Awards and Accolades

The Heisman Trophy: Style Over Substance

Reggie Bush gave back his Heisman Trophy. To which I respond: Big friggin' deal.

I know the Heisman is one of the most hyped awards, but - let's be honest - it's also the most meaningless sports trophy this side of the Governor's Cup, Golden Boot and the Iron Skillet.

Here's how it usually works: A university school of medicine's top student goes on to be a successful doctor. The best writer at a college student newspaper matures into a solid, professional reporter at a big-city paper. The hottest sorority girl gets married and becomes a MILF.

There are hiccups, of course. But seems to me they happen more frequently in the transition from college to pro football. More than any individual sports accolade, the Heisman is a flawed indicator of future success.

Granted it's an extremely subjective study and results may vary, but with a little digging and remembering I came to the conclusion that college football's Heisman indeed is far less important than basketball's Naismith Award or college baseball's Golden Spikes Award.

Taking into account their careers as pros - that includes stats, all-star teams, longevity, etc. - I slapped a simple label on a handful of award winners: Win or Loss. For example, the Heisman's Tony Dorsett went on to win a Super Bowl and get enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That's a win. On the other hand, the Naismith's Jay Williams was the NBA's second overall pick in 2002 but suffered major injuries in a motorcycle accident and wound up getting cut by the minor-league Austin Toros before retiring in obscurity. That's a loss.

Get it?

Using that very unscientific formula, the results were shocking.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt