The “Golden Egg,” which is in reality a football, came about as a means to lessen the tension between supporters of the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University. While the trophy is actually a football, it is shaped like an egg, as footballs in the 1920s were more oblong than today. The “Golden Egg” trophy came along in 1927, one year after a dramatic (and violent) game between Ole Miss and Mississippi A&M College. The Mississippi boys from Oxford won the game, but it was what happened after the game that caused cooler heads to come up with the idea for a trophy.
Excited after finally beating their arch rivals, the Ole Miss fans spilled onto the field and a number ofthem rushed for the goal posts. In response, several of the A&M supporters grabbed some wooden chairs and began attacking the “bearded Bersekers” from Oxford. "Irate Aggie supporters,” according to one account, “took after the ambitious Ole Miss group with cane bottom chairs, and fights broke out.” After the fight, which caused several injuries, The Reflector called the Ole Miss fans who had attempted to take down the goal posts "a band of hoodlums.” Both sides were guilty, though, and “The Battle of Starkville” was an embarrassment to both schools, which was witnessed by Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Dennis Murphree. The consensus was that something had to be done to calm down the rivalry. Thus, the “Golden Egg” was born.
The first awarding of the “Golden Egg” trophy was on Thanksgiving Day in 1927 and was presented to the host team, Ole Miss, who won the game 20-12. Again, the 14,000 spectators represented the largest crowd to date to attend the game. The trophy was presented in a ceremony following the game and (presumably) both sides sang their respective Alma Mater songs. Taken with the new spirit of cooperation between the two schools, the editor of The Mississippian proposed consolidating Ole Miss and Mississippi A&M. With enhanced facilities, the editor opined that the football team the combined schools would produce would create a “combination unbeatable by any aggregation in the country.” Apparently, Gov. Theodore G. Bilbo (right) agreed, and proposed just such a consolidation in his inaugural speech in January. Faced with intense opposition and protests from both sides, however, the idea was quietly dropped from Bilbo’s agenda. Today, of course, the “Battle for the Golden Egg” has nationwide interest and has created perhaps more passion among the Bulldog and Rebel faithful than ever before. Since 1927, though, the “Golden Egg” has peacefully changed hands at the conclusion of the “Egg Bowl,” a name coined in 1979 by a Clarion Ledger sports writer. Hopefully, the award of the $250 golden football will keep the peace for many years to come.
Photo and Image Sources:
Golden Egg: http://www.clarionledger.com
Hazel: From the 1927 Ole Miss annual
Game photo: From the 1927 Reveille yearbook
Article: From the Times-Picayune, November 26, 1926
Cartoon: From the 1927 Ole Miss annual
Egg Bowl trophy: http://www.olemisssports.com