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Big Sydney - Say 'Cheese' and cast your Heisman vote

November 05, 1999

Who do you like for the Heisman Trophy?

Somebody's got to win that bad boy.

Well, somebody other than Peter Warrick, the Florida State deep threat, whose deep-discount purchase at the local Dillard's discounted any hopes he had of collecting the most coveted piece of hardware in college football.

Joe Hamilton? Drew Brees? Ron Dayne? Chad Pennington? Thomas Jones? Shaun Alexander? Shana Alexander? Lavar Arrington? LeVar Burton? Richard Burton? Elizabeth Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Warner Fortensky? None of the above? Any of the above?

I have no clue (hey, quit nodding your heads. I see you).

This is one of those years where there's not only no clear-cut favorite, there's no consensus as to what criteria the voters are looking for in a Heisman candidate.

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Will there be a stats-are-too-big-to-ignore winner like Barry Sanders (1998) or Andre Ware ('89)? A lifetime-achievement-award winner like Ricky Williams ('98)? A politically correct let's-give-it-to a-defensive-player winner like Charles Woodson ('97)? A highlight-reel winner like Doug Flutie ('84), Rashaan Salaam ('92) or Tim Brown ('87)? A Florida school national championship QB winner like Danny Wuerffel ('96), Charlie Ward ('93) or Gino Torretta ('91)? A best-available-Notre Dame-player winner like (too numerous to mention)? Or will it be a would-someone-please-explain-this-one-to-me winner like Gary Beban ('67)?

More than 800 media people and all living Heisman winners get to choose. Even one of The Morning Herald sportswriters, the one with the last name I'm too tired to spell out right now, has a vote (he's still undecided, by the way).

So this is as good a year as any to give you, yes, I mean you, a voice in the selection of the Heisman winner.

For the first time, the fans are being given a chance to cast a vote - well, to be precise, the chance to cast approximately one-78,750th of a vote - for the nation's most outstanding college football player.

The American Suzuki Motor Corp., which along with Time Inc. and Turner Broadcasting System is now "sponsoring" the Heisman, is distributing ballots at its dealerships nationwide and over the Internet (at www.suzuki.com) for fans to vote for their favorite players. Fill 'em out and mail 'em in or drop 'em off at your local Suzuki dealer (the closest "local" dealers are in Gaithersburg and Winchester).

The winner of the fans' balloting will actually receive one vote in the official Heisman balloting. So if you and about 40,000 other Maryland fans can stuff the ballot box for, say, Omar Cheeseboro, the Terps' wide receiver will officially be a "Heisman runner-up," and your collective votes will cancel out anything that Parasiliti (did I get all the vowels in?) does.

As an extra incentive, your fan ballot automatically enters you in a sweepstakes. Prizes include a Suzuki vehicle and an expense-paid trip for two for next year's Heisman banquet and awards ceremony in New York, where you can congratulate Omar personally (remember, your balloting this year positioned Mr. Cheese as a top contender for the Heisman in Y2K).

The fan voting is now in progress and will continue through Nov. 30, a week before those writers like whatsisname have to turn in their ballots.

Suzuki hasn't released the early returns, but according to my sources, the voting leaders so far are:

1. George W. Bush (his presidential campaign isn't taking any chances).
2. Bobby Boucher.
3. Ricky Williams (can't he succeed himself?)
4. Mariah Carey (hey TRL, pls play "Heartbreaker" its da bomb from Syd in MD)
5. Gary Beban.


On with the predictions (last week: 21-7, .750; season: 174-56, .757):

HIGH SCHOOLS




Tonight's games

Boonsboro 22, Smithsburg 20 - Go with the Warriors in this war for