Let’s stipulate that “fan voting” has nothing to do with the results of the real Heisman voting except perhaps on the easily influenced real ballot-casting scribbler or former Heisman recipient. (There are 929 voters).
But the “Heisman House” promotional campaign run by ESPN and Nissan is fun and funny –until it isn’t and turns into a PR disaster for the car maker and the network.
Dumping any fan favorite because he is a fan favorite is dumb enough to begin with, but dumping the Annapolis star after a season in which he claimed the NCAA’s all-time rushing touchdown record is nuts.
Especially since Navy pilots are flying over Syria and Navy SEALs likely on the ground there. Because, in a phrase, we are at war and generally we honor those in combat or deployed during the holidays not the reverse, which blocking their favorite might be seen by, oh millions, as doing.
So put him back Nissan and ESPN. Quickly. He should win the trophy anyway given the trophy’s mission statement:
The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award. The Trust, furthermore, has a charitable mission to support amateur athletics and to provide greater opportunities to the youth of our country. Our goal through these charitable endeavors is for the Heisman Trophy to symbolize the fostering of a sense of community responsibility and service to our youth, especially those disadvantaged or afflicted. All assets of the Trust beyond the expense of maintaining the annual presentation of the Heisman Memorial Trophy are reserved for such charitable causes. The Trustees, who all serve pro bono, are guided by a devotion to college football and are committed to community service and the valued tradition which the Trophy represents.