According to a release from his museum, Swiss artist H.R. Giger has died at age 74 from injuries he suffered in a recent fall. Giger specialized in horrifying alien landscapes and visages of extraterrestrial sexual terror in a number of mediums. No work, however, encapsulated his vision more than Northwestern University football.
Like many of the projects that bore Giger's unique biomechanical look, Northwestern began as a series of sketches by the young artist. Though most are lost, a few still survive in private collections, including this piece, titled "Madness is Tampa; Tampa, Madness."
When asked about his magnum opus, Giger insisted he himself had never watched the final product. "Magick and the occult have always appealed to me because they speak to man's thirst for knowledge and power. But Northwestern football lacks either knowledge or power. It is only evil: pure, decanted, and horrifying evil," said Giger in a 2003 interview.
"I created it. The horror of that birthing obliterated any need to see that horror reflected in the dumbstruck, paralyzed eyes of its audience. I could not bear it twice."
Many former Wildcats were devastated to learn of the passing of their creator. "Giger created us to demonstrate that the most erotic aspect of horror can be the absence of eroticism altogether. And we spent our college careers striving for that absence."
In an email to his team, Coach Pat Fitzgerald put it simply: "Today, we cry tears of real sulfuric acid."
Running back Darnell Autry, who helped Northwestern win the Big Ten in 1996, removed his jaw and regurgitated several egg sacs with half-formed snakelike creatures inside. The sacs were immediately offered transfer scholarships by Illinois.
Northwestern's athletic department has not publicly announced any plans to honor Giger this season, but several fans speculate that a team memorial will take the form of a 3-9 season with a horrific home opener loss to Cal, probably on a fumbled punt return.