The Battle for The Palladium
Dillon Taylor, MTN Reporter
September 16, 2020
College athletics are known for their intense rivalries and longstanding traditions. With 130 D-I FBS football teams across the country, there’s no shortage of passionate fanbases that love to hate each other. In many of these rivalry games, a trophy or piece of memorabilia is at stake for the rest of the calendar year. By holding possession of the spoil of victory, that team has bragging rights until the next highly anticipated matchup. In some cases, a team could be winless coming in to the game, but walk out of it with a sense of great pride and accomplishment for the year.
MTSU is slated to face the Troy Trojans this week in a Conference USA vs. Sun Belt matchup. The schools have faced off 20 times over the last 84 years, with MTSU leading the series 12-8. While the Blue Raiders won 10 out of the first 11 matchups spanning from 1936-2003, the Trojans have owned the series as of late. However, MTSU won the most recent game in 2012 and have held onto the bragging rights ever since.
In this series, the winner also gains more than just the ability to talk trash. The Palladium Trophy was introduced to the series in 2003 and has sparked an even greater interest in the game for many fans. It was crafted with a nod to Greek mythology, with the team names being a main reason why. A “Raider” by the name of Odysseus is said to have stolen the wooden statue from the city of Troy during the Trojan War. It’s said that whoever holds possession of the trophy gains an “unexplainable advantage” over their opponent, which has been theorized as being a main reason for the fall of Troy in late 1100 BC.
MTSU fans will certainly be hoping that the team plays with some of that unexplainable advantage on Saturday. After a tough loss to Army to open the season, the Blue Raiders will be looking to get back to .500 on the season against the unproven Trojans. While it is only the first game of the season for Troy, they didn’t exactly have an outstanding 2019 campaign. After going 5-7 for the year, the Trojans are sure to come out looking to start off the 2020 season on the right foot. Only one thing is certain when the game kicks off at 3pm on ESPN2, and that is the winner will leave the stadium knowing that they have someone’s number (and keepsake) for the next 365 days.