Talk:Heisman Trophy

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Start - February 2008


There's a separate article discussing the Heisman curse, but I think there should at least be a link to it on the Heisman page. That's where I originally went to find it and of course it isn't there: (talk) 22:49, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

I just added it as a link under 'See also'. But more needs to be done. Mention of the "curse" needs to be added to the article.
(Alternatively, if anyone feels that this article should not mention it, then an argument needs to be presented for taking action to delete the "curse" article.)--Concord hioz (talk) 20:58, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Voting question[edit]

How is "Most Outstanding" defined -- in other words, is this an award for on-field performance only or does character factor in? (talk) 15:10, 13 November 2010 (UTC)bo Can underclassmen Heisman winners (e.g., Tim Tebow) vote for themselves, or are they specifically prohibited from doing so? Samer (talk) 14:33, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

They have a vote. Smurfer2 (talk) 01:12, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

This article does not differentiate between voting for the Heisman winner and voting for Heisman nominees. How, exactly, are nominees determined? Why are there different numbers of nominees in different years? (talk) 15:56, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

The nominees are really just those candidates which recieved a lot of votes. There is only one round of voting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:26, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

(talk) is correct -- there is only one round of voting, and the candidates which receive the most points get invited. There is no set number for the number of invited candidates (usually 3-5). The Heisman Trust announced that in 2008 when Bradford won Texas Tech fans were upset. It's completely up to the Trust's discretion. Obamafan70 (talk) 02:02, 2 October 2010 (UTC)


"Heisman" is, as far as I know, pronounced as "highs man", not as "heese man", as one would expect, as the English language pronounces vowels quite differently, compared to most other European languages. "Highs munn" would be the German pronounciation. See (or hear?) also Joe Theismann. -- Matthead  Discuß   04:10, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Of course, Joe Theismann changed the pronounciation of his name so that it rhymed with that of the trophy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:28, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Here's a YouTube video of the 2008 trophy presentation. I've always heard it pronounced the way they say it in the video. BlueAg09 (Talk) 05:12, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Who is the player on the trophy is that Heisman?

Read the article under trophy design. I organized it so that you could find that easily.Obamafan70 (talk) 02:03, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

weight of the trophy[edit]

The Heisman is known to be heavy with a lot of recipients not realizing how heavy it really is upon receiving it in the award ceremony. According to this ESPN article, it is 25 lbs. [1] Dreammaker182 (talk) 03:30, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Criticism of the trophy[edit]

I think a valid addition to the Heisman article would be a summary of various criticisms of the trophy (in addition to the "regional bias"). For example players from Notre Dame seem to get special consideration...Hornung winning the trophy despite his team's 2-8 record and his relatively mediocre stats for example. The fact that the award is billed as going to the "most outstanding player", despite the fact that defensive players never win and they comprise 50% of the players, or linemen never win despite there being more of them than ball handlers. Also the fact that the player that always wins (anymore at least) is the most HYPED, as opposed to the best player. An example would be Matt Leinart winning in 2004 over Adrian Peterson...a comparison of the players success at the pro level shows that Leinart was a bust, therefore overrated, while Peterson has been tremendously successful and is , objectively, the better player. --TobusRex (talk) 08:14, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Read WP:FORUM. This is not a discussion forum for you to share your personal grievances with the Heisman. It is a place to discuss improvements to the article. Unless you have a mainstream media article to back up anything in that lengthy of paragraph of opinions, it belongs on bleacherreport, not in an encyclopedia. Read WP:OR, as well.Guiltlessgecko (talk) 13:52, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Criticism is fine, but it needs to be well organized. I'd like to discuss the idea of a "controversy and politics" section. Of course, this would need to meet WP:V. 'Remember that things need to be well sourced. There are only two good things I can find:, which explicitly outlines the presumed politics, and an article by Dennis Dodd about an attempt to eliminate voting. At the time, there was a Heisman consultant who argued for doing just that, but he didn't get anywhere. This section would likely want to include the 2005 Heisman Trophy vacation. I think all this is perfectly acceptable, but we might not get much consensus in terms of WP:V and WP:NPOV.
I did some clean-up on the controversy and politics section with references to, Fox Sports, the LA Times, etc.. If there is anything else you feel is necessary, please feel free to add it. We can discuss it here if there are any unresolved issues. Obamafan70 (talk) 16:04, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I found a couple of other controversies covered in the media, but I'm reluctant to include them.....Here's one from a professor at Syracuse:

Here’s the deal: Black athletes don’t need the ridiculous and meaningless validation of a Heisman Trophy. Over the last decade, seven out of ten Heismans have gone to white quarterbacks. The truth is that this is typically the Golden Boy Award, and black athletes usually have to perform above and beyond the call of duty at their position to defeat whomever the media has chosen as the most “honorable and coachable” athlete with “good character.”

Dr. Watkins is accusing of the Heisman Trust of being "racist". Yes, Watkins uses the word in the article. My opinion would be not to include this, but I will leave that to the discretion of other users. ( Obamafan70 (talk) 17:11, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I think it would be best to leave out the racist rantings of a fringe academic. The Heisman may be a lot of things, but racist isn't one of them. Lots of black players have won the Heisman.

