Accio Jacksons!

An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core

Heisman Hijinks

by Rebecca on 2008-02-15

Heisman Trophy

Early this year, I was chatting with my old roommate Elizabeth who was working feverishly on her CV as part of her application packet. It was late at night, and we were trying to think of ways to beef it up to make her look even more awesome to future employers. I jokingly suggested that she put down under the “Awards” section that she had won the Heisman Trophy. Hilarity ensued, as we imagined potential employers reading her CV and saying, “She has a Ph.D in astronomy … Well, well, look at this. It says she even won the Heisman Trophy a few years back. Very impressive!” (I should also mention that Elizabeth is a rabid college football fan, especially for BYU and UT. She can talk stats and strategies with the best of them. A guy in our singles ward who was a trainer for the BYU football team called her a “truly informed woman” once.)

Fast forward a few weeks. Those of us on the Austin LDS Institute email list received an email announcing that Ty Detmer would be speaking at that weekʼs Friday Forum. I immediately emailed Elizabeth because I thought sheʼd be really excited to be in the same room as a fellow Heisman winner and Ty Detmer, who was the greatest football player in BYU history, to boot. She responded that sheʼd be out of town that weekend and was completely crushed to be missing Ty Detmer. So, I promised her that I would go to the Friday Forum and take lots of pictures and maybe even find a BYU foam finger to wear during his talk.

Elizabeth came to our apartment one evening later that week, and we once again started discussing how it was really cool that she had won the Heisman Trophy. William also played along with the joke and decided to update Wikipedia to show Elizabeth as the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner. It lasted all of 8 hours before someone updated the entry, but it was still pretty funny.

Screenshot of Wikipedia entry listing Heisman Trophy winners

The day for his talk arrived. I admit that I was also pretty excited to hear Ty Detmer, since I remember when he won the Heisman Trophy and Dad telling me how Ty was a San Antonio kid who had gone to play football for BYU and joined the Church. Friday Forum includes a $2 lunch which is served at 12 and the talk begins at 12:15. Well, at 12:15, Ty Detmer still hadnʼt arrived at the Institute, which made a lot of people nervous. Finally, the senior missionary at the Institute announced that Ty Detmer would not be able to make it. He had gotten confused and headed to San Antonio instead of Austin. You wonder how in the world anyone could confuse the two cities. Hereʼs why he got confused: the address of the Austin Institute is 2020 San Antonio St. And the best part about that story is that he lives in Austin!

Fast forward a few more weeks. We received another email announcing that Ty Detmer would be the Friday Forum speaker for February 15 (today). I checked with Elizabeth, and she told me that she would be in town. It promised to be a good day.

And it was! Here are some pictures of the Friday Forum. The first one is Ty, and what I like best about this picture is that it also shows Elizabeth sitting on the front row, listening intently. The second picture is Elizabeth and me with Ty Detmer. Amazing! His talk was pretty interesting. He told his life story: how he grew up in Texas, decided to play football at BYU instead of UT, won the Heisman Trophy unexpectedly, joined the Church, spent a few seasons playing in the NFL, and now lives in Austin working at a sports agency that represents former Heisman trophy winners. He told a couple of interesting stories, one of which was about the time that he gave a blessing to Earl Campbell (another Heisman trophy winner that Iʼve met) and the other of which was about when he played on the 49ers with Steve Young and all six of the LDS players on the team would have a little sacrament meeting on Saturday nights before their games.

Ty Detmer

Rebecca, Ty, and Elizabeth

He seemed like a really nice guy and completely humble about all of his accomplishments. Even during the questions where people asked him, “What was it like to win the Heisman?” he seemed a bit surprised about where his life has taken him. My question was “What was it like to play for LaVell Edwards who never got excited about anything?” Anyway, it was a really interesting talk, and Iʼll add this picture of Ty to my collection of Heisman winner photos.