Jay Berwanger (1935)
In the beginning, there was Jay Berwanger, known
as the "One-Man Gang" at the University of Chicago because he dominated on offense, defense and special teams. He won the very first Heisman
Trophy in 1935, an award that obviously didn't mean as much then as now.
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"I got a telegram at the fraternity house saying I'd won," Berwanger said, "and they were sending me two tickets to fly to New York; one for me, one for my coach. My biggest thrill was it was gonna be my first airplane ride."
If Berwanger is the answer to a trivia question, his impact on the Heisman Trophy will never be
trivial, for it was he who modeled for the trophy
"The main thing is the facial expressions and then
the socks," Berwanger said. "The socks down around the shoetops is the telling tale."
Berwanger is 85 now and spends most of his time
on the golf course. There are two Heisman trophies with Berwanger's name on elsewhere, one at his old high school in Dubuque and the original in a trophy case at the University of
"It works as a stimulant for the kids, something for them to look at and them to see," Jay said. "You can go from Dubuque to Chicago and win the Heisman Trophy."
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