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Football – The History Of The Heisman Award

At the end of each college football season, an award is presented to the top college football player in the nation, as voted by a panel of 941 members of the media and past winners. This award is called the Heisman Memorial Award trophy. Although this award is highly publicized by media and football fans around the world, here are some interesting facts that you may not know.

The story

The Heisman Award was originally established by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York in 1935. It was named after John W Heisman, who was a member of the club. The current trophy is modeled after former New York University football player Ed Smith in 1934.

The award was always given to the Downtown Athletic Club until 2002. The club was located near the site of the World Trade Center towers which were destroyed in the September 11 attacks. The club was forced to close in part due to financial difficulties resulting from 9/11.

Voting process

The voting process for the Heisman Football Award is on a regional basis. The country is divided into 6 distinct regions with a reputable member of the media in charge of each region. This member then chooses a select group of other voters who are football writers, journalists or television personalities to vote as well.

Dividing the country into 6 regions ensures that there will be no regional bias for any particular player. Currently, 941 members have voted. The prize is awarded in December of each year.

Winners

Heisman Football award winners are primarily quarterbacks and running backs. In fact, 41 of the 71 Heisman Award winners are running backs and 23 have been quarterbacks.

Michigan’s Charles Woodson was the first and only defensive player to win the award. He did in 1997. Although he also returned kickoffs and punts, he was primarily a defensive back.

Archie Griffin holds the distinction of being the only player in Heisman Prize history to win the trophy twice. He did it in 1974 and 1975 while playing with Ohio State.

Two schools are tied for the most number of Heisman Prize winners. USC and Notre Dame have had 7 past Heisman Football Trophy winners, although Notre Dame has only had one winner in the past 40 years. Ohio State has had 6 Heisman Award winners.

What happened to some past winners?

While there have been many former Heisman Award winners who have gone on to pursue NFL Hall of Fame careers, for many others, quite the opposite has happened.

Jason White, the 2003 winner has never played a down in the NFL. Archie Griffin, the only two-time winner, had a dismal football career in Cincinnati. Andre Ware, the 1989 winner, sat on the bench for 4 years and then retired.

Eric Crouch, the 2001 winner from Nebraska, has never played a game in the NFL. Rashaan Salaam, the 1994 winner, had several drug suspensions during a very short and unpleasant career. OJ Simpson is perhaps the most infamous Heisman Prize winner of all time. After having a very illustrious career with the Buffalo Bills, he will always be remembered for his celebrity trial in the murder of his wife and Ronald Goldman.

Football fans around the world love the Heisman Football Trophy. Everyone has their own opinion on who should be the winner. It has become an annual tradition that continues to grow every year.

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