Where In The World Is Ed Smith?

Each Heisman winner has their trophies displayed differently

July 2, 2007

By Adam Caparell




Adam is CSTV.com's football editor and national football writer.
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Tim Brown's has split time between his house and his mother's, but it's mostly resided at his mother's place.


It's the centerpiece of Eddie George's trophy room.


And Mike Rozier just gave his to his mother because he's a self described "Momma's boy."


It, of course, is the Heisman Trophy. The most famous individual trophy in all of sports, modeled after NYU star Ed Smith in 1934, is one of the most prized possessions of each of the dozens of surviving Heisman winners.




But each Heisman winner has decided to do a little something different with his trophy. From displaying it prominently in his own home or a specific trophy room, to displaying it in an office building, to even being forced to give it away as collateral, each winner's miniature stiff-armed man has a different home.    


Sometimes desperation has dictated the spot where each individual Heisman Trophy permanently resides, like in Brown's case.


After he literally ran away with the 1987 Heisman Trophy, returning kicks and punts for Notre Dame on top of his receiving exploits, Brown had no real home to display the trophy so he simply gave to his mother as a nice little thank you. 


"I thought she deserved it," Brown said. "I gave it to her and my father and at that particular time I didn't have a house in Dallas and I was living really everywhere so I figured I needed to have a home for the trophy so that was the best place for it."


Rozier, just like Brown, gave his to his mother, but for distinctly different reasons. The 1983 Heisman winner knew immediately when he won who would take care of the trophy.


"Without my mom, I wouldn't be here," Rozier said. "My family is very important to me. Without my family I wouldn't be (anything) to be honest with you."


Rozier credits his mother and father for all his success, especially his mother, who took care of him at home while his father worked two jobs to support the family in Camden, N.J.


"My mom kept me in school," the former Nebraska running back said. "I wanted to quit twice, but she called me and talked to me, I stayed in there and look what happened."


George, the 1995 winner from Ohio State, has his trophy in a special spot in his home.


"It's the centerpiece around plenty of other trophies and awards," George said.


But George doesn't pay too much attention to it when he's home, rarely spending time looking at it when it's just him and his boys in the house. But his oldest son can't get enough of it.


"It's something that when people come over, I tend to forget about at times," George said. "But they look at it in awe and say, `This is a beautiful piece of metal, a wonderful looking trophy.' It's something I think about from time to time and I'm proud of it."


Earl Campbell's resides in one of the offices he frequents in downtown Austin, enclosed in a glass case. It seems to be a fitting location for the 1977 winner from Texas, who has several business interests in the area.


Austin is home second trophy since 1990 winner Ty Detmer keeps his in his house in the city as well. In the back of his office resides a little trophy room, where Detmer's Heisman stands along with some mementos from his playing days at BYU and in the NFL. But regardless of whatever else he has on display, everyone wants to see the Heisman when visiting.


"Certain people come over and ask to see and I'll take them in there, but I don't have it prominently displayed where you (see it) when you walk in (the house)," Detmer said. "I hardly ever go in there unless someone wants to see the trophy."


Some no longer have the trophy in their possession or haven't seen it in years.


The Stadium, a sports bar and restaurant in Garrison, N.Y., acutally has two Heisman's under its roof, housing Larry Kelley's 1936 and Paul Hornung's 1956 trophies.


O.J. Simpson, the 1968 winner out of USC, famously had his trophy seized as an asset to pay the $33 million-plus civil suit judgment against him in the wrongful death case of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown, who Simpson was accused of and acquitted of murdering in 1994.


Billy Cannon's Heisman Trophy has resided at T.J. Ribs restaurant in Baton Rouge, La. since 1986 after the 1959 winner sold it to the restaurant's owner out of desperation for money. The 1959 winner from LSU has reportedly eaten there for free ever since.


Then you have Johnny Rodgers. He's the 1972 Heisman winner whose trophy sits proudly on his mantle above his fire place for all to see at his home in Omaha. That is, when he's not taking it with him all over the state of Nebraska. His trophy, maybe more than anyone else's Heisman, may have the most mileage on it.   


"It's on the fireplace in my foyer," Rodgers said. "(It's displayed prominently) when it's not traveling, it travels with me quite a bit so we don't have it up there all the time. We show it off to everyone in Nebraska all the time."


Just don't ask Rodgers or any other Heisman winner, especially the older ones, to hoist the trophy for too long. The 25 pounds of bronze gets heavy in a hurry.


"It's not a light trophy at all," George said.