Northwestern Home Game Programs Gallery

The Classic Covers Summary
Posted 8/19/12; Updated 9/22/19

Here they are: the twenty covers (plus one bonus cover!) selected from the home game programs from 1895 through 1991 that are the most memorable, iconic, and representative of NU football.

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Nov. 12, 1910

The 1910 home games featured larger programs with purple construction paper covers and hand-glued photos on each.  The program for the Illinois game is a great example.

Nov. 13, 1926

Northwestern Stadium was renamed Dyche Stadium at this landmark game.  The program is also a landmark, featuring a unique view of the southwest tower.

Oct. 22, 1927

The combination of the stylized player and the Dyche Stadium background make this drawing a memorable NU image.

Nov. 12, 1927

NU had been referred to as "the Wildcats" in its programs during the previous three seasons, but this was the first home game cover to feature a wildcat.

Oct. 20, 1928

Another early Wildcat cover, this one playing on the "Wildcat vs. Wildcat" angle of the Kentucky game.

Oct. 25, 1930
Centre College

This art deco masterpiece provided an iconic rendering of Dyche Stadium.

Nov. 15, 1930

Yet another masterpiece from 1926-1930, the artwork for this cover would be copied for years to come.

Oct. 31, 1931

This original drawing, featuring a sketch of the northwest tower and art deco lettering, epitomized the poster style that would become popular during the NRA (Nat'l Recovery Act).

Nov. 22, 1941

The only original cover artwork for the '41 home season, this drawing by Lew Merrell incorporated the Wildcat, Chief, and the visiting team's colors in a memorable image.

Sept. 28, 1946
Iowa State

For this cover, NU briefly abandoned the cute Willie comic character and employed a far more menacing Wildcat, huddled with NU's team.

Nov. 9, 1946

Its dramatic use of the early 1930s version of the Wildcat, superimposed with the Harvest Moon, evokes fall football, NU style.

Nov. 15, 1952

Predating a cartoon style that would become the standard for NU in 1959, this drawing of battling mascots is wonderfully whimsical.

Sept. 27, 1958
Washington State

This particular cover, for the Washington State game, epitomized the style NU used from 1953 through 1958.

Nov. 4, 1961

An image that breaks ranks with the 1959 - 1963 Fraser covers (no Wildcat; no fighting with the opposing mascot), but it has a lot of fun elements: a crowd outside of Dyche, nostalgia, and a lot of pipe smoke.

Oct. 27, 1962
Notre Dame

Program for NU's only homecoming game against a non-Big Ten opponent (this game also holds the Dyche / Ryan attendance record and gave NU a #1 ranking).  The cover itself epitomizes the 1959 - 1963 style.

Oct. 12, 1963

Another very creative comic cover from 1959 - 1963.  The look of fear on the Minnesota player's face is priceless. 

Oct. 18, 1969

The second of the 1969 staged shots covers featured this great first down debate image.

Sept. 11, 1971

For 1971, NU moved away from the minimalist style it used for its '70 programs and began the "Wild Cats!" style that would last two yeas.  '71's covers were more psychedelic, and this cover is a great example: bold, loud, and wild.

Nov. 11, 1978

Another program that featured the 1978 helmet, this juxtaposition with Dyche Stadium's northwest tower produced a famous image.

Nov. 13, 1982
Ohio State

Of Ron DiCanni's 1982 watercolor images, arguably the best is this version of the iconic '49 Rose Bowl photo, showing Ed Tunnicliff's TD run and Richard Anderson's monster block.

Bonus Cover:
Sept. 21, 2019

Michigan State

Although the 2019 MSU game is out of the range of our 1895 - 1991 program cover gallery, we had to include this fantastic cover, a one-time project by artist Anthony Zych. Zych replicates the old-school Marvel Comics look to perfection.

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