In 1956, Notre Dame's Paul Hornung won the Heisman Trophy over Tennessee RB John Majors. The man who finished fifth in the voting ended up being one of the greatest running back in NFL history, just as Hornung. But, unlike Hornung, Jim Brown's Syracuse squad finished 7-1 and lost in the Cotton Bowl. Notre Dame ended their campaign at 2-8. To this day, Hornung is still the only player from a losing team to win the Heisman.
Former ESPN commentator and journalist Dick Schaap originally met Brown when he faced him as a goalie for the Cornell lacrosse team (some believe to this day that Brown is the best lacrosse player ever). As a voting member in 1956 for the Heisman, Schaap voted for Brown to win. Believing that race played a part in "Golden Boy" Hornung winning over Brown, Schaap never again voted in the Heisman.
Comparing Jim Brown in 1956 to Tim Tebow in 2007 is dangerous. While both could lead to a change in how people view their positions, Brown played for Syracuse team that rarely left the Northeast while Tebow will end up being on national TV seven times this season. And unless people have something against a white kid from North Florida, race will not play a part in the voting. But if Tebow doesn't win this year, Florida fans, writers, and players, should boycott the Heisman.
We all know that the Heisman doesn't always go to the best player (C. Woodson over P. Manning), but it's never happened in a year where one player is far and away the best in the nation. Tebow has five picks versus 23 TDs. On the ground, he has 19 TDs. He has played hurt this season and has carried a young team despite being a sophomore. And I know he's a system quarterback.
But so are Dennis Dixon and Colt Brennan. That argument, in an era where you either run the spread, the Tech offense, or the fun `n gun, is garbage. Denying Tebow the Heisman this year means that the nation's writers collectively decide that only upperclassman are eligible. And if that is true, then what's the point of freshmen and sophomores even going to New York?
I honestly don't care if Tebow wins the Heisman. Well, I didn't until I saw Dixon's knee explode last night at Arizona. Do you give the Heisman to an injured player? One that may not play a down again this season? Forget the injury, it comes down to when Dixon was needed most, Ryan Leaf's brother was under center. Just like how Mike Hart is eliminated for missing games. Tebow has been smacked around like a heavyweight fighter, but he keeps throwing haymakers. If that doesn't get him the Heisman, then screw them. I'd rather have him win me another crystal football in January 2009.
Since I'll be driving around the state today and away from the computer, here's something to hold you over; Tim Tebow as a high school senior. Enjoy the BIG NUTS! BIG NUTS RIGHT HERE!