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Egil Boeckmann-Women Love Him, Men Want To Be Him

The late substitution on Halloween in 1903, scored for the Gophers and started college football's oldest trophy game.

Gopher Football 1903
Gopher Football 1903

"The cry of Ski-u-mah from the stands spurred on the Gophers...Slowly the ball was forced down to the eight-yard line, and then Minnesota made a first down inside the five-yard line. Boeckmann was called on, and with a frantic plunge at right guard he placed the ball over the line."

(November 2, 1903, Minneapolis Journal)

And that is how the Gophers tied  the "point a minute" Michigan Wolverines in 1903 and started the tradition of the Little Brown Jug. Egil Boeckmann had come in at fullback earlier in the second half for a injured player, and today we're gonna look at his stuff!

Egil in 1903. Lack of quality due to a poor newspaper image, my dude still has swagger though.

Egil was from a prominent family in Saint Paul, his father Eduard (because cool Norwegian names run in the family) was a wealthy and well respected doctor, surgeon, and medical inventor.


So Egil clearly had a great childhood and then made the obvious choice of going to Minnesota to study medicine and play some football.

Egil's jersey from the 1903 game. He would later get the games score "6 to 6" stitched on. The jersey was worn to every Little Brown Jug game Egil attended.

Beating Michigan, who was regarded as an unstoppable offensive team was a huge deal. So huge that the newspapers covered it like this:

Ok. Well that looks pretty standard. "Gophers Win Gridiron Glory" Nice alliteration but it's nothing that special.


The game ended in a tie, partly, because right after the extra point was kicked (in 1903 a touchdown was worth 5 points), with two minutes remaining the fans stormed the field and the game was called. AN INTELLIGENT FAN BASE STORMS THE FIELD BEFORE THE GAME IS OVER, DON'T GIVE MICHIGAN ANY TIME TO COME BACK (I'M LOOKING AT EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED THE 2003 GAME).

Anyway, the tie was the only blemish on the Gophers record that year. It's tough to see in the photograph below but the football on the right has the scores of the Michigan game (6 to 6) and the Wisconsin game (17 to 0) written on it. These two games the 1903 Gophers were most proud of. Circled because he's tight, Egil.

1903 mighty double G's

1903 was Egil Boeckmann playing for the Gophers. Afterward he went on to marry James J Hill's daughter (smart financial move). Egil, like his father, became a successful doctor, but remained a Gopher football fan for the rest of his life.

His cool certificate that he got from the U of M for lettering in football in 1901, 1902, and 1903. Looks like they spelled his name wrong though. IT ENDS WITH TWO N'S.

And for no particular reason here is a fun meme with a later-in-life picture of Egil: