Friday, November 19, 2010

Football Program Covers


The end of the American college football season is nigh. For no special reason, this brings to mind the game program publication featuring team rosters surrounded by college sports-related articles and advertising. More specifically, I think of program covers from the days when illustration -- rather than photography -- was in flower.

So without further delay, I offer a smattering of such covers gleaned from the Internet for your weekend entertainment.


The typical cover showed a football scene, as might be expected.

A slight difficulty had to do with the fact that many cover illustrations came from publishers' files and weren't specific to the teams covered in the program. Here, the team in blue does represent Michigan colors, though the helmets aren't decorated in traditional Michigan style. Their opponents are not wearing Michigan State colors.

The blackout effect on this cover is a steal from Coles Phillips who, sadly, had died two before this program was hawked at the stadium.

This is from 1928. It has a vaguely Cubist look to it -- a dash of modernity for the traditional Big Game between the Bay Area rivals.

Popular illustrator Russell Patterson contributed the art for this Yale-Army game program.

Now for some twists. Columbia University is in New York City and Yale is in New Haven, Connecticut. So here we see Lions fans descending on the Yale Bowl by car, plane and speedboat.

This 1941 Penn-Army program salutes fans rather than the teams themselves. The cadets wear traditional West Point gray -- but what about the girl? She's wearing Penn's Red and Blue and could be a real Penn student because Penn was one Ivy school that admitted women in those days.

What does that Indian have to do with the Dartmouth-Stanford game? At the time, both teams were called the Indians. Since then, political correctness caused both schools to forgo the image of bravery and fighting ability and slink off into innocuous color-related names such as The Cardinal (Stanford).

The scene at a college football game isn't all players. Here the cover artist salutes the female fan. (There's truth to this. Back when I was in college I happened to be sitting in front of some players' wives one game and took a real beating somewhat in the matter illustrated.)

Another featured female. It's a huge stretch from football game day, but I suppose the cheesecake made it worthwhile.


1 comment:

ironrailsironweights said...

Today it's hard to imagine that the Ivy League universities were once major football powers.