Archive for Thursday, September 29, 2005

Column: Heisman trophy comes with cost

September 29, 2005

After finishing third for two straight years, Jimmy Gillispie won the Heisman Trophy his junior year and led his Michigan Wolverines to their third consecutive national championship in the NCAA Football '06 video game on XBox.

I have been playing this game for the last month or so and I wrote a column about this video game about one month ago. This is the update that my quarterback, Jimmy Gillispie, won the Heisman Trophy. This is how he won the award.

In his junior campaign, Gillispie became the offensive weapon, since his standout running back and wide receiver moved on to the National Football League.

As I have written before, the quarterback finished third in the Heisman voting to the other star players his freshman and sophomore years. The receiver won the award the first year, but the running back took the trophy during Gillispie's sophomore season.

Then the receiver graduated and the running back left a year early for the NFL. So I knew it was finally Gillispie's chance to win the coveted Heisman Trophy.

Gillispie also understood that the team lost several good players to graduation, so this task was not going to be easy. But his one way of achieving the trophy was to run the option and run it often.

The option is something he ran often anyway, but Gillispie would have to keep the ball to put up stats for the Heisman this season. So he ran the option left, right and everywhere his first couple games, until he went down with an injury.

He went down in two or three games with an injury, but luckily the problems never kept him out for more than a few quarters. He knew he ran the risk of getting injured, because he is a fairly skinny quarterback who was getting hit hard repeatedly.

Despite the injuries, he kept running the option and kept putting up huge stats. Gillispie also kept scoring touchdowns and winning games for the Wolverines.

Then Michigan ran into its rival Michigan State and the Spartans upset the No. 1 team in the nation in overtime. Gillispie made a few bad decisions that cost the Wolverines the game.

Michigan fell in the rankings, but Gillispie never quit on the team, because his goal was always to win the title, over personal glory.

The Wolverines developed a bit of a passing game and found a running back that could break defenses. Gillispie became a much better player the second half of the season as he ran the option, utilized his running back and became a passing threat.

Gillispie remained first in the Heisman voting all season. Then the final week of the season went by as Michigan finally reached the No. 1 spot in the polls again.

The Heisman Trophy presentation came up after the final game and the excitement built. Gillispie was announced as the winner and he received the trophy. Then came the biggest decision he has made in his life.

Gillispie had the choice to take his "legend" status into the NFL or come back for his senior season. He knew he had achieved what he set out to do, a Heisman Trophy and a national championship. But he also knew the college game is so much more fun.

To make a decision of this magnitude, Gillispie went to the coin flip. It was heads, which always means go for it, while tails is duck and run. So he chose to take the next step and enter the NFL draft.

Before Gillispie could prepare for the pros, he had one last game as a Wolverine. Gillispie then led his team to a third straight national championship by rushing for more than 200 yards and passing for nearly 150 yards.

He was glad to finish his college career on a high note with a title and a Heisman.

So now Gillispie is a quarterback for the Washington Redskins in his rookie campaign. I hope everybody is rooting for the hometown hero, because he might need it.

Gillispie would like to thank everyone for his or her support of his Heisman. He will keep Baldwin City fans updated on his professional career as it has now begun.

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