Tag Archives: Heisman Trophy

Herschel Walker: dumbass

Gosh, I hate speaking badly about a guy I used to admire when all he did was pack a football and run with it for thousands of yards during his career.

However, that ex-gridiron star, former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker of Georgia, is now running for the U.S. Senate and all I can say about him is that he might be the biggest dumbass running for high office in this election cycle.

Walker is running as a Republican. He wants to succeed Sen. Rafael Warnock, one of two Democrats elected to the Senate in 2020 from Georgia.

I have heard some of the nonsense that comes from Walker’s pie hole. One utterance, caught my attention. He recently said while disparaging evolutionary science that “If man came from monkeys, why do we still have monkeys?”

Isn’t that just a real knee-slapper? Actually, that isn’t even an original quip. I heard the late comic George Carlin say it many years ago. So, Walker not only is a dumbass, but he’s a dumbass who cannot offer many original thoughts.

Sen. Warnock has done a creditable job in the Senate. He has become a leading voice of the Senate’s progressive caucus. He also has plenty of what one could call “cred” among African Americans, given that he is African American. What’s more, when he is not writing federal law, he preaches at Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the Holy Word to his parishioners.

It occurs to me that this contest could offer voters in one state a chance to stop the dumbing-down of Congress by returning a man with considerable intellect — Sen. Warnock — and rejecting a man with next to zero understanding of how government works … and who cannot even produce an original quip.


What about this young man, Mr. POTUS?

Donald J. “Football Cheerleader in Chief” Trump tweeted out his congratulations to a young man from Ohio State University, defensive lineman Nick Bosa, for being the No. 2 overall pick in the National Football League college draft.

Hey, it’s a big deal, right? Sure it is!

Then there’s this item that has gotten a lot of attention on social media: Bosa is a known supporter of the president and he reportedly has “liked” posts from white nationalist groups on Facebook. Hey, that plays right into Trump’s wheelhouse, not to mention that Bosa has been critical of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who instigated the “take a knee” movement to protest police treatment of black citizens.

Oh, and what about the young man who was drafted ahead of Bosa? That would be Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray of the University of Oklahoma. The president hasn’t offered Murray any congratulations. Nothin’, man!

D’oh, I almost forgot: Murray, who hails from just down the road in Allen, Texas, is African-American. Did I mention that Bosa is white? Well, I just did.

I just have to wonder, coincidence . . . or is there something else at play here?¬†I know what I believe. I’ll leave it for others to draw their own conclusions.

He’s got it wrong: student-athletes already ‘get paid’

I believe Kyler Murray is a fine young man, apart from his being a first-class quarterback for the University of Oklahoma who has just been named the latest winner of the Heisman Trophy, signifying that he is the best college football player in America.

However, the young man is mistaken when he says college athletes should be paid.

Murray said this: “I feel like we bring in a lot of money to the universities ‚Ķ we put in a lot of work. Some guys don’t have enough money to bring their families to the games ‚Ķ so I feel like athletes should be compensated for it.”

Murray is far from the first person to make the argument. I just believe he is as mistaken and misguided as all the others who have said the same thing.

Already paid

Where do I begin?

I’ll start here. Student-athletes already are “compensated” for their efforts. Granted, they don’t receive weekly paychecks, but many of them get a free college education in the form of full-ride scholarships.

I consider that a form of payment. Think about the ramifications. Student-athletes are allowed to receive a free education that presumably prepares them for life after their playing days are over. To suggest, therefore, that these athletes should become “professional athletes” defies the very principle of providing scholarships that help them fulfill the “student” portion of the term “student-athlete.”

Whether a student-athlete cracks the books and actually studies when he or she is not blocking/tackling/throwing TDs, or shooting hoops or hitting home runs is up to the student.

If they don’t cut it in the classroom, they ought to become academically ineligible to participate in whatever sport for which they are being “paid.”

Pulling for ‘home boy’ of sorts for Heisman Trophy

I haven’t had this much interest in the Heisman Trophy since, oh, 2015 when Oregon’s Marcus Mariota won the award as the nation’s top college football player.

The object of my attention this year is a young man from Allen, Texas, who plays for the University of Oklahoma. I refer to Kyler Murray, the OU quarterback.

Given that I now live about one mile north of Allen High School — and one of my granddaughter’s brothers graduated from there while another one is attending Allen HS — I want Murray to win.

He’s got some tough competition among the finalists: Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama and Duane Haskins of Ohio State. All of them are QBs.

But . . . I’m going to pull for Kyler Murray. I don’t particular follow OU football. I haven’t yet gotten into the Allen Eagles’ groove, although I am aware of their multiple Texas Class 6A football championships — with is a real big deal!

We’ll know shortly who gets the Heisman. Kyler Murray has a decision to make: football or baseball? He’s signed a contract with the Oakland A’s. The kid can play hardball, too.

