PHOTOS: Vintage Football Programs Show a Less Serious Game Face
Today, the mood in virtually all sports promotion from T-ball to the pros is set by the dead-serious game face. Whether it’s a middle school volleyball poster or an NFL hype video, players brood for the camera in darkened studios through a fog of dry ice, arms crossed like humorless bouncers.
But such was not always the case. A collection of game programs for UT football match-ups in the 1950s, from the archives of UT’s Briscoe Center for American History, reveals just how different the look and feel of sports promotion was 60-plus years ago — light, cartoonish and hilarious. Reminiscent of Looney Tunes, the anthropomorphic characters go at each other with sadistic glee but always return the next season without a scratch. The covers were the work of New Orleans cartoonist John Churchill Chase (1905–1986). Enjoy!