One of my fondest memories from my days as a newspaper sports writer — I spent the first 10 years of my career working for a variety of daily newspapers around the Kansas City area — was getting to vote for the winner of the Heisman Trophy in 1996.
That was the year that Florida quarterback Danny Wuerrfel walked away with the trophy. But my vote didn't go to the Gator. Instead, I voted for Iowa State running back Troy Davis, who that season became the first Division I running back to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. Being in the Midwest and a fan of what was then the Big Eight Conference, I had plenty of chances to see Davis play and had no doubt he was the best college football player in the country that year, which in essence are the only marching orders given to voters by the Downtown Athletic Club — identify the most outstanding player in college football.
Although my Heisman voting days are long behind me, I do get to particpate in a similar process in my current job at GCSAA and as a member of the Golf Writers Association of America — voting for the players of the year in professional golf. And unlike 1996, where my guy came in second place, I'm happy to say that I nailed all three player of the year winners in 2011 in Luke Donald, Yani Tseng and Tom Lehman.