What is the Heisman Trophy?

Heisman Trophy

If you watched football at all last weekend, I’m sure you heard sportscasters and commentators talk about the Heisman Trophy. Last year, Johnny Manziel made history by becoming the first freshman to win the coveted award. Even before the  first game of the season the “Heisman Watch” begins, which is basically everyone from coaches to their mothers giving an opinion about who is favored to win the award.

What is the Heisman Trophy?

In simple terms, it is an award given to the most outstanding college football player. It is typically given to an offensive player like a quarterback or running back, so if a defensive player wins the Heisman, it’s an even more outstanding accomplishment.

A Brief History of the Heisman Trophy:

The Heisman Trohpy was first given in 1935 to Jay Berwagner of the University of Chicago. It was originally called the DAC Trophy because it was members of the Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan who decided to give an award to the most outstanding college football player.  The DAC renamed the award the “Heisman Memorial Trophy” the following year after the death of John W. Heisman, an innovative football genius and phenomenal athlete. In 1968, it was decided that two Heisman Trophies would be awarded each year, one to the athlete himself and one to the school that the player represents.

The Man: Who is John Heisman?

He was a great player at University of Pennsylvania where he learned a lot about the new sport of football but he did not stop there. He went on to be known as one of the great visionaries of the game and is credited with inventing the forward pass and the offensive formation with the snap of the ball as well as the power sweep. He was the head coach at many great colleges including Auburn, Penn, and Georgia Tech where he led the Yellow Jackets to a National Championship in 1917. His lifetime record was 186-70-18. That’s tremendous! He also was the coach of GT when they beat Cumberland College 222-0.

The Heisman Trophy:

It’s a bronze statue depicting a football player side-stepping and straight arming a tackler. The statue weighs 45 pounds, is 14 inches long and stands 13 1/2 inches high.

Saying: ‘Giving the Heisman’:

You may hear this expression being said about giving someone the Heisman. It’s a perfect way to say you pushed someone away like the pose on the trophy. For example, an unwanted advance by a hairy guy wearing a tank top at a bar that you tell to get lost – you just gave him the Heisman.

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