The Heisman Trophy may be 75 years old, but it does not age. If anything, it gets stronger every year. No other award in sports attracts the attention a Heisman does. There are no weekly Cy Young polls in the summer, no Vezina Trophy polls in the winter.
Said Pete Dawkins, the 1958 Heisman winner and a Rhodes Scholar: "I once had a person say to me, 'How many Academy Awards are given in a year?
"'How many Rhodes Scholars are there in a year?
"'How many Nobel Prizes?
"'And how many Heisman Trophies?' Just one."
Only the winners understand the hold the trophy has on the American public.
"Before you're introduced as a Super Bowl winner, or for playing 15 years in the NFL, or MVP of the Super Bowl," Jim Plunkett said, "it's always 'Heisman Trophy winner' that comes out of somebody's mouth."
Plunkett, the 1970 winner, is one of 17 Heisman recipients who were picked first in the NFL draft. That's only 17 in the history of the league. That's the beauty of the award. The winner is honored for what he achieved on Saturdays, not what he might do on Sundays.
A player doesn't win the award as much as he marries it. The Heisman will be with him, 'til death do them part. It is wedded bliss, one and all.
-- Ivan Maisel