The Heisman Trophy What Is It Really ?

In many respects I find sport’s awards and those fleetingly doled out in the film industry, merely nothing more than an item meant to adorn one’s mantel piece. The Oscars and the Golden Globes are nothing more than mere baubles and they do tend place style over substance when it comes to their recipients. And the ‘hype’ that goes along with it ? Well, it’s second to none ! Seemingly so, the hype over the Hesiman Trophy is met each season with the sort of brouhaha one would come to expect from a woman who’s just bought herself the latest must have outfit from Badgley Mischka or something from from Zac Posen ?

Former NFL great, Tim Brown makes the formal announcement on ESPN, as to the five nominees for the Heisman Trophy for 2009. Brown, himself was the winner of the trophy in 1987.

Now don’t get me wrong the Heisman has a wonderful legacy and its history is replete with the names of collegiate athletes from the world of college football that stands the test of time. But in recent years it has become nothing more than a boon-doggle around the neck of the winning athlete once they’ve been named the recipient, at the Downtown Athletic Club, in New York City, New York. And it may well be the same case , come Saturday night for the five finalists nominated for this year’s award. The nominees are assured of one thing at present , they’re about to have their initial fifteen minutes of fame. And thereafter, the recipient of the award will have a great deal to live up to. That being said, given the fact that some of his most recent predecessors have found their way into the NFL. And for whom, many of them have either had a great deal of success or simply faded away into memory. I’m of the opinion that the trophy itself and what it’s said to stand for, shouldn’t at all be equated with ongoing success at the next level.

ESPN's  college football analyst and NFL Draft guru,  Mel Kiper  Jr, seen here discussing  April's NFL Draft  from the  cable outlet's facility in Baltimore ,  Maryland,.  Kiper never  seems to be at a  loss for words  when it comes  to the  world  of  collegiate or  NFL football.  He'll  put 'it'  out there   as  to his  thoughts on  NFL  draft  prospects  be  they right  or  wrong.  And  rarely will  you hear him offer  a  thought  on  his prognostications when  they  in fact turn  out  to be  horrendously  wrong.  Can  someone  please remind  him  that  Akili Smith is  no  longer in the  NFL ?  A  player  whom he  admired  from afar  and  was  bold enough to suggest  that  Smith  would  become  a  major star  and  a  multiple time  Pro Bowler  in the  league.  None  of  which , ever  came to the  fore . I  wonder why  ?   picture  appears  courtesy  fo  ap/photo/ Gail Burton  ..................
ESPN's college football analyst and NFL Draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr, seen here discussing April's NFL Draft from the cable outlet's facility in Baltimore , Maryland,. Kiper never seems to be at a loss for words when it comes to the world of collegiate or NFL football. He'll put 'it' out there as to his thoughts on NFL draft prospects be they right or wrong. And rarely will you hear him offer a thought on his prognostications when they in fact turn out to be horrendously wrong. Can someone please remind him that Akili Smith is no longer in the NFL ? A player whom he admired from afar and was bold enough to suggest that Smith would become a major star and a multiple time Pro Bowler in the league. None of which , ever came to the fore . I wonder why ? picture appears courtesy fo ap/photo/ Gail Burton ..................

And unfortunately , when the likes of ESPN’s college analyst, Mel Kiper Jr., takes center stage with his college draft board. Much of what he talks about is predicated upon at times, on the very things I’ve just mentioned. Namely of which, a Heisman trophy nominee or recipient will turn out to have an outstanding career in the NFL. Personally, I’d like to believe that the only reason Kiper is in fact in-front of our tv sets, is to remind us bald guys why it is, we prefer our very look. Simply put, Kiper’s coiff’ and that of Donald Trump‘s can be far too disconcerting when either are on tv !

The nominees for this year’s award, are from a diverse set of players. And as appears to be the norm, quarterbacks are again on the verge of stealing the show. The added attraction here, is that we have the 2007 winner in, Tim Tebow , alongside last year’s runner-up , Colt McCoy of the Texas Longhorns. In addition to this duo, we have Mark Ingram, of Alabama, Ndamukong Suh, of Nebraska and finally Stanford’s running back,Toby Gerhart. The presumptive favorites to win the trophy, may well be, Alabama’s, Mark Ingram and Texas’ Colt McCoy. But by all account there’s also growing support for the Cornusker’s, Ndamdukong Suh. The defensive tackle from Nebraska has had, an outstanding season. The ‘dark horse’ amongst the quintet presumably would be the Cardinals’ Gearhart.

