The latest edition of hating on the most prestigious award in sports comes courtesy of Dan Scofield of Fighting Irish Gameday.
It’s ironic that such vitriol would come from a follower of the program that has benefitted more from the Heisman tradition than any other. Usually the complaints come from fans of programs that lack significant history or success (you know, the sour grapes types).
Anyway, I had a post written up that ripped Scofield’s screed completely to pieces (including the uncredited butchering of the Heismandments), but I thought better of it. First of all, it’s not worthy of that much of my time. Second, I’d much rather point out that almost every critique he makes of the Heisman could apply equally to Notre Dame.
[Aside: I respect Notre Dame for its history and tradition, just as I respect the Heisman, so Irish fans please note that this is a rhetorical point I am trying to make in the context of this awful piece]
After all, what program in college football is more talked about than Notre Dame? And why? Certainly not because of anything it has done on the football field recently. He says most Heisman winners don’t deserve the hype because they didn’t earn it on the field. Well, same goes for the Fighting Irish. Jason White meet Charlie Weis.
Like the Heisman, Notre Dame is the product of hype, tradition, politics and bias. Like the Heisman, Notre Dame stirs up passions and jealousies. To paraphrase Scofield, you could say that Notre Dame is an ‘unfortunate fact’ for the college football world. Like Army and Navy, it has outlived its usefulness, but unlike the more noble service academies, it never went quietly into the night. It still thinks it is relevant.
Scofield bemoans that defensive players are left out of the Heisman equation. Well, what about all the less-historic programs that are currently better than Notre Dame on the field but don’t get special treatment by the media and the BCS? Why doesn’t Boise State have its own network?
My favorite line in the whole piece comes at the end:
One thing other sports have over college football is their connection with their traditions and past times.
Really? What other sports? Hockey? NFL? NBA? Good lord, college football reeks of tradition and paeans to the past. Has this guy ever been to a Notre Dame game? At this point, I must assume he is a subway alumnus.
Scofield also writes:
The (Heisman) award will continue on the path of self-destruction if legitamacy (sic) is not brought back into the trophy.
Again, could we not say the same about Notre Dame? How did Bob Davie, Ty Willingham and Weis work out for you?
If Scofield hates the Heisman, he should hate Notre Dame, too. But if he loves Notre Dame, he should love the Heisman.
Otherwise, I’m not sure why he even bothers watching college football.