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Posted: Wednesday December 17, 2008 2:19PM; Updated: Wednesday December 17, 2008 2:19PM

Quick Slants: The Heisman Swap

Story Highlights

The Heisman ceremony was long, but full of hilarious, random moments

No SEC coach will have more to prove next year than Gene Chizik

PSU's Tom Bradley must be thrilled about Joe Paterno's extension...

By Ty Hildenbrandt

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Sam Bradford couldn't stop saying
Sam Bradford couldn't stop saying "unreal" during his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech.

If ESPN were to swap Chris Fowler for Ryan Seacrest and the Heisman Trophy presentation for an American Idol elimination episode, would anyone really know the difference? Take away the huge amphitheater and Seacrest's obnoxious faux-hawk and the two events seem cut from the same mold. Why? Because the only information you really care about comes "after the break."

Right now, we're living through a fascinating television era, an era when 10 good minutes of content can be miraculously engineered to last a full hour. If someone could harness and reapply this capability elsewhere, we'd all be getting better gas mileage and lasting longer in ... uh ... blinking contests. But alas, when limited to the TV world, we're stuck wading through umpteen commercials and fluff-laden segments when we only want to see the conclusion.

However, that's not always a bad thing. When networks are desperate for more airtime, strange things are bound to happen, especially when dealing with live, drawn-out programming. And though last Saturday's Heisman presentation was much longer than it needed to be, there were a few curious moments we might've missed had ESPN not spread out its coverage. Here were my favorite five:

5) Sam Bradford breaking all Heisman records for "unreal" references in an acceptance speech.

Bradford turned 21 at the beginning of November, so we'll cut him some slack. However, it goes without saying that a little liquor from Billy Sims' flask would've gone a long way toward quelling his nerves. In remarks that ran 3:30 in length, Bradford used the term "unreal" a total of four times, and in contexts that made the word stick out like a sore thumb. Granted, it wasn't nearly as conspicuous as the time President Bush thanked Pope Benedict for his "awesome" speech, but it was up there.

4) Ron Dayne doing his best Ice Cube impression.

You might be wondering, what exactly has Ron Dayne been doing since fading from the NFL? Why, it's funny you should ask. Apparently, he's been busy growing Ice Cube's beard from Next Friday. Honestly, it's identical! Moving on...

3) Former Heisman winners giving personalized salutations to the camera.

As with any Heisman ceremony, a select contingent of living winners was called on stage and introduced before the award was handed out. But it was those introductions that provided some of the night's most subtle comedy, as each person seemed to give a signature salutation to the camera. It wasn't quite the spoken intros we've grown to love on Sunday Night Football or the bizarre way a drunken wedding party enters a reception, but the peace signs, awkward gestures and that flannel suit George Rogers wore were equally uncomfortable.

2) Tim Tebow performing surgery on an unassuming child.

By now, Tebow's accolades have ensured he'll be the subject of enough human interest stories to keep Steve Cyphers employed forever. But Saturday's segment was, quite literally, a cut above the rest. Shown on one of his recent trips to help the underprivileged, Tebow was pictured wearing a doctor's mask and assisting in the removal of a cyst(!) from the back of a child's leg. Now, we all know Tebow is more perfect than the Six-Million Dollar Man, and, yeah, restrictions in other parts of the world are less stringent, but ... so many questions. Let's start with: How does this not violate some medical code?

1) Billy Sims hooting and hollering like a rammied-up sailor at a strip club.

How does Billy Sims like to celebrate a fellow Sooner winning the Heisman Trophy? Clearly, by shouting the Oklahoma "BOOMER!" battle cry 11 times at the top of his lungs. Seems like a natural reaction, no? Normally, the "BOOMER!" chant is met with a "SOONER!" response, just not this time -- or should I say, just not nine of the times Sims chose to scream it aloud. It was the most obnoxious Heisman moment since 2003 ... when Sims did the same thing to celebrate Jason White's victory.


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