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Row One Brand 1937 Northwestern Wildcats football ticket wall art. Made from an authentic '37 Illinois vs. Northwestern game ticket. The Cats were coached by the legendary Pappy Waldorf. Terrific vintage Pittsburgh campus artwork perfect for a Northwestern Wildcat fan's mancave, gameroom, or office.


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  • Superior quality canvas art that comes ready to hang with a wire hanger 
  • Dust cover back
  • 1.5 inch wide sides 
  • Comes in three sizes 
  • Digitally restored for vivid color
  • Shipped within 7 business days
  • Printed in the U.S.A.  



Not affiliated with, licensed, sponsored, or endorsed by any college, university, or licensing entity. 

Lynn Osbert "Pappy" Waldorf (October 3, 1902 – August 15, 1981) was an American football player and coach. Waldorf is considered to be one of the greats of college football history and is known for his motivational coaching, connection with his players and the extremely organized and consistent coaching technique. He won conferences with each of the five teams that he coached. He served as the head coach at Oklahoma City University (1925-1927), Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College—now Oklahoma State University–Stillwater (1929–1933), Kansas State University (1934), Northwestern University (1935–1946), and the University of California, Berkeley. Waldorf's overall college football career record is 173–100–21. He is the second most successful Cal coach of the modern era with 67 wins. Waldorf was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1966.



Early years

Waldorf, son of Methodist bishop Ernest Lynn Waldorf, was born in Clifton Springs, New York.[1] As a collegiate athlete, Waldorf played tackle for Syracuse University from 1922 to 1924 and was named an All American in each of those three years. He graduated with degrees in sociology and psychology. In 1925 he married his wife, Louise McKay.[2]

Kansas State

In 1934, Waldorf replaced Bo McMillin as football coach at Kansas State. Waldorf coached K-State for only one season, 1934. They won the Big Six Conference championship, the first Big Six title in football for the school. It would be 69 years (2003) before the Wildcats would win their next Big 12 Conference title.[8]


In 1935, Waldorf moved to Northwestern University, a Big Ten conference team, where he remained head coach until 1946. One year prior to his arrival and under coach Dick Hanley, Northwestern won only two Big Ten games. During his first year, and with little possibly of immediate success, Waldorf chose to rely on advice he received from then revered University of Illinois coach Robert Zuppke.

"I'll always remember his advice... He told me 'When you're faced with one of those years when your material is only fair and you're not going to win many games, put your eggs in one basket. Pick a tough team and lay for it. Knock it off, and you've go yourself a season... That's exactly what I did my first year at Northwestern. The target I chose was Notre Dame'"[10]

Later, Waldorf recalled advice from Amos Alonzo Stagg, who is also considered one of the greats and was the coach at University of Chicago. He told Waldorf that a coach should remember that the players are also young students at the university and that their other concerns should be recognized while the coach is the primary figure in their lives.[11]

During his first year Waldorf relied on assistance for Litz Rusness a holdover from the previous years. Rusness' approach involved intensive film study of Wildcats' opponents, he noted the ever-evolving strategy of changing offensive positions and was curious why the defenses did not use the same approach to both confuse the opponents and to specifically counter their offensive adjustments.[10] The positions of the offensive backfield would be analyzed and the resulting plays would be predicted based on earlier film study of the opponent. Instructions on resulting adjustments would then be hand-signed to the defensive players.[12]

Waldorf and Rusness created formations designed specifically against Notre Dame's offense, with these formations being practiced throughout the season. On November 9, 1935, at its home field, Notre Dame suffered its only loss of the season, Northwestern won the game 14 to 7. It was Northwestern's first win over Notre Dame in previous 18 tries.[13][14] Suffering the loss Notre Dame were deprived of a likely national championship.[15] It was during that win's celebration that Waldorf's staff began calling him "Pappy".[16][17] Even though, Northwestern won only 4 games that season, Waldorf received the first annual National Coach of the Year award.[16]