Come to think of it, John Elway was thought to be a better baseball player than a football player when he graduated from Stanford in the early 1980s. He chose football.

Elway’s gridiron career turned out all right.

You go, Marcus and the Titans!

There once was a time when I despised the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League.

You see, they once were known as the Houston Oilers. Then the Oilers’ owner, Bud Adams, decided he wanted a nicer place to play his home football games. The Astrodome — the former Eighth Wonder of the World — wasn’t good enough for him, so he packed his team up and moved to Nashville.

I lived with my family for 11 years in Beaumont and I became a fairly diehard Oilers fan. I hated the Titans for quite some time.

Then they did something rather cool. The Titans drafted a young quarterback out of the University of Oregon. Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy playing QB for the Ducks, which happen to be my favorite college football team; I am a native of Oregon, which you might already know.

With that draft pick, the Titans elevated themselves from the hated to the revered. Just … like … that.

Last night, I watched Mariota perform some gridiron magic that made me proud to call this former Duck one of my homeys.

The Titans trailed the Kansas City Chiefs by 21-3 at halftime of their American Football Conference wild card playoff game. The teams took the field in the second half and Mariota then demonstrated why he is considered the Titans’ “franchise quarterback.”

From from the Chiefs’ 6-yard line, Mariota tossed a pass, which got deflected and caught the pass himself — and then he dived into the end zone for another touchdown. Mariota to Mariota!¬†Then he fired a 22-yard touchdown pass.

Late in the game, Mariota handed the ball off to another Heisman winner, Derrick Henry, who scampered around the left end — and got a decisive block from none other than … Marcus Mariota. Quarterbacks don’t usually throw their bodies at defensive players, let alone brutish linebackers.

The Titans won the football game 22-21.

I am a happy Titans fan today.

Well done, Marcus. You made this native Oregonian might proud.

Tebow can play hardball, too!

Call me surprised … in a most pleasant way.

Tim Tebow, the one-time standout college football quarterback who didn’t cut it as a pro, has turned to baseball.

I once thought¬†the Heisman Trophy winner’s¬†stint with¬†the New York Mets organization was little more than a publicity stunt.

You may dip me in sesame seeds. It turns out Tebow is starting to get the hang of the game he didn’t play seriously since high school. Tebow is learning how to hit pro baseball pitching while playing for the Columbia (S.C.) Fireflies. He started out abysmally, but has gone 9 for 20 of late, raising his batting average to a respectable .246.

Tebow’s status as a bit of a cult figure goes a good bit beyond his athletic prowess. He is known as an¬†devout Christian who introduced a new verb¬†to the English language: Tebowing. It’s meant to describe the kneeling¬†pose Tebow would use whenever he scored a touchdown. Tebow would kneel while saying a brief prayer of thanks to God.

Yes, I was skeptical about his baseball adventure. I feared the Mets had denied another more deserving young man a shot at making it in the big leagues by giving a high-profile celebrity-athlete a chance to play some hardball.

Tebow gave up football after being unable to make the grade with a number of National Football League teams. He fell victim to the curse that occasionally hits Heisman Trophy-winning athletes, those who are unable to lift their game to a competitive level in the pros even after excelling at the college level.

Baseball, though, is providing him with another opportunity.

I wish the young man well and hope he continues to improve.

Tim Tebow: baseball ‘stunt man’


I am fascinated by what I perceive to be a stunt being performed by one Tim Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy-winning college quarterback who couldn’t cut it in the National Football League.

He’s now trying to become a professional baseball player. He wants to play professionally a sport in which he hasn’t participated in since, oh, high school.

I keep wondering about a certain aspect of this fellow’s change of career plans: Does his celebrity status make him more marketable than his actual talent? And does that status as a media star prevent another, more deserving young athlete from obtaining a spot on a baseball team roster?

Do not misunderstand me. Tim Tebow appears to be a fine young man. He made news when he started kneeling after scoring touchdowns; he would say brief prayers of thanks to God, which endeared him to many God-fearing football fans.

I like that part of the young man’s character.

Then that persona took over. It made bigger than life in some people’s eyes. It followed him everywhere. NFL teams were criticized by some fans for cutting him from their roster because the fans perceived a bias against¬†his devout religious faith.

Baloney! The guy’s pro football skills at quarterback don’t measure up. He’s a heck of an athlete. Tebow is a tremendous physical specimen. He’s built like a linebacker and he might have¬†become a good defensive player, or perhaps a tight end.

Now we hear that at least two Major League Baseball teams are interested in this guy: the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado Rockies.


It’s fair to ask: Is their interest based on what they see on the baseball field or is it based on how he might boost attendance at baseball games, given his celebrity status?

Remember when basketball legend Michael Jordan tried his hand at pro baseball? I remain convinced to this day that he was awarded a minor-league spot on the basis of his acclaim as a basketball player, denying someone else a spot who likely deserved it more.

Thus, are we talking about furthering another young man’s baseball career or allowing him to perform a publicity stunt?

