Hoosiers having fun with Old Brass Spittoon

Richard Lagow had never experienced anything like it.

Saturday was his introduction to the Big Ten, his first chance to take down a ranked opponent and celebrate with a rivalry trophy. It was also the first time he’d been enveloped by a fan base that swallowed the Hoosiers whole after the game, when many in the announced crowd of 43,971 cascaded from the stands and ran onto the field in a mass gathering of human catharsis.

“If fans rushed the field at Cisco (Community College), there’d be six people on the field,” the former junior college quarterback said.

For one night, Indiana was able to soak in the spoils of knocking off a ranked Big Ten team on its homefield. Of course, by the time the Hoosiers reconvened for Sunday meetings, the focus had shifted to this week’s matchup at Ohio State.

But Indiana seemed to make the most of its Saturday night celebration.

And soak, they did.

The Old Brass Spittoon, which has not been in Indiana’s possession since 2006, is going to need a good rinsing after IU players filled their trophy with drool, as is apparently now customary when this particular treasure changes hands.

Senior defensive tackle Ralph Green III admitted to verging on tears when he gained control of the trophy after the game, and his teammates quickly learned exactly how much Green wanted to claim it as his own.

“Ralph had his hands on it for awhile,” Lagow said. “I couldn’t even really get it from him. He handed it over for me to spit in, then he pulled it right back.”

“Ralph loves that spittoon,” IU receiver Mitchell Paige said.

But does he love it more than assistant athletic director Mark Deal loves the Old Oaken Bucket?

“No one loves anything more than Coach Deal loves the Bucket,” Paige said. “I don’t care who it is.”

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie also showed his affection for the spittoon, spitting into it during a visit to IU’s victorious postgame locker room.

With a spittoon, that’s what you do.

“It was pretty special, for sure,” defensive coordinator Tom Allen said.