In 1936, Waldorf's second year, the Wildcats went seven and one, they were undefeated in the Big Ten, winning the conference.[18] Their only loss came at the end of the season at Notre Dame.[15] The Fighting Irish won 26 to 3, taking their turn at ruining their opponents chance for a national championship. Aside from winning conference championship, that season is also remembered for beating Minnesota, a team that was on a 28 game winning streak and outscored its opponents 203 to 32 during the season. Even though Minnesota lost at Northwestern six to zero, they were still declared the 1936 national champions by the AP.[15]

The season is also known for Waldorf's introduction of an unbalanced offensive line, the first instance of a slot formation, which allowed the offense to deploy four receivers instead of two. The team was led by an all-american tackle Bob Voigts, who later succeeded Waldorf in 1947 and won the 1949 Rose Bowl - coaching the Wildcats to beat Waldorf's University of California.[15][19]

The highlights of the next ten seasons were Northwestern finishing in third place in 1940 and 1943. Waldorf's 1940 team included the Chicago star player Bill DeCorrevont and defeated dominant Notre Dame 20 to 0. There were also two Big Ten winless seasons in 1942 and 1944. In 1942 the team's only win came against Texas - three to zero.[20] That season Waldorf had to deal with changes brought on by United States entry into World War II. For purposes of a boost in military morale the number of games was raised to ten. During these years there was a significant player shortage due to the military draft. To retain the season, freshmen were allowed to compete on varsity teams. That season, Waldorf only had four returning starters.[21] However, the season also brought important positives that would only be seen the following year. The 1942 season saw the emergence of the legendary quarterback and future coach Otto Graham. Years later Waldorf wrote:

That 1942 Northwestern squad was also my first great passing team. This was because of Otto Graham, who had big hands, good ball control and truly remarkable eyes. Otto could observe all sections of the field at once, pick his man cooly and time his passes accurately... Our pet play was run from the Single Wing, called "Number One Pass." We'd pull both guards and roll the tailback out to the right, where he could either run or pass. It put a strain on the left defensive half back, who'd have to watch for the running threat, and if the defense rotated, both ends were open for passes.[22]

Graham finished the season with then conference record breaking numbers - on 182 attempts he completed 89 passes for 1,092 yards.[23]

Next season, everything clicked, the 1943 team beat the Ohio State, the defending national champions, with the team's only losses coming from Notre Dame and Michigan, the team finished the season with an 8–2 record and a ninth-place ranking in the Associate Press Poll.[24] Graham set another Big Ten passing record, was named the conference's Most Valuable Player, received All-American honors and finished third inHeisman Trophy voting.[25][26] Next year, Graham transferred to another team. Without him Waldorf could only manage a single win, which was not in the conference. That year Northwestern squad was made out of 51 players with 43 of them being freshmen.[citation needed]

During Waldorf's later years at Northwestern, he received assistance from the Chicago Bears in developing the T formation, a stance that the Bears were successful at deploying.

But we didn't adopt the same 'Man-in-Motion T' used by the Bears. Our version featured single-wing shoulder blocking. We wanted to move defenders on the edge of the defense out of the way to make the most of our halbfacks' ability to get a quick start. .. We developed a play called '42 Crossfire,' which accomplished this. It was a counter play, with the left half carrying of right tackle. The keys to this play were the quarterback making a good fake to the fullback and the right guard pulling out to block the man of the defense's perimeter.[27]

Waldorf also served as an unofficial coach on the annually voted for All-Star College Player v. NFL Champions game. He assisted the All-Star coaches and participated in training because the annual game was played at Chicago's Soldier Field with the college players being hosted at Northwestern.[28]

During the first post WWII, 1946 season, Waldorf's team won only two games in the Big Ten, it was his last year at Northwestern.[15]

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1937 Northwestern Wildcats football wall art by Row One Brand

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