Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Heisman Trophy is No Guarantee of Success in the NFL

Last week marked an important occasion for all fans of the National Football League. College players from across the country gathered to hear their name called as part of the annual draft. No one was surprised that Matthew Stafford from the University of Georgia was selected by the Detroit Lions as the number one draft pick. The Lions are hoping to improve on last season, which should not be too difficult considering they didn’t win a single game. Besides watching to see who gets selected early and what unexpected and controversial trades are made, fans of draft day are also curious to see what happens to that year’s winner of the Heisman Trophy. There is no doubt that there have been some busts in the past.

In the 1990 draft, the University of Houston’s Andre Ware was drafted in the first round by the Lions and was supposed to be the next great quarterback, following in the footsteps of Joe Montana and Dan Marino. He spent most of the time on the bench. How about Eric Crouch? He won the Heisman in 2001 but was not drafted until the third round the following year and retired from the game before even playing a down. The past two winners, Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford, have yet to finish their college careers. So, we will have to wait to witness the draft fate of these two amazing quarterbacks.
In my latest novel, Tuey's Course, the title character (whose full name is WeWildapheet Ulisees O'Tweety) is also a winner of the coveted Heisman Trophy. Like the examples I mentioned above, he also never had the opportunity to see his name in lights on Super Bowl Sunday or fly to Hawaii as a Pro Bowl selection. Instead, his life and eventual fate are more tragic than those who simply did not succeed at the professional game. I hope you will read about Tuey and his life’s struggles. I believe he is a character that you will find hard to forget.

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