The Short Game: Nice Guys do Finish First (in Heisman Voting)

Mike Carlson, Spear Contibutor

Nice guys finish last. That’s how the old adage goes at least as it applies to the world of dating. The guy, usually with a heart of gold, fails to get anywhere with members of the opposite gender because they are too nice. These gents are by no means the doormats of the dating world, rather they are the doorknobs of the dating world; they are vastly under appreciated despite all the good they do for others.

It’s even tougher to succeed as a “nice guy” on the grand stage of football. I mean what do you expect from a sport which prides itself on its gladiatorial brutality and testosterone-filled culture?

This past Saturday night, football gained a “nice guy” in the form of Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota. “Super Mario” as he is so affectionately called by fans took home the Heisman trophy by a wide gap. Not surprisingly, he claimed 90.9 percent of the possible voting points. Even less astonishing, he has won by larger margins as the leader of the quack attack.

Football, especially the Heisman Trophy Trust, could benefit from a “nice guy” right about now.

Look no further than last year’s winner, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. To say the character of Winston has come under fire this year is to say that the Raiders are the closest thing to a bye week in football while still actually playing a game. Both are painfully true. Yet, only one involves crab legs. And while Winston’s name doesn’t tarnish the reputation of the Heisman Trophy completely, it does make one question if the man on the trophy is stiff-arming a member of an opposing defense or a manager of a Publix grocery store.

Taking a step back another year, then Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel claimed his spot in college football lore as the first freshman ever to claim the Heisman. Manziel, unlike Winston, was not marred in controversy when he took home the hardware. He made up for lost time pretty quickly, however. All of the sudden, Johnny Football was everywhere. If there was an event, party, or concert Manziel was there and, more than likely, having too good of a time. Add in his autograph scandal which landed him a two-quarter suspension as well as tweeting his disdain for College Station upon receiving a parking ticket and, once again, the Heisman trophy loses a little bit of luster.

Wait, the trophy goes to the most controversial player in college football, right?

Finally, moving back several decades O.J. Simpson took home the Heisman Memorial Trophy. The same O.J. who was acquitted of murder and then proceeded to write a book concerning, essentially, how he got away with murder. Need I say more?

The point here is that football could use a little Marcus Mariota. Mom’s who want their daughters to bring home a “proper gentleman” could use a lot of Marcus Mariota. How can you blame them though? He is a kind, humble, and selfless teammate. Not to mention, he has a record cleaner than an episode of “The Wiggles.”

Sounds like Mariota is the kind of guy you marry.