March 31, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The University of Illinois and Northwestern University are collaborating to
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.
"Out of tremendous respect for the Native American community, the two universities decided in November that we would institute a new rivalry trophy in 2009," said
Jim Phillips, Northwestern's director of athletics and recreation. "To be certain, Illinois and Northwestern have a rich history and we want to identify a rivalry trophy that will last for generations. Because of the rivalry and what it means to so many people in the state, we wanted to let our fans have a say in helping us choose the next rivalry trophy."
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.
Fans can vote for one of these four choices, or add their own name, by clicking here.