Archie Griffin , former Ohio State Buckeye and  a two time  recipient  of the Heisman Trophy   in  1974 and 1975.  The only  two-time  trophy  winner  in  Heisman  history .   picture appears  courtesy  of   buckeyenews - Alexander  Thompson  ..................
Archie Griffin , former Ohio State Buckeye and a two time recipient of the Heisman Trophy in 1974 and 1975. The only two-time trophy winner in Heisman history . picture appears courtesy of buckeyenews - Alexander Thompson ..................

And while this season’s candidates are a diverse bunch and each is warranted with their respective nomination. I think in some respects it’s always better to make the award at the culmination of the collegiate football season. But things being the way that they are and customs being the apparent norm. Saturday, we’ll either see a new face announced as being the Heisman trophy winner. Or we could in fact end up with history being made , as Florida’s Tim Tebow seeks to become only the second player in Heisman trophy history to win the award for a second time. The first person to actually win the trophy twice, was Archie Griffin of the Ohio State Buckeyes. He won the award in consecutive years , first in 1974 and then again, in 1975. A feat historic in its achievement alone. And Griffin’s career in the NFL was nonetheless, was equally as impressive. Albeit, that in the end it was curtailed by injuries.

The Heisman itself, though there’s no clear definition as to exactly what the trophy means. It’s been the long held contention that the award is presented to the ‘best player’ in collegiate football for that given year. Whether or not this is meant to be a fair way of adjudicating a player’s productivity over the course of the year. I for one feel that if it’s not broken then why try to ‘fix it’ ? And seemingly, with the numerous other collegiate awards out there to be won amongst college football. A great deal of the time many players will go unnoticed, merely because they don’t play one of the more high profiled positions within the game. Far too often, as has been the case, it has either been a quarterback, running back or wide receiver, who in the end gets the nod. And this time around it may well be no different. But then again, I may well be wrong. The rarity when it does happen, when a defensive player wins the award, has been few and infrequent. There seems to be a fixation on the offensive prowess of a candidate, if he just happens to be a player on the offensive side of the ball.

Pictures of the Heisman Trophy candidates in no discerning order.

Heisman Trophy candidate and  Nebraska defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh, speaks to reporters during a news conference in Lincoln, Neb., on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009. Nebraska plays Texas in the Big 12 championship college football game on Saturday.  picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Nati Harnik  ......
Heisman Trophy candidate and Nebraska defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh, speaks to reporters during a news conference in Lincoln, Neb., on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009. Nebraska plays Texas in the Big 12 championship college football game on Saturday. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Nati Harnik ......


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Texas quarterback Colt McCoy (12) celebrates after their NCAA college football game against Texas A&M Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009 in College Station, Texas. Texas beat Texas A&M 49-39. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Dave Einsel .....
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy (12) celebrates after their NCAA college football game against Texas A&M Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009 in College Station, Texas. Texas beat Texas A&M 49-39. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Dave Einsel .....

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Florida quarterback Tim Tebow walks off the field after throwing an interception late in the fourth quarter of their 32-13 loss to Alabama in the NCAA college football SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009.   picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/John Bazemore ......
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow walks off the field after throwing an interception late in the fourth quarter of their 32-13 loss to Alabama in the NCAA college football SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/John Bazemore ......

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Alabama's Mark Ingram (22) celebrates after a fourth quarter touchdown against Florida in the NCAA college football SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Alabama won 32-13. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Amis ......
Alabama's Mark Ingram (22) celebrates after a fourth quarter touchdown against Florida in the NCAA college football SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Alabama won 32-13. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Amis ......

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Stanford running back Toby Gerhart (7) is surrounded by fans after Stanford defeated Notre Dame 45-38 in their NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. picture appears  courtesy of ap/photo/ Paul Sakuma ......
Stanford running back Toby Gerhart (7) is surrounded by fans after Stanford defeated Notre Dame 45-38 in their NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Paul Sakuma ......

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My interest in the award’s ceremony if anything, will be only fleeting at best. I tend to think that the award itself if nothing else will be something for which the recipient can use as evidence as to the body of their work while in college. As to the thought that it’ll play some sort of ‘bargaining chip’ when they embark on a career in the NFL. Well, it’s only adds a precursor as to what not to expect as to their ambitions. It’s as I’ve alluded to earlier, many of the Heisman Trophy recipients have gone on to have productive , if not prolific careers in the NFL. But a great many of them have fallen by the wayside , never to be seen or heard from again. As to what awaits this year’s winner and their future . We can only presume to think what might happen and then watch it all unfold as that winner’s career gets under way in the NFL. What are your thoughts as to the this year’s prospective winner and their impending future in the NFL ? Good , bad or indifferent ?

Recent List of Heisman Trophy winners ….

2008 Sam Bradford Oklahoma
2007 Tim Tebow Florida
2006 Troy Smith Ohio State
2005 Reggie Bush USC
2004 Matt Leinart USC
2003 Jason White Oklahoma
2002 Carson Palmer USC
2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska
2000 Chris Weinke Florida State
1999 Ron Dayne Wisconsin
1998 Ricky Williams Texas
1997 Charles Woodson Michigan

Click here to see a full list of the past winners in its entirety….

8 thoughts on “The Heisman Trophy What Is It Really ?

  1. The Heisman Trophy is the best college football player in the land. You are right the Heisman is not about who will make big in pro ball. It’s all about college. Many former Heisman trophy winners came from service acadmeny’s. Army and Navy. Only few even bothered to play pro ball. Many served their country. Who will? I think Colt McCoy will win.

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  2. Bobby Gee

    The sentimental favorite may well be Stanford’s Gerhart but I personally think that the actual front runners are ‘bama’s Mark Ingram and Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh. The Cornhusker’s defensive tackle is one ‘hell of a player’ and by far the most consistent performer throughout the college season. You may well be right that McCoy will end up winning , as he’s had a tremendous college career. However , I do believe that should he win it , in some ways it’ll be as something of a conciliatory award. Had Tebow prevailed in the SEC championship game then then it’d be a safe bet to say that he’d have been the ‘odds on favorite’ to win for a second time.

    Nowadays , I don’t even view the award as it being given to who many feel is the best player in collegiate football. If anything , I view it as merely one of the sedentary awards handed out each year just for the sake of it. In the end we tend to remember the guys and what they end up achieving in the NFL.

    Alan Parkins

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  3. Since it’s an undefined award, I’m okay with the voters giving it to Colt McCoy as a lifetime achievement award.

    The talent this year was too even. I don’t think one athlete stood out over the rest.

    I’m just happy the Bucs will have a shot at that Nebraska kid in the draft.

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    1. Chris Humpherys

      It’s as such categorized as an award given to the ‘best college football player’ in the nation for that particular year. So in essence it isn’t undefined. It’s all a matter of hyperbole to an extent. McCoy may end up winning it but I do feel that Suh might just be that bit more deserving of the award.

      As to the Bucs getting Ndamokungh Suh , don’t hold your breath as they’re liable to _uck that up too ! I mean ‘the jury’ is now all of sudden out , after Freeman’s last performance – sacked 5 times as he three 2 int’s and had numerous fumbles. There’s hope and then there’s no friggin’ hope ! Learning pains and none of the growing pains as this Bucs’ team is still proned to making the same silly mistakes repeatedly week in and week out.

      Raheem’s coaching staff is abymal and completely horrendous !

      Furthermore , Chris, with the Chiefs as well as the Bucs now both being 1-11, who do you feel is liable to end up with the worse record in the NFL ensuring their chance of obtaining Ndamokung Suh ?

      Like I said, both Dominik and Raheem could really screw things up !

      Alan Parkins

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  4. Bobby Gee

    I’ll take a f_cked up Ricky Williams, over Gino Torretta , Chris Wienke , Eric Crouch , Jason White and Ron Dayne ,on any day of the god-damn week . That list of aforementioned Heisman Trophy recipients have been a complete bust in the NFL, with the exception of Ricky Williams !

    Alan Parkins

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    1. chappy 81

      A great many people fill that this’ll be a close run thing in terms of the voting. But to my mind it ought to be down to McCoy and Nebraska’s Ndamokungh Suh. They’ve both stood tall, head and shoulders above the other three nominees.

      And as good as Stanford’s Toby Gerhart has been. I can’t see him prevailing over McCoy or Suh !

      Alan Parkins

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