2009 Heisman Trophy Award Dinner
Commentary by David Max
The 2009 Heisman Dinner was everything I expected it to be. It was a first class event and a great evening. It has been on my bucket list for several years and I plan on going again next year. I had the opportunity to meet and speak with several former winners and as a group they are very cordial and accomodating to the hundreds of attendees at the dinner. I will summarize some of my conversations and observations from my brief interactions during the evening.
Billy Sims - Only representative from Oklahoma. Steve Owens and Jason White had prior commitments. Billy is a gregarious fun loving guy who enjoys life and people. He had a crowd around him all night.
Ron Dayne, Wisconsin - Celebrating his 10th anniversary. Gave a pretty funny commentary from the dias and warned Mark Ingram what he was getting into.
Doug Flutie, Boston College - Recovering from back surgery just last week. Celebrating his 25th anniversay year of 1984. Gave a very entertaining talk at the dinner about how small the Boston College banner in the room was and how he found out about winning the Heisman. It was after the Holy Cross game and they took him from the game by limo and "drove 15 feet." Got in a helicopter and took his girl friend who is now his wife instead of his parents on helicopter. While flying to the Downtown Athletic Club he had the pilot take them on a side tour of Manhattan. Got in another limo and "drove 15 feet" before going into the building for the Heisman introduction ceremony.
Billy Cannon, LSU - Celebrating his 50th anniversay. Down home individual who made everyone feel welcome. He told a couple of funny stories during his time at the dias.
Tony Dorsett, Pitt - Very nice person who got a lot of attention from everyone. He always had a crowd around him. Good friends with Johnny Rodgers. We talked about doing another Heisman event in Nebraska with Johnny and others.
Mark Ingram, Alabama - Very humble and appreciative. I don't think it has all soaked in yet but he takes every chance to mention the support he has from his coaches and teammates. There was a lot of kidding during the program about how crazy the Heisman fraternity is.
Charlie Ward, Florida State - Quiet, soft spoken and down to earth. I sat at the table with the administrator of the school where Charlie is the football coach in Texas. He does a lot of community service work as does several of the Heisman winners.
Danny Wuerfell, Florida - Danny told me he was a Nebraska fan as a kid. In 1983 they were stationed in Omaha while his dad was in the military and he was a big Turner Gill fan.
Pete Dawkins, Army - Pete is a military man and you can tell he enjoys people. He like to joke around, especially with the "older set" of winners. When they left in groups to be introduced to the crowd they were introduced by youngest first. He instructed the older set to "let's march" as they went into the room and they all laughed.
John David Crow, Texas A&M - A real southern gentleman who was very easy to talk to and someone you would like to be friends with. We talked briefly about Texas A&M. He is very supportive of Bill Byrne and the direction of their football program.
Johnny Rodgers - What more can be said about Johnny? He is probably the most sociable one in the membership. One of the Heisman trustees told me how much they appreciate that he makes it back every year and is on a first name basis with all the Heisman staff. It is also a get together each year with former teammates Rich Glover and Daryl White. It was the first time I got to meet Daryl. It was a real honor. Rich and Daryl both do community service back in New Jersey.
Desmond Howard, Michigan - Desmond is the same fun loving guy with a big smile that he is on TV. I told him I was a trainer at Indiana with Lee Corso and he said "Everybody worked with Lee." He obviously has an appreciation for Corso and said he is doing well recovering from his stroke.
Chris Fowler - Chris does the MC for the event each year for free so the Heisman Trust can do more community service. He is a real professional and pays attention to detail. He recalled the problems at the Heisman Ceremony with the power outages and how it "took about a year off my life."
The entire evening from the reception to dinner to program to post party was a great time and I would recommend it to any college football fan. It is a bit pricey at $500 but the Heisman Trust does a lot for inner city youth and we all got in our bag a $100 donor card. If you get a chance to go to this event in the future don't pass it up.
Just my 2 cents. What about yours?
GO BIG RED!!!