The 2012 Heisman Trophy Award announcement in New York City is a prestigious event.Held on Dec. 18 in Best Buy Theatre, this year’s finalists for the outstanding collegiate football player of the year, as determined by sports journalists, were Collin Klein (Kansas State quarterback), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M quarterback), and Manti Te’o (Notre Dame linebacker). Some years there is an obvious frontrunner, but not this year.The chatter was that Te’o, who already had won the Marshall Award and the Walter Camp Award, both for outstanding collegiate player of the year, had an edge. But there was an underlying buzz that Manziel, a redshirt freshman, had the most votes.All three finalists had remarkable statistics and are terrific young men. At the VIP pre-announcement cocktail party, I met and talked to Te’o; his father, Ryan; and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. I also met Manziel’s mother, Michelle (who was wearing a lei given to her by the Te’os), and Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin.All were down to earth, humble and excited to be at the Heisman award ceremony.When Anne Donahue of the Heisman Trophy Trust announced Manziel’s win, everyone jumped to applaud. Manziel’s acceptance speech was sincere and heartfelt.The following evening was the dinner dance at Battery Gardens. At this super fun event, family, friends and a few select others get to eat, dance and mingle with the newest Heisman winner as well as past winners.My husband, Tony, is a past chairman of the event, and we attend every year.The live band kept everyone on the dance floor, with past winners demonstrating they still have game: Mike Rozier (Nebraska ’83) grabbed a mic and sang with the band; Doug Flutie (Boston College ’84) sat in on drums; Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh ’76) wowed the crowd with his mad dancing skills; and Johnny Lattner (Notre Dame ’53) displayed unbelievable energy by dancing virtually all night.Johnny “the Jet” Rodgers (Nebraska ’72) sat next to me at dinner. An engaging man with a big heart, Rodgers told me about his JET Award for the best national college football return specialist, which will be bestowed in Omaha, Neb., on April 12.“Every position has been targeted for a post-season award, with the exception of the return specialist. I wanted to showcase these daredevils who bring so much to the game of football,” Rodgers said.It’s truly an honor and privilege to attend the Heisman Awards, meet many terrific people and see old friends. I’m already looking forward to next year.
Friday, Dec. 21, 2012
Lots of chatter at this year’s Heisman event
Heisman Award winner Johnny Manziel with Karen Scioscia. COURTESY OF KELLY KLINE
Karen Scioscia is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Karen? Email her at email@example.com.
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