Thursday, December 25, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
The news hit tall media like a cannon shot last Saturday – OU’s quarterback Sam Bradford takes Heisman.
Bradford stated he was hopeful but was painfully aware that he had some stiff competition. The biggest threat, of course, came from the previous winner of collegiate football’s most prestigious and sought-after award. It is the “Oscar” of the athletic world below the pro level.
Bradford had led the Sooners’ high-powered offense and was attempting to accomplish something which only one other person had done prior, win the Heisman as a sophomore. Oklahoma earned the distinction of being the team in the college ranks with the highest scoring record. One does not have to be a rabid football fan to know of the exploits of the Sooners. Invariably, if football is discussed in the cold plains states, one is apt to hear the names Sooners and Cornhuskers.
I must pay homage to all the persons last week who told me that the trophy was going to be claimed by Bradford. Moi? Well, naturally I figured that history would again repeat itself after a 28-year layoff and there would be a back to back. Some of you might remember that Archie Griffin of Ohio State won the award in ’74 and ’75. This was back in the day when running backs were called “halfbacks” or “fullbacks.” And it is to his credit, meaning Tim Tebow, that he did grab the most first place votes. It was probably the “underdog vote” which swung it to Bradford. Hey, not mad at him. Tons of kudos.
Without giving away too much useless information, this writer can remember coming into the knowledge of the Heisman for the first time. I had been at St. Mary’s about a year, really developing an interest in football and all sports when I read a weekly called “Our Sunday Visitor.” There was an engrossing article about a quarterback at Notre Dame who was apparently the long sought successor to Angelo Bertilli, the first Notre Dame recipient of the award. The story, entitled “Filling Bertilli’s Shoes,” was about a young QB by the name of John Lujack. Lujack won the award and developed what is known, but little used today, the Lujack or “jump pass.”
All three contenders for the Heisman will be at center stage again in the coming days. Bradford in the championship game against Tebow and Florida and Colt McCoy versus Ohio State.
Had I had a vote I would probably have cast it for McCoy. Don’t you just like the ring of the monicker? Doesn’t it conjure up images of a “Bad man named McGrew”?
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