In October, on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy, Wisconsin's Ron Dayne wrote a tribute to his uncle, Pentecostal minister Rob Reid. Dayne's very free verse, titled The Heisman, begins by referring to the day in 1993 when the 15-year-old Dayne, whose mother and father had divorced, was taken in by Reid, his wife and their three children in Berlin, N.J.
I began to think about you and the Heisman Trophy.
I remember when I first came to live with you and Aunt Deb. The first thing we did was have a family meeting; all of us were sitting around the I kitchen table, you, Aunt Deb, Rob Jr., Jaquay and Joel.
You announced that no one was going to get any new clothes until I had as many outfits as everybody else. Well, Joel did not care about clothes then, Jaquay wore uniforms to school, but Rob got "swole." Rob had so many clothes it was ridiculous. And soon after that, I did too. For that Uncle Rob, you win the Heisman.
I remember you traveling with me on my college visits to Wisconsin and Ohio State. We hated Ohio State, didn't we Uncle Rob? That is why we beat them so badly last week. For traveling with me and helping me make the right decision, you win the Heisman.
Uncle Rob, you go see Rob play football in Virginia; you go see Jaquay run track in Virginia; but you still come out to Wisconsin to see me, too. For that Uncle Rob, you win the Heisman. And when you do come to Wisconsin, you slip one or two hundred dollar bills in my hand. For that Uncle Rob, YOU REALLY WIN THE HEISMAN.
When Rob left for college, I started to try some of our tricks, by myself, and got caught every time. We never got caught when Rob was home. Like when I squeezed out of the bathroom window one night to see a girl—when I tried to get back in at 1:00 a.m., you had locked that window and the rest of the windows in the house. I had to ring that doorbell and look in your face. You never said a word. You didn't have to. For that Uncle Rob, you win the Heisman.
Uncle Rob, for never making me feel like a nephew, but always making me feel like a SON, for that Uncle Rob, you win the Heisman.