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How an Accidental TV Viewing Spurred My Research on Heisman Trends

By Damali Binta Yael On August - 22 - 2009

A three-year-old insisted on using the remote control to change channels on a television in a Chicago hotel.

The entire family ended up looking at the movie, The Express, which told the life story of Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win a Heisman Trophy, in 1961.

The inspiration to do research on the Heisman Trophy began at that moment. After visiting the Notre Dame campus as we drove back to Cleveland, I realized that Tim Brown, a former Oakland Raider, won the Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame.

That was enough to get me going. I started researching aspects of the history of the Heisman. Excerpts from this study are provided.

The first Heisman Trophy was awarded in 1935. Jay Berwanger of Chicago got the prize.

From 1935 to 1961, halfbacks received most of the Heisman Trophies. Nineteen halfbacks received the award, with Ernie Davis grabbing it in 1961.

Davis made history by becoming the first African-American to get the Heisman Trophy. His accomplishment was more dramatic because of his struggle with leukemia, which cut his professional career short.

Of all of the Heisman winners, 29.7 percent were halfbac...

Read Complete Article at Bleacher Report - Sports & Society
Article is property of BleacherReport.com

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