NEW YORK -- Greetings from the Sports Museum of America, official home of the Heisman Memorial Trophy.
Longtime college football fans surely remember that college football's most prestigious award was founded in 1935 by the Downtown Athletic Club -- literally a members-only sports club (complete with a pool) housed in a 35-story building near the southern tip of Manhattan. Sadly, the building was badly damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the nearby World Trade Center, and the DAC went bankrupt.
Since then, the Heisman has been an award without a home, its annual ceremony drifting from the Yale Club to a midtown hotel to the Nokia Theater at Times Square. Finally, earlier this year, a conglomerate of national sports organizations opened the Sports Museum of America, just off Wall Street, dubbed as "The Nation' First and Only All Sports Experience." The museum has become the new, permanent home of the Heisman, housing an exhibit and gallery highlighted by the original bronzed statue from which every edition since has been molded.
This is a picture of me standing next to that trophy. It was taken by Sports Illustrated's Elizabeth McGarr, about 40 minutes before the 2008 award was presented. We were the only two people on the floor at the time, and I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to be there.
Pretty cool, no?
There's only one inconvenience about the Heisman's new-fangled home: They don't actually present the award here. The ceremony once again took place at the Nokia Theater, at least 50 city blocks from where me and the rest of the media are sitting and awaiting the post-ceremony press conference with the winners.
So when you hear someone say they're "covering the Heisman ceremony" … unfortunately, it's not entirely accurate.