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A Legacy of Excellence in College Football

The Heisman Trophy stands as an iconic symbol of individual excellence in college football. Established in 1935, the award is presented annually to the most outstanding player in NCAA football. Named after the legendary coach John W. Heisman, the trophy has become synonymous with greatness, showcasing the talent and dedication of college athletes across the nation.

History and Origins

The Heisman Trophy’s roots trace back to the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City, where the first award ceremony took place in 1935. John W. Heisman, a pioneering coach with a keen understanding of the game, inspired the creation of the trophy. The inaugural recipient was halfback Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago, forever etching his name in history as the first Heisman Trophy winner.

Selection Process

The Heisman Trophy is awarded based on voting by sports journalists, former Heisman winners, and fans. Each voter submits a ballot with their top three choices, assigning points to each nominee. The player with the highest total points is crowned the Heisman winner. The announcement is typically made in early December, adding an extra layer of excitement to the college football season.

Heisman Moments

Over the years, the Heisman Trophy has been awarded to some of the most memorable players in the history of college football. From electrifying kick return of Desmond Howard doing the Heisman pose to the dual-threat brilliance of Tim Tebow, each Heisman winner has left an indelible mark on the sport. These iconic moments not only define a player’s career but also contribute to the rich tapestry of college football history.

Impact on Careers

Winning the Heisman Trophy is a career-defining achievement for college athletes. The prestige and recognition that come with the award can catapult a player into the national spotlight, opening doors to lucrative professional opportunities in the NFL. Heisman winners can be a hit or miss when it comes to successful careers at the highest level of football, showcasing the predictive power of the award in identifying top-tier talent.


While the Heisman Trophy is a symbol of excellence, it has not been immune to controversies. Instances of vacated awards, as seen with Reggie Bush, highlight the scrutiny that surrounds the prestigious honor. Despite these challenges, the Heisman Trophy remains a revered institution, its controversies serving as reminders of the scrutiny and expectations placed upon those who reach the pinnacle of college football success.

Unraveling the Heisman Trophy Jinx

The Heisman Trophy, an esteemed honor in college football, carries with it a mystique that some call the “Heisman Trophy jinx.” This supposed curse suggests that winning the prestigious award may be followed by a streak of misfortune in a player’s professional career. While the concept of the Heisman jinx is often dismissed as mere superstition, it has undeniably sparked conversations and raised eyebrows throughout the history of the sport.

Origins of the Jinx

The notion of the Heisman Trophy jinx gained traction as a handful of past winners faced challenges or setbacks in their professional careers. Critics point to instances where Heisman winners struggled to live up to the lofty expectations set by their college success once they entered the professional ranks. This phenomenon has led some to believe that the award might bring an unforeseen streak of bad luck.

Heisman Winners and NFL Struggles

Several Heisman winners have faced difficulties transitioning to the NFL. Whether it be injuries, lackluster performances, or personal issues, the post-collegiate paths of certain Heisman recipients have not always mirrored the success they enjoyed in college. This trend has fueled speculation and discussions about a potential Heisman Trophy jinx.

Counterarguments and Exceptions

While some Heisman winners have faced challenges in the NFL, it’s important to note that many others have had successful and illustrious professional careers. Players like Charles Woodson, Barry Sanders, and Derrick Henry have not only lived up to the expectations set by their Heisman-winning college days but have also become stars at the professional level. These success stories contradict the notion of a universal Heisman jinx.

Psychological Pressure

One perspective on the Heisman jinx suggests that the mental pressure and heightened expectations placed on winners could contribute to their struggles in the NFL. The weight of being deemed the best college football player may create a psychological burden, impacting a player’s performance as they transition to the professional stage.

Breaking the “Curse”

As with any superstition, the Heisman Trophy jinx is subjective and lacks concrete evidence. Players can break the supposed curse through resilience, determination, and a strong work ethic. Overcoming challenges and adapting to the demands of professional football are crucial for any athlete, Heisman winner or not.

The Jinx Real or Not

The Heisman Trophy jinx remains a captivating narrative within the realm of college football, sparking debates and discussions among fans and analysts. While some Heisman winners have faced challenges in their professional careers, attributing this to a jinx is a matter of interpretation. As the Heisman tradition continues, each new winner faces the opportunity to shape their own destiny, either perpetuating or dispelling the mystique of the Heisman Trophy jinx.


The Heisman Trophy stands as a beacon of individual achievement in the world of college football. From its humble beginnings in 1935 to the present day, the award continues to capture the imagination of fans and players alike. As each new season unfolds, the race for the Heisman Trophy brings excitement, anticipation, and a celebration of the unparalleled talent that graces the college football landscape.


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