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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

4 Reasons to Attend the 130th Bronze Turkey Game

Knox plays Monmouth for the Bronze Turkey

by Tyler Price '19

Saturday, November 3, marks the 130th football contest between the Knox College Prairie Fire and the Monmouth Fighting Scots in the traditional Bronze Turkey game. The game will be held at the Knosher Bowl, at the corner of Cedar and Knox streets, and will kick off at 1 p.m. after a Senior Day ceremony at 12:40 p.m.

Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t miss this nationally recognized tradition.

1. The long history behind the contest.

Though the first game was not played until 1888, a November 1881 issue of The Knox Student issued a prediction about the matchup. "If an eleven was formed we might have a game or two with our Abingdon, Monmouth, and Lombard neighbors." There is no clear reason why this prediction was made, or why it took seven years to come to fruition. But it is an established fact that on an otherwise average day on Knox College’s campus, a group of Monmouth students arrived on campus and challenged Knox to a match, which Monmouth lost. The first recorded score of a Knox-Monmouth game wasn’t until 1891, when Knox won 22-4.

2. The drama behind the game’s poultry prize.

The Bronze Turkey itself has a long and unusual history. A former Knox player, Bill Collins '29, had settled into a reporting role for TheRegister-Mail after a career-ending injury. As a spur-of-the-moment move to “add some spice” to the game, as well as pay heed to its roots of being played on Thanksgiving day, Collins picked a turkey trophy. Collins convinced the editors-in-chief of the Galesburg and Monmouth newspapers to cough up $20 each to purchase the foot-high bronze turkey replica. Since then, the turkey trophy has been stolen more than a dozen times, damaged at least three times, and buried under the Monmouth College indoor track.

3. An opportunity to help Galesburg schoolchildren.

This year, the Knox football team is partnering with Blessings in a Backpack for the Bronze Turkey game. Knox College's Blessings in a Backpack organization is currently feeding 430 Galesburg elementary students every weekend. Among the food provided are apples, raisins, and chicken noodle soup. The team will be collecting cans of soup and cash for the organization at the gates to the Knosher Bowl starting at noon on game day. The partnership has announced that this year’s goal is to collect 10,000 cans.

4. A goodbye to more than a dozen seniors.

Those being honored for Senior Day include Tristyn Ruiz, who joined the team his junior year, and Lauren Kaltenecker, who has managed the team her entire College career, as well as numerous four-year roster members for the Prairie Fire. Among them: the Fire’s leading three tacklers, Logan Hollis (62 tackles), Tyler Podwojski (50), and Jordan Anderson (45). Other seniors who will be recognized are Mario Whitley, Patrick Marzolino, Quinn Sharp, Evan Economos, Malik Hamilton, Dylan Zippay, Tyler Paul, Dom Parello, Jesus Flores, and Trey Swanson.

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Printed on Thursday, April 25, 2024