end fans of UC and Pitt both dismiss the Paddlewheel. Matt Opper described it as "kind of an abomination". Anson Whaley, from Cardiac Hill, adds that it is "ridiculously large", because at about 4 feet tall and 95 pounds it's the size of most punters. So if the Paddlewheel Trophy goes into storage after Thursday, I guess you'll want a large and opaque box.
Simply put, it's an idiotic trophy for an equally idiotic trumped-up rivalry. As I made the point to Joel over at Sunday Morning Quarterback, there's just no history here. Of course there was the 2009 disaster from Pitt's standpoint at Heinz Field, but the two schools aren't even that close.
Be sure to head over and check out the rest of the writeups.