Monday, December 13, 2004

Weekend Update: Heismans All Around

Back in 1936, the first Heisman Trophy was handed out to Yale's Larry Kelley.

In recent years, the word Heisman has developed a new definition and we have, well, the actual trophy to thank for it. The Heisman Trophy depicts a player with a football cradled in his left arm while his right arm is extended outward as if trying to stiff arm an opponent.

Nowadays, when someone gets "The Heisman," it typically means life just stuck its big hand in your face and said "Get outta my way, little man." Think Jack Palance in City Slickers telling Billy Crystal, "I crap bigger than you," but much more painful.

A Heismaning usually occurs with males age 16-24 thinking they're all that while the females tell them otherwise. It's kind of like a NASCAR crash: really funny to watch, but deep down, you feel their pain.

But the Weekend Update is an equal-opportunity offender, so let's take a look at who got Heisman'd this weekend in Sports Land:

* Jeff Kent got Heisman'd as much for just being Jeff Kent as for his crying at a news conference announcing his newfound Dodgerdom. More importantly, when will Kent stop giving his razor blade the Heisman and shave that nasty mustache off his upper lip.

* Notre Dame delivered itself a Heismanic facial. Not so much with the hiring of Charlie Weis as its coach, but really because freshly fired coach Tyrone Willingham was freshly hired by Washington, who conveniently hosts Notre Dame on Sept. 24, 2005.

* Kobe Bryant should be hit in the head with O.J. Simpson's actual Heisman Trophy for complaining that Karl Malone hit on his wife. While I firmly believe in the sanctity of marriage, something like that doesn't need to be played out in the media. Come to think of it, Vanessa Bryant deserves a Heisman of her own for sticking with that admitted adulterer. Yes, Kobe is a great shooter, but there's no way he went 1-for-1 in cheating on his wife and getting caught. Heismans all around for these two.

* In a rare corporate Heismaning, Tom Coughlin threw away the season when he decided to make Eli Manning the Giants' starting QB in Week 11. The Giants were 5-4 and in the playoff hunt. They are now 5-8, and Chiropractor friend Eli, aka "Dr. Yer it is," would look better in the pocket than Eli Manning. Coughlin punted away this season and co-owner Wellington Mara should borrow Ron Dayne's Heisman Trophy and smack Coughlin in the grill with it.

* Baseball fans were Heisman'd this weekend as baseball people who promised big things from this weekend's winter meetings gave us nothing but a whole host of more nothing. Yuck, bronze doesn't taste good.
* Mike Jarvis won the Heisman-in-absentia award for convincing himself that a kid who was nicknamed "Showtime" in eighth grade -- EIGHTH F-BOMBING GRADE!!!!!!! -- would only blossom into Hollywood status at St. John's. Instead, he's an average point guard on an subpar team and he can't seem to play defense. He got burned by Hofstra's Loren Stokes, at last count, every time Stokes touched the ball. Another city kid getting by on playground hype. Sad, really. Thanks, Jarvis.

* Mike Tice, the pride of Central Islip, got Heisman'd by his offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan, who so elegantly called for Randy Moss to throw a pass rather than catch it. He threw an interception with around two minutes left and the Vikings lost to Seattle, 27-23. Linehan made Jets offensive coordinator Paul Hackett look intelligent. OK, maybe not intelligent, but certainly smarter than Linehan.

* In winning the actual Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, Matt Leinart doled out an unintential Heisman to USC teammate Reggie Bush and Oklahoma's Jason White and Adrian Peterson. How this plays out in practice between Bush and Leinart will be interesting. How this plays out when USC plays Oklahoma in the national championship on Jan. 4, 2005, will be even more interesting.

* The self-inflicted Heisman is always fun to watch, especially when it happens to Bostonians. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein smacked himself in the face with his own hand when he signed David Wells to pitch for his team. He will stink. If I were Yankees GM Brian Cashman, I'd mail Epstein a postcard of the Heisman Trophy and write, "Thanks."