The Heisman trophy is possibly the most coveted and recognizable individual awards in team sports. Even those people who don't know much about football have at least a passing knowledge of what the Heisman Trophy looks like- and just about everyone who will read this will have struck the pose at some point or another in their life. It's what every player at the skill positions (and some freakish defensive linemen from Nebraska) dream of holding, every young kid coming into school with talent hopes that they'll get a chance at College football's ultimate award. Then sometimes a grown man comes along and ruins the fun time for everyone, screwing a couple of truly transcendent talents in the process. Heisman voters love to talk about stats- here's one that sticks with me.
Aaron Rodgers is now the same age as Chris Weinke was when he won the Heisman.
In the year 2000 Ladainian Tomlinson, the greatest running back (and some would argue the greatest overall player) in TCU history was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He had put together one of the strongest seasons by any player in NCAA history- in the top five for most yards per game, yards in a season and scoring twenty two touchdowns. The other players in the top five all have one thing in common- a gold stiffarm bust holding up books in their library. Ladainian Tomlinson does not. Why not? Part of it probably has to do with the conference he was in- the WAC doesn't get the respect that the other leagues did- if he had been in the Big 12 then there is little doubt that LT would have increased his finishing spot. Part of it probably had to do with an exceedingly strong Heisman field in 2000- Drew Brees had put together an incredible season at Purdue with a middling supporting cast and Josh Heupel had completed an undefeated run at a resurgent Oklahoma- and we all know how much the Heisman trust loves giving the award to the best player on the national title favorite. Still, Ladainian Tomlinson was a better player than either of them, and still is even in retirement (people will talk about Brees' great stats in the NFL, but his passing rating can't come close to LT's). But none of the young men won the award. The saying "a man among boys" is thrown around a great deal in college football when one player's talent seems to greatly exceed the players around him, and every Heisman winner has probably had it said about him at one time or another. Only in 2000 however was it true. The finalists were three young men and a grown adult who happened to be a college senior as well and a quarterback of a national title contender. Perhaps the Heisman trust took the line in their mission statement that reads "Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work." and thought "this man has been diligently persevering and working hard for eight more years than the other contenders!", but it still seems scummy to me. Hopefully in future EA NCAA Football games the Heisman will go to the right player. Screw Chris Weinke.
This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.
EA SPORTS NCAA Football 13 TV: "Son" (via EASPORTS)