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The Trophy from Hell
Leigh Montville
August 26, 1996
Take it from the quarterback, no one in his right mind would want to win the Heisman
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August 26, 1996

The Trophy From Hell

Take it from the quarterback, no one in his right mind would want to win the Heisman

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The quarterback of the big-time football team at the large state university appears at the door of his school's energetic sports information director. The new season is approaching, and the public-relations machinery is already working at full steam. The quarterback is terrified.

"What's the deal here?" he shouts.

"What deal?" the S.I.D. replies.

"This!" the quarterback yells, throwing a glossy, four-color, 48-page magazine across the room. The quarterback's picture is on the cover of the publication. He is shown in the middle of his passing motion, the ball sure to leave his hand before he is smothered by an on-rushing lineman in the uniform of the large state university's traditional rival. The words HEISMAN HOPEFUL are splashed across the photo. Now the quarterback looks as if he has been told he has contracted a rare disease. "Who told you to do this?" he screams.

"Nobody...everybody," the S.I.D. sputters. "This is what we do for our great players. We want you to get the award for being the best. We print up the magazine and send it to the Heisman voters, and in December you get the award. You don't like the magazine? The pictures of you in your little Pop Warner uniform? The stories about your mom, your dad, your dog?"

"You don't like living?" the quarterback bellows, slamming his meaty hands on the S.I.D.'s desk.

Heisman hopeful. The quarterback has been doing a little research while on his highly paid no-show summer job as a lifeguard at a nude beach. He has learned he would rather be driving the third car in a five-car pileup than win the Heisman Trophy. He would rather be attacked by rabid squirrels than have his name mentioned in the same breath as this award.

"You want me to play for the New York Knicks?" he shouts. "Is that it? You don't think i can play pro football?"

"Ah, Charlie Ward, 1993," the S.I.D. says. "No, we think—"

"You think I should play in Canada? I'm too short?"

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