In honor of the late Coach Randy Walker, all fans are welcome to line Walker Way (located between Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena) along with the Northwestern Wildcat Marching Band to greet the football team when they arrive at Ryan Field before every home football game. Walk With Us begins approximately two and a half hours before kickoff.
The tradition where every Northwestern fan holds his/her arm up angled upwards with a hand in a Wildcat claw. This is followed by creating as much noise as possible in order to distract the opponent. The tradition occurs when Northwestern is on defense, and the growl is the loudest during every third down.
The Clock Tower:
Every time the football team wins, the clock tower located on the South campus illuminates purple color. Occasionally, the feats of other University athletic squads are recognized with the same honor. When the women's lacrosse team captured its third consecutive national championship in 2007, the clock tower glowed purple for an entire week.
Put Your Hands Up In The Air:
Before the start of the fourth quarter, join a guest conductor in turning the volume up at Ryan Field by putting your hands in the air! To see previous "Hands In The Air" videos, click here.
The Land of Lincoln Trophy:
"The Land of Lincoln Trophy, first awarded in 2009, goes annually to the winner of the Northwestern-Illinois football Game. Designed by Dick Locher, the Land of Lincoln Trophy is modeled after Abraham Lincoln's authentic hat. The bronze trophy sits atop a wood base measuring 14 by 14 inches. The trophy, along with a walnut base, weighs 28.5 pounds.
The Land of Lincoln trophy idea was the result of an online vote by Northwestern and Illinois fans. "Land of Lincoln" edged three other finalists: President's Trophy (named after the state's four presidents), Popcorn Bowl (named after the Illinois state snack) and the Graham-Grange Fire Bell (named after two of the greatest players from each school). From 1945 to 2008 Northwestern and Illinois met for the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk, but it was retired in 2008 out of respect for Native American Nations. The Sweet Sioux itself initially was designed as an authentic wooden Indian, like those that used to stand in front of cigar stores throughout the nation. It eventually posed a transportation problem and was replaced by the Tomahawk.
As with Sweet Sioux Tomahawk in 1945, Northwestern gained first possession of the Land of Lincoln Trophy with a 21-16 victory over Illinois in 2009. The Wildcats claimed the trophy most recently in 2012 with a 50-14 win over the Illini at Ryan Field.