John Heisman: The man behind the famous trophy

Font Size:

These days, John Heisman isn’t remembered for much beyond his name on an iconic trophy – a trophy he didn’t approve of in the first place.

Heisman the man is more interesting than Heisman the trophy, which will be awarded Saturday for the 75th time. He stands as one of the University of Pennsylvania's great contributions to football, explaining why a replica Heisman Trophy was donated to Penn this year and now stands at Franklin Field.

Heisman, who died in 1936, was a driving force behind introducing the forward pass to college football. He was way ahead of the game in using laterals, reverses, and pulling guards on sweeps. He was the first to ask his quarterback to yell “Hup” to signal a snap. He also coached the biggest blowout in the history of the sport: Georgia Tech 222, Cumberland 0. Heisman allegedly ran it up to prove that the system for determining a national champion was deeply flawed.

Full story: John Heisman: The man behind the famous trophy | Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/09/2010