By Ryan Freeberg
In week three of the college football season, the Oregon State Beavers faced the Nevada Wolf Pack. With just a smidge under six minutes left in the game, Oregon State linebacker John McCartan intercepted a pass from Wolf Pack quarterback Ty Gangi. What followed would make the rounds over social media and national sports coverage for the following few days.
When McCartan returned to the sideline, Oregon State debuted the Turnover Chainsaw. Marching up and down the sideline, McCartan paraded around revving the motor and hyping up the Oregon State faithful. It was a spectacle — an incoherent spectacle.
That’s not to say Nevada doesn’t have a prop of their own. Against Oregon State, the Wolf pack unveiled the Turnover Towel…maybe head coach Jay Norvell needs to sit down with his players and brainstorm.
The Turnover Chainsaw or the Turnover Towel are not the first props to make their way onto the sidelines of college football. Universities have been using props to celebrate during games for decades. Multiple university’s have been using cannons to celebrate touchdowns —the Wolf Pack being one of them— but the concept of using a prop to celebrate a turnover, is relatively new.
Turnover props range from the mundane, to the unbelievable to the down right gaudy. Here are just a few according to to the NCAA.
This current trend was arguably started by the University of Alabama with their ball-out belts. These were made in the style of classic boxing belts and awarded to players for causing fumbles or interceptions. The trend really started turning heads last year at the University of Miami.The university gave out horrendous looking gold chains to players making similar plays to the Alabama standard.
Among the best examples of this trend, is Kennesaw State’s Turnover Plank —based on the character Plank from the Cartoon Network cartoon Ed, Edd, and Eddy. Southern Methodist University uses a golden crown and bedazzled chalice to celebrate. The University of Memphis uses the Turnover Robe with the wording, Turnover Champ, stitched into the back. All of these are laughable, but passable.
The worst perpetrator in the nation is Boise State. If their garish blue turf wasn’t enough to paint the picture, Boise unveiled the Turnover Throne —a silver dipped chair with gaudy trim work. Boise State also has a Turnover Bike for the self dubbed Kings of Chaos. Boise State seems to love its props.
Arguably the two most depressing turnover props in the nation are Florida State’s Turnover Backpack and Temple University’s Turnover Whiteboard. Athletes at Temple write their Twitter handles on the whiteboard and parade around with it. It’s actually more embarrassing when you see it in use.
Every weekend this season, will most likely become a competition of schools one upping each other. Predictions for upcoming props range from the Turnover Shotgun to the Turnover Water Bottle. Hopefully this trend pulls a Vontae Davis and disappears at half-time of a big game, and rides into the sunset.
Ryan Freeburg can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.