Since 1935, The Downtown Athletic Club has presented a trophy to the outstanding college football player as determined by a select group of voters at the close of the football season. It happens in mid December, just as most folks start getting serious about their Christmas shopping. This year the prize went to Jameis Winston, quarterback at Florida State University.
I have a funny story about one year when a high school friend of mine actually received a Heisman vote. At the time, my friend was a freshman quarterback at Ole Miss, which would have made him eligible for consideration, except for the fact he had not played a single down that season. He would go on to be their starting QB and to have a great career, but he received the vote in a season when he didn’t actually play – all because a family friend was rooming with a former Heisman winner who allowed the roommate to fill out the ballot when it came in the mail. You can figure out who the person was if you know why they were “rooming” together in federal housing.
Something strikes me every year about the name of this trophy. It was originally called the “DAC” award, but was changed after just one year to honor the playing and coaching career of John Heisman – and the trophy has born his name ever since.
Not many people know much about John Heisman except that he is credited for inventing the forward pass. But everyone knows about the trophy that bears his name.
Is it just me or does anyone else think it’s ironic that the name “Heisman” is made up of three words that make the sentence, “He is man.” It’s as if, in the giving of the award. we are also reminded that this man is just that – a man. He may be great at playing football, but at the end of the day, he has every limitation that comes with humanity. I’m sure Jameis Winston would admit as much.
But the sentence carries much more weight when it is applied to another person we talk about at Christmas time. The first chapter of John says that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. When we think of Jesus, we know Him to be the only Son of God, the Creator, the Sovereign Ruler of all, and our Savior. His titles and accolades defy description.
But perhaps, the most amazing title He ever chose to wear in this one – man. He took on himself the frailties of humanity so that He could bear the sin of us all. And at Christmas time, when college football fans are honoring the “Heisman,” we are gathering in our churches and with our families to worship the “He is man.”
And we need to make sure as many people as possible know everything about this One.
Director, LifeWay Worship