Another article my dad wrote and asked me to post here...
What a night. The culmination of College Football Awards week. The suspense....Well their was none, but I tuned in anyway to see how the Heisman Trust and ESPN handled an evening that would involve one of the most controversial awards in recent memory.
Here was the narration of the opening video segment (imagine moving music and video clips of great men of the past):
Ability is not enough, there must also be honor, diligence, integrity and all that word entails. The name refers to young men and the qualities they represent. Say Bertelli and you said character. Staubach and you said commitment. Say Griffin, or Jackson or Tebow and you have said leadership. Add humility and the enduring light it casts. This is the heart of tradition. Recognition for one individual who recognizes the reason for their success. You have speed, agility, accuracy and strength, but intangibles are the key to winning the Heisman Trophy.
Sadly, the moving introduction piece showed that we are living in an age of fantasy. An age where it makes us feel good to sling around words like diligence, integrity, and character. The actions of the nearly 1,000 voters for the award showed that the lofty ideals associated with the trophy and its past recipients are dead. If there ever was a character component to the Heisman Trophy you can consider December 11, 2010 as the closing ceremony on that era.
What we would all appreciate is a bit of respect. Please spare us the goose bump introductions and black and white films of great men of our past who suggest that the only parallel that the Heisman has in their life is the day the US Marines allowed them to wear the uniform. Spare us the suggestion that this award is about anything but athletic ability.
I think most people in the United States and perhaps the world have come to a place where we know what sports is all about. We live in a world of performance enhancing drugs, the cult of me, and multi-million dollar salaries. We know that sports is about ability. And this is where I struggle with what I watched on Saturday evening. It seems the good folks at ESPN and the Heisman Trust want to have it both ways. They want the appearance that their award means something more, but they don’t want us to pay attention to the facts.
I won’t rehash all that has been written and discovered about the character of our new Heisman Trophy winner. I could fill several pages with discussion of legal problems, academic integrity issues and the shady dealings surrounding his arrival at Auburn, but I won’t. So let me close with this..... I can say with certainty that Cam Newton has more athletic ability than any of the students on the stage this evening in New York. But, I can also say that the award presented tonight had NOTHING to do with the ideals the broadcast suggests it stands for. So let’s call these awards what they are and spare us the emotional warm and fuzzy images of days gone by, we aren’t buying it and you shouldn’t be selling it.