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KENSINGTON, Md. – As the year 1945 dawned, Uncle Sam was sitting on a flustered Adolf Hitler, pinning his head to the ground with his left hand. His right foot was being put to equally good use---pressing Hideki Tojo against the wall.

Which left his right hand free for a more immediate concern---holding up a portable radio that was broadcasting the Duke-Alabama Sugar Bowl.

Just six weeks earlier, Harvard fired its tank against Yale's football troops in a 1942 battle of the trenches.

Hobo Day was the answer to a trivia question that cost many a German soldier dearly. Within the United States the annual meeting between South Dakota and South Dakota State was known mostly to the residents of the Mount Rushmore state, but American troops knew that any fellow P.O.W. s claiming to come from South Dakota were spies if they didn't know about it.

Football is war and America's illustrators fired away while designing game day programs in the golden age of sports. From George Clooney's recent "Leatherheads" to the blockbuster "Seabiscuit," the sporting scene from the early 20th century has proven to be immortal. Now, a Kensington, Md. company is resurrecting the great sports artists with a stunning re-created portfolio of some of their long neglected work. has more than 800 illustrated game day covers from 155 schools on its website. From the 1898 Brown-Harvard game to a 1981 Penn State-Alabama meeting between Joe Paterno versus Bear Bryant, schools relied on talented artists to illustrate a part of Americana that has largely slipped away. After six years of precise image reconditioning and legal approvals, is making available as fine art posters some of the best sports cover art from the early-to mid 20th century.

"This is part of American sports history," says Michael Geraghty, an Odenton, Md. equine artist and co-owner of Historic Football Posters. "We're looking at caricatures. The compositions that these artists were welcomed and encouraged to execute would never go over today. Look at overtures of war from the 1942 Harvard-Yale cover. Even though it's pure caricature, it's doubtful an artist could tie a 21st century football composition to the Iraq war."

Andy Moursund has spent half century collecting these vintage programs. Intrigued by the combination of sports, history and artwork, the retired Bethesda, Md. bookstore owner created the new company in order to showcase these ephemeral cover illustrations that were originally created for but for one game. With the help of Geraghty, a nationally-renowned artist specializing in thoroughbred racing, the tandem have created their own virtual museum thanks to computer whiz Jon Gwinn of Maryland City, Md. Fans from Alabama to Stanford and Texas to Harvard – plus many small schools whose football teams were long ago benched – can recapture lost moments in their schools' history.

"Big rivalries, stadium dedications and big victories – I selected games that were important at the time," Moursund said. "When we get all the licenses [from colleges], we'll have a selection of images that isn't duplicated anywhere else, either on the internet or in a museum. And the ones that aren't yet licensed will still be available for viewing on the website."

The 1920-45 era was the golden age of covers, says Moursund. Army, Navy, Yale, Harvard, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana and Wisconsin were among the best art, but any number of smaller schools also produced artsy covers.

The 1925 Bucknell-Haskell program cover showing an Indian galloping on horseback while shooting a buffalo with his bow and arrow won't ever be repeated, given Haskell is now an NAIA school. Baldwin Wallace and Western Reserve (now Case Western Reserve) have become Division III schools since their 1933 meeting. The College of Ozarks has disbanded football since that 1935 game against Arkansas, when Lucky Strike cigarettes sponsored its program cover.

The artwork is both stunning and nostalgic. Something you just don't see anymore.

"For 20 years, my life has been about making art which resonated with the largest number of people," Geraghty said. "When I saw Andy's program collection, from a compositional standpoint, I couldn't find a flaw. I said, 'What's there not to like?' The question is: What grabs people's attention today when every ad and magazine cover is perfectly staged, airbrushed and PhotoShopped? We're not used to seeing hand-done illustrations anymore, and that's sad because there's an enormous element of class to hand-done art. Our posters reflect a gentler time in America."

As you examine the collection at, you can see the changing of America. There aren't many styles of art which appeal to most everyone, but Geraghty and Moursund have found the vintage look of these game day programs appeal not only to male sports fans, but equally to women. Collectors include academic historians, fans of classic illustration and alums with great institutional pride.

Certainly, the posters appeal to those seeking an unusual and affordable gift for a college alumnus. They sell for $35 matted and $70 to $100 framed.

"Buyers range from their teens to their 80s," Moursund said. "If they know anybody that went to a college, that was the connection. They didn't even have to be football fans."