Greg Paulus: Heisman-bound?
If Barack Obama can get the Nobel Prize, I see no reason why Greg Paulus should not be awarded this year’s Heisman Trophy. Obama’s award was given, as much as anything, for restoring hope to a world weary of American Cowboy diplomacy. His talk of a nuclear-free world, dialogue even with adversaries, multilateral consultation on important security issues, blah, blah, blah… found favor in Oslo, Norway. All this fuss even though, at the time of his nomination, he had done nothing but talk about it.
The nominations for the Peace Prize had to be in hand by Feb. 1, when the Obama administration was only 10 days old. Paulus is far more experienced today than Obama was at that point—has already piloted the Orange through five games, and even won some.
The Peace Prize has also been seen as a repudiation of the Bush administration. Giving the 2009 award to Obama represents the second slap in the face to George W. Bush by the sage descendants of Alfred Nobel. In 2002, when Bush was ramping up to invade Iraq in search of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, the Nobel went to Jimmy Carter, one of the most outspoken proponents of seeking a different way of dealing with Saddam. Bush called Carter to congratulate him, then hung up and invaded Iraq.
Likewise, giving the Heisman to Paulus could stand as a repudiation of the Robinson era in Syracuse University football. It would signal to the world that the days of the West Coast offense, the impossibly upbeat post-game press conferences, and the densely matted and perfectly coiffed hair are definitively over. We don’t need your high-priced imports, we would be telling the world, we can grow our own coaches and quarterbacks. With Doug Marrone playing Biden to Greg Paulus’ Obama, we can take on the world. Who needs the hair? Our coach can wear a baseball cap.
Some may object and say that Paulus just got here, but the Obama pick gives the lie to such concerns. Greg Paulus spent four years at Christian Brothers Academy and four years playing hoops (the president’s favorite game) at Duke. That combined total puts him past the number of years Barack Obama spent in the U.S. Senate (and, to be fair, more than the number of years Sarah Palin served as governor of Alaska).
Well, you say, Greg Paulus may be a fine kid, and a great athlete, but he has his flaws. Oh, I guess you mean the occasional interception. May I remind you that Barack Obama himself, now the reigning earthly prince of peace as well as the undisputed king of cool, once annihilated a fly during an interview with CNBC, on national television.
During an interview with John Harwood, he interrupted himself, followed a buzzing fly with his eye and deftly swatted the bug to the ground, killing it cold in front of a national television audience that undoubtedly included young children. Nixon had an enemies list, but as far as we know, no flies died at Watergate. So, if the Nobel Peace Prize deciders can overlook an act of premeditated and unprovoked insecticide, I submit that the Heisman big shots can let a few fumbles and misplaced tosses slide.
Greg, we’re with you. It’s not going to be easy. The Heisman voting is pretty complicated. The jury is made up almost exclusively of sports journalists, 924 of them to be precise. The public gets one vote. Here’s where you come in.
There are two things you can do to get the Heisman for Greg. No. 1, go to the Web site of the company sponsoring the award; this year it’s Nissan. Click on over to www.promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/theheismanvote/2009, and write in the name of our eager rookie quarterback. Expect to begin receiving spam encouraging you to purchase an Altima with snow tires. That’s the price you pay for being an Orange fan.
No. 2, the only non-journalists who get to vote are the former Heisman winners themselves. All right, let’s check the list. It turns out that Syracuse’s only Heisman winner so far is Ernie Davis (Jim Brown, we all know, was robbed). Ernie went to heaven far too young, and his memory is reverently guarded by SU, even to the point of naming the football field for him and erecting a statue of him wearing Nikes.
So we’ve got to reach out to Ernie, and ask him to intercede on behalf of our man Greg. Come on Orange fans—you know you’ve done stranger things to help the team. I know some of you even start drinking Pabst at 6:30 in the morning in rainy parking lots just to cheer on the Orange. You can do this! Our one vote for the Heisman is Ernie Davis, so let’s all send a big shoutout to heaven and get him on board to vote for Greg Paulus. Let it not be said of our team that we don’t have a prayer.