College Football

A trip down Heisman Memory Lane

Young Vinny Testeverde

In 1939: Nile Kinnick, a halfback from Iowa won the fifth Heisman trophy award given to college football’s most outstanding player. Kinnick never turned pro and instead joined the fight in World War II. He died in 1943 when his fighter plane crashed into the Caribbean Sea.

In 1961: Ernie Davis of Syracuse won the second-closest vote in Heisman history, edging out Ohio State’s Bob Ferguson. Sadly, like Kinnick, Davis died shortly after winning the Heisman. He was the top draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, but was stricken with leukemia just a few games into his rookie season. He was the first African-American player to win the Heisman Trophy.

In 1975: Archie Griffin of Ohio State became the only player in history to win back-to-back Heisman Trophies. Griffin combined power and speed to amass over 5,000 total yards while playing for the Buckeyes. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals, and although he never was the superstar he was in Columbus, he had a solid career.

In 1986: Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde won the 52nd Heisman, lapping the likes of Paul Palmer, Jim Harbaugh and Gordon Lockbaum (of Holy Cross, who finished 5th) with the fifth-largest margin of victory in the history of the voting. Testaverde still leads all Hurricane passers with 46 career touchdowns. He went from being a monumental first round bust with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to having a decent career with the Browns/Ravens, Jets (teams he led to the playoffs) and Cowboys. He is currently the backup in New England.

(All info and stats coutesy of

Video Games

Dec 5 in Sports History: Dad, what’s a video arcade?

In 1983: As a very prehistoric precursor to the John Madden video game franchise, the NFL introduced its first video arcade game, the creatively titled “NFL Football.” Madden it sure as heck wasn’’t, as there were very few features. In fact, the game’s creators were banking that the kids pumping their quarters in didn’’t mind being the Raiders and the Chargers all the time, because that’s all they were getting. After the play was selected, it showed the play using actual footage from a real NFL game between those two teams. Also, there was no dynasty mode or anything cool (like you could be Marcus Allen and bang OJ Simpson’s wife or Dan Fouts and be really fucking annoying on the air). Unfortunately, the game didn’’t do very well (there was a second edition with Redskins-Cowboys) and production was halted in 1984. (

In 1981: Speaking of Marcus Allen, football’s most beloved adulterer won the Heisman Trophy as a tailback at USC, edging out Georgia sophomore Herschel Walker in a close vote. Allen was the fourth USC running back to win the Heisman (hey, OJ won one too…Maybe you own it!) but was the only Trojan to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. He was also the first player to run for over 200 yards in four straight games. Allen was drafted by the Raiders in 1982, and he went on to have a hall of fame career and won a Super Bowl MVP in 1984.

In 1982: Herschel Walker finally got his due by winning the Heisman Trophy as a junior, easily outdistancing Stanford‘s John Elway (Dan Marino finished 9th, way behind Tony Eason). Many felt that Walker should have won in his freshman year, when he ran for over 1,600 yards, 15 touchdowns and outclassed George Rogers, South Carolina’s Heisman winner that year, in a key Bulldog’s victory. Only a bias against underclassmen kept Walker from possibly winning an unprecedented three straight awards. Had Walker stayed in Athens for his senior year, he probably would still hold all Division I-A rushing records, as he had over 5,000 yards and 50 career touchdowns with a whopping 5.3 yards per carry in only three seasons. He decided it would be a better idea to try and commit career suicide, however, and he went to the USFL’s New Jersey Generals for three years. (