Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Heisman Hype

It seems more and more schools hype their players for the Heisman trophy every year. Some schools don't need to put effort into hyping their players. The media does it for them. Other schools don't get the hype so they put together advertising campaigns before the season starts. Cal has put together a website for their star running back Marshawn Lynch. Louisville put together a nifty website called the Dirby City Duo for their star QB Brian Bohm and RB Michael Bush. (Hat Tip Heisman Pundit)

Penn State for years has refused to promote it's players. Paterno protects his players from the media and keeps them in a tight circle. Right before the Orange Bowl last season he refused to allow the players attend a scheduled press conference because it was the week before finals and he didn't want to distract them. He won't talk up certain players because he doesn't want other players to feel left out. And they certainly don't put together websites or buy billboard space to promote players ala David Carr. Not surprisingly, Penn State players always get snubbed in the Heisman voting.

Sometimes I'm conflicted in how I feel about this. I would love to see a Penn State player win the Heisman in my lifetime. It would bring the Nittany Nation great joy and it would be great for recruiting. But at the same time, it fits in with the Penn State tradition that no one person deserves more attention than the rest of the team. "There is no name on my jersey" has become a rallying cry for Penn State fans and players. The philosophy goes, when you name isn't on your jersey you have to find another way to make people notice you...as in play hard. There are no logos on the helmets. Everyone wears black shoes. Endzone dances are not tolerated. Everyone is part of the team and nobody is special. As much as I would love to see a player win the Heisman, I would not be willing to do it if it meant giving up this great tradition.
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