As Obamafan noted is a good site, but I am also having a hard time finding other websites on the topic of Heisman controversies, other than short articles. TobusRex (talk) 09:59, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Also, I think the "scientific validity" section should be struck from the article. "Brad Smith" claims McCoy should've won the award based on his scientific criteria. There are some issues with this: 1) Brad Smith has no significant background in science from what I could research (his educational background is apparently in communications), thus he has no scientific credibility 2) his wiki article (brad smith) seems sketchy at best, and at worst to be a falsifying vanity article. It leads me to seriously question anything he asserts, even if the claims he made regarding McCoy and the Heisman have merit. Maybe he is legit, but I have serious doubts. TobusRex (talk) 10:43, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

TobusRex, thanks for opining. As you can see, I've revamped the article to include some of the recent controversies as per your request. Perhaps we should set out some ground rules for criticism to be included. Your first argument is that the Syracuse professor should not be included. I agree with this -- not because it violates WP:FRINGE but because it is non-notable (that is -- it has not been picked up by a major news outlet -- the AP, CBS, ESPN, Fox Sports, SI). I have heard this from other black academics who follow sports, but felt it was non-notable until covered nationally.

Where I disagree with you is on the scientific validity issue -- it was covered by with a frontpage article by the President of the FWAA. If you read the article (and I have), Smith's methods were used by other awards in 2008 for semifinalist selections, and he was supported by 2 other academics, one of which, (Andrew Zimbalist), is a consultant for ESPN, which broadcasts the Heisman presentation. This is precisely what I would call notable. Now, if others read this article and share your opinion, we can certainly discuss removing parts of the controversy. I found it notable given there were negotiations, but I have no objections to removing that part or any of the criticism, for that matter. Obamafan70 (talk) 13:23, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks again Obamafan. The criticism section seems improved. I found the info on USC to be informative. I wasn't aware of the article which you have read. TobusRex (talk) 02:15, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm fine as is. However, I'd like to think we could find a better source than the Stiff Arm dot com. I'll see what I can find.Guiltlessgecko (talk) 13:54, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Regionally biased section now improved. The sources now include the SJ Mercury News with Wilner (an AP voter) and Bob Condotta (Seattle Times).Guiltlessgecko (talk) 14:14, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Controversy related to the official award citation including references to integrity as stated in "The outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work." Specifically the weight that integrity should play in determining the winner. This has been a media topic following Johnny Manziel's actions both prior and post award, and the controversy surrounding Jameis Winston. Should the integrity reference be dropped from the citation and no longer be a factor to consider when selecting a winner? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Clean-up and organization[edit]

I moved the pro sports information into the body of the article. I moved the trophy design facts there as well. The introduction should really be focused more on important information and disambiguation. We don't want it to come close to violating WP:TRIVIA. I think it reads naturally as a three paragraph intro -- 1) the award, who presents it, when, the size and weight of the trophy itself -- 2) its relevance in the landscape and disambiguation from other awards, as well as what it sets it apart from a factual standpoint and -- 3) a brief but notable historical fact about the recipients and the most recent. Obamafan70 (talk) 01:32, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

I made some minor grammar edits. Guiltlessgecko (talk) 01:37, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Not sure if you know this but the AP also goes to the most outstanding player in the nation. Gotta change it to be factual. Guiltlessgecko (talk) 01:44, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
You are correct. Thanks for the clarification. Obamafan70 (talk) 01:57, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
No problem. I haven't forgotten that you saved the list of winners from losing WP:FA after the Bush scandals....I'm so very disappointed in you that you hadn't noticed the AP Player of the Year was also the most outstanding.Guiltlessgecko (talk) 14:03, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Featured article[edit]

I can't help but think we could do better than a "B" rating for this article. Guiltlessgecko (talk) 14:13, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

First Year Presentation 1935 to Jay Berwanger[edit]

I'm looking at the article from the New York Times, December 11, 1935, which says that yesterday.... Jay Berwanger found himself the guest of honor and recipient of a trophy at a special luncheon in his honor at the Downtown Athletic Club....the first ceremony was a presentation to Berwanger at noon of the trophy of the Downtown A. C. given to the "most valuable football player east of the Mississippi." When did it change from "east of the Mississippi" to "all of college football" and isn't that a more signficant change than just a change of name? Revmoran (talk) 17:59, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Johnny Manziel is the first freshman to win[edit]

That is not true because he is not a freshman. He is a sophomore. He is called, for eligibility purposes, a red-shirt freshman, but that is very different. If we call him the first freshman to win this trophy, what will we do when someday a real freshman wins it? They are not equivalent at all. One guy graduated from high school in May, while the other has had a full year of training and practice at the college level. (talk) 07:46, 10 December 2012 (UTC)


More than 2 high schools have produced multiple heisman trophy winners. In addition to Wilson and Mater Dei, Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia producded 2 winners and 1 additional finalist:


The Heisman High School

The Heisman Trophy has been awarded more than 75 times since it was first originated in 1935, honoring the most outstanding college football player in the NCAA. It's remarkable to think that football powerhouses like Penn State and the University of Alabama have only produced one Heisman winner each, while little Fork Union Military Academy, a small high school with barely more than one hundred graduates each year, has produced two Heisman Trophy winners, and a third Heisman finalist.

In 1986, Miami's quarterback, Vinny Testaverde, became the first former FUMA cadet to win the Heisman Trophy. Eddie George, the Ohio State running back, won his Heisman in 1995. Chris Perry, a running back at Michigan, was a finalist in the 2003 Heisman hunt, placing fourth in the voting. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

non seniors winners[edit]


  • Doc Blanchard '45
  • Doak Walker '48
  • Vic Janowicz '50
  • Roger Staubach '63
  • Archie Griffin '74
  • Billy Sims '78
  • Herschel Walker'82
  • Barry Sanders '88
  • Ty Detmer '90
  • Jason White '03
  • Matt Leinart '04


  • Tim Tebow '07
  • Sam Bradford '08
  • Mark Ingram, Jr.'09


  • Johnny Manziel '12
  • Jameis Winston '13

Skippypeanuts (talk) 19:13, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Ok, this info has just been added as a new column in the List article.--Concord hioz (talk) 21:16, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

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