ORG XMIT: NY169 FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2005, file photo, Heisman Trophy finalists quarterback Vince Young, left, of Texas, and running back Reggie Bush of Southern California, pose for a photo with the Heisman Trophy at the ESPN Zone Times Square in New York. There will be no 2005 Heisman winner now that Reggie Bush has returned the award from that year. The head of the Heisman Trophy Trust said Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010, that the 2005 award will be vacated. Former Texas quarterback Vince Young finished a distant second to Bush in the voting that year. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

John Kelso

American-Statesman Staff

Column

FROM THE ARCHIVES (Dec. 13, 2005): KELSO: Heisman? Who cares? Win Rose

Posted December 13th, 2005

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Ol’ Vince Young didn’t quite pull a Ted Baxter Saturday when he didn’t win the Heisman Trophy.

But he was playing in the same playpen.

You might remember Ted, that blowed-up puff adder of a TV anchor on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” In one episode, Ted bought himself a coveted Teddy Award, then cried at the ceremony.

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Vince wasn’t quite that pouty when he didn’t win the Heisman. But he was rubbin’ elbows with it.

Vince got his panties in a pile when he lost out in the Heisman voting to University of Southern California running back Reggie Bush. Instead of being gracious and congratulating Bush like he should have, Vince got his jock in a knot. He didn’t party with Bush after the ceremony, breaking Heisman protocol.

“I’m just disappointed for my fans, especially for my teammates and my family for not representing them in the right way, ” Young said after the ceremony. “I feel like I let my guys down, let my family down, let the whole cities of Austin and Houston down.”

I live in Austin, I go to University of Texas football games, and I don’t feel let down. Do you? Who cares who wins the Heisman? Now, the Rose Bowl and the national championship, that’s another matter. That’s Texas. That’s braggin’ rights. That’s for the honor of the Lone Star State. Screw that one up, Vince, and we’ll talk about your mama.

But Vince Young and the Heisman is a personal problem. Got an empty space on your trophy shelf, Vince? Buy a vase.

Here’s a perfect example of what happens to young folks when you keep them isolated from the real world. Young might have been the only guy on the planet who didn’t know he stood almost no chance to win the Heisman. Somebody should have told him. Maybe he wouldn’t have had this hissy fit.

I can empathize. Ego is a powerful thing. I’ve got one, too. In years when I don’t win anything, and God knows there have been plenty of them, I’ve been known to mutter things such as, “Damn judges always give everything to The Dallas Freakin’ Morning News.”

Vince, don’t be that way. Drop it. Go out to Pasadena and kick some California butt. We don’t care that you didn’t win the Heisman. But we will find you if you blow it at the Rose Bowl.

Here’s what you should have said, Vince: “I’d like to congratulate Reggie Bush for winning the Heisman. It’s nice to see a Bush with an actual approval rating win something for a change. Now, when we get to Pasadena, we’ll see who the real champ is. Hook ’em.”

For people who behave like snot-nosed brats, I’ve invented this category of people I call AFNAR. AFNAR stands for Arrogant for No Apparent Reason. Vince earned his AFNAR rating when he didn’t say, “Way to go, Reggie. Nice trophy.”

But, when you get right down to it, who cares if someone from USC wins the Heisman? After all, this is the only football team in America whose mascot is a brand of condoms. So who cares what a bunch of sportswriters think?

Besides, I’ve seen better looking bowling trophies.

John Kelso’s column appears on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at (512) 445-3606 or jkelso@statesman.com.

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