establish a new trophy for the winner of the football game between the two
institutions. The Sweet Sioux Tomahawk Trophy, which went to the winner of
the Illinois-Northwestern football game from 1945-2008, was retired
following the 2008 contest and both schools have agreed to play for a new
trophy beginning in 2009.
"Northwestern and Illinois are looking at a very unique opportunity to
establish a traditional series trophy that will last for generations," said
Illinois Director of Athletics Ron Guenther. "As the only two Big Ten
institutions in the state of Illinois, our game attracts a great amount of
attention, which only adds to the pageantry of the trophy. We're hopeful our
players, coaches and fans will continue to view this game as a very special
tradition in college football."
Both institutions are asking their fans for feedback on the new trophy by
participating in an online poll on each of the school's athletics web sites.
Four possible ideas, along with the opportunity to offer an alternative,
will be provided until April 15. The schools expect to announce the new
trophy around each of their spring football games on April 25.
Four possible suggestions for the new series trophy include the following:
- The Land of Lincoln Trophy - A replica of Lincoln's stove pipe
hat mounted on a piece of White Oak (Illinois' state tree).
- President's Trophy - Recognizing the four presidents associated
with the state of Illinois - Lincoln, Grant, Reagan and Obama.
- The Popcorn Bowl, named after the Illinois state snack.
- Graham-Grange Fire Bell (original series trophy started in
1941 was a fire bell) named after two of the greatest players at each school
- Otto Graham of Northwestern and Red Grange of Illinois.
The website for fans to vote is: www.fightingillini.com/trophyvote