Pro football rookie is ‘too good to be true’?

There is a story making the rounds that suggests a “new normal” among prospective professional athletes.

It’s that some pro scouts, team executives and analysts just cannot believe that a possible star athlete doesn’t carry any baggage, that he’s got to have something wrong about him.

Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy this past season while playing quarterback for the University of Oregon.


He’s a fine young man. He’s devoted to his family. He finished his college education, earning his degree at Oregon. He’s the proverbial Boy Scout.

Then we hear that Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich reports that some National Football League analysts and scouts were spooked by the absolute absence of any skeletons in Mariota’s closet.

As Larry Brown writes in MSN.com: “The NFL is so used to finding at least something wrong with players that they balk when they can‚Äôt dig up any dirt.”

OK, Mariota isn’t perfect. He got a speeding ticket in Eugene, Ore., during his final year at Oregon.

But that’s it. Apparently.

Are we going to believe now that NFL general managers, scouts, coaches — maybe even the fans — demand that their star athletes punch out women, abuse drugs, steal things or launch into profanity-laced rants on national television?

The Tennessee Titans thought enough of Mariota to draft him No. 2 overall.

I’m going to go with the Titans’ judgment on a young man who certainly looks like the real thing.

Looks like the Buckeyes belonged after all

I’ll be candid. I was one of those who thought a team other than Ohio State should have rounded out the four-school playoff bracket to determine the best team in college football.

My favorite for the No. 4 seed was Baylor.

It didn’t happen. Ohio State got in, I guess, on the strength of its schedule.

I’m no expert on this, but it appears that the selection committee that picked the Final Four got it right.

OK, so I’m basking a bit in the glow of my Oregon Ducks’ big win over defending national champ Florida State in the Rose Bowl. Oh, did I mention it was a serious beat-down of a very good football team — by an even better football team?

Well, I digress.

Ohio State finished off the night of playoff football by defeating the top seed, Alabama, which was representing the vaunted Southeastern Conference, where loyalists proclaim it to be the premier football conference in the nation.

Maybe it is. However, on New Year’s Night, the Crimson Tide failed to do the one thing it needed to do, which was score more points than the Buckeyes.

The No. 1 seed proved to be, well, quite mortal.

I am not going to try to dissect what happened in the Sugar Bowl. The Buckeyes outplayed the Crimson Tide on the one night that it counted. And on that night — last night — Ohio State proved that it belonged in the Final Four.

What now? Well, Ohio State will play the Oregon Ducks for the national championship.

You know where my heart lies. Go Ducks!


And while I’m on the subject of the Ducks, take a look at John Canzano’s excellent column in The Oregonian about the post-game press conference featuring college football’s two most recent Heisman Trophy winners. I believe it will explain a lot why the Ducks belong in the playoffs, too.



Yes, we're Texans now … but, go Ducks!

My wife and I moved to Texas more than 30 years ago to allow me to advance my career in journalism.

It worked out pretty well for us since we landed in Beaumont, where we lived for nearly 11 years before moving to Amarillo just shy of 20 years ago.

Even though we now call Texas home, I remain of Oregon, the state of my birth, land of tall trees and mountains, a rugged coastline, a major city with a glorious downtown district — and from time to time, college football teams that capture the nation’s attention.

This year, the Oregon Ducks are front and center.

They have a Heisman Trophy recipient, Marcus Mariota,¬†calling plays as their quarterback. They have a talented corps of receivers who catch Mariota’s bullet passes, some fleet running backs who can pick ’em up and lay ’em down, a defensive front line that has emerged as one of the best in the nation and a homegrown head coach, Mark Helfrich, who is working the job of his dreams.

In a few hours, the Ducks are going to play Florida State in the Rose Bowl. The Ducks have been to the Granddaddy of Bowl Games three times since 1995. The game Thursday marks No. 4. They have a chance not only to win the game, but to advance to one more game. The Big Game. The one that determines the national champion of all of college football.

The Ducks played for the championship in 2011, losing to Auburn in a thriller.

This time, it feels a bit different. They enter the game as the favorites, although that doesn’t mean squat. As the saying might go: You play the game anyway. FSU is undefeated and has escaped its share of close scrapes this season.

And that makes me modestly — and cautiously — confident about the Ducks’ chances against the Seminoles. They’ve got a Heisman winner, too, last year’s pick Jameis Winston at QB. He’s a good one as well. They’ve got a stout defense and a freshman running back with tremendous balance.

I won’t make any predictions here. I’m not smart enough to pretend to know the ins and outs of a complicated sport.

The next big game will be against either Ohio State or Alabama, who will play later Thursday in the Sugar Bowl.

So, with that I plan to watch a little college football Thursday, starting around 4 p.m. Texas Panhandle time.

The Oregon Ducks need some love. I’m just one transplanted Oregonian sending all the love I can muster. Any additional love and good karma would be much appreciated.