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.
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.
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.
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 ?
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