Saturday, December 09, 2006

But Who's Heisman? [J. Mark English]

“The award is wonderful, but who’s Heisman?” -Mike Garrett

Bill Pennington of the New York Times writes an informative piece about the man who's namesake is coveted by all of college football: John Heisman:

Without John Heisman, there might not be a forward pass in football, and without a forward pass, the game would probably have died from disinterest or been abolished because of its fatal brutality.

Aside from leading the fight for the legalization of the pass in the early 1900s, Heisman pushed to divide the game into quarters and created the center snap. The ball had previously been rolled on the ground. Heisman introduced the “hike” vocal signal and the first audible at the line. He invented the hidden ball trick and what would now be called the fumblerooski. Because he wanted fans to understand play-calling, he made it easier for them to follow the downs and yardage needed by erecting something else new at games: a scoreboard.

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