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    Land of Lincoln Trophy

    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 at 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. Illinois leads the overall series 52-46-5, although the Wildcats have won eight of the last 10 meetings between the two programs (2003-06, 08-10).

    Northwestern's 2009 senior class was the first to capture the Land of Lincoln Trophy after defeating Illinois, 21-16, on Nov. 14, 2009, in Champaign, Ill.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Dick Locher, an editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune as well as the artist who helped bring the Dick Tracy cartoon strip to life, designed the Land of Lincoln Trophy.