For the second straight year, a New Jersey school has inspired an officially licensed, limited-edition bobblehead from the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum.
Late last week, the Milwaukee-based HOF and Museum unveiled the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights #16 Seed Upset Bobblehead, which celebrates the 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Knights’ historic upset win over Purdue in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament earlier this month.
The release marks the first bobblehead for FDU, which fell to Final Four-bound Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in the Round of 32. The Knights join fellow Jersey school Saint Peter’s in getting their own commemorative bobblehead. The Peacocks’ bobblehead marked that team’s 2022 Cinderella run.
FDU’s historic win this year was a bit overshadowed by another unlikely Cinderella run – from yet another Jersey school, Princeton University – which made it to this year’s Sweet 16 before being knocked out by Creighton University’s Bluejays.
No word yet on whether they will get a commemorative bobblehead of their own. But, FDU also joins University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) as a fellow No. 16 seed to receive the special bobblehead treatment. A UMBC version was created in 2018 to mark the team’s stunning win over University of Virginia’s Cavaliers in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Gov. Phil Murphy joined National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s roster as part of a campaign to raise money for health care workers in May 2020. Read the story here.
UMBC and FDU are the only two No. 16 seeds to ever win a tournament game during March Madness.
The FDU bobblehead features a player wearing “#16” – to mark the Knights’ No. 16 seed – donning the uniform that FDU wore during the upset win, holding a basketball in one hand and the newspaper in the other. That newspaper is dated March 18, 2023, with a headline of “FDUnbelievable!” and text saying: “#16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson Knights knock off #1 seed for biggest upset in tournament history!”
“We are excited to unveil the first Fairleigh Dickinson bobblehead following FDU’s incredible upset victory that captivated fans everywhere,” said Phil Sklar, National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO. “This victory will be talked about for a long time, and now fans, students, alumni, faculty, and staff will have a bobblehead to commemorate the historic accomplishment.”
The FDU bobbleheads, which are individually numbered to 2,023, are available for pre-order through HOF and Museum online store, at a cost of $30 each plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8. They are expected to ship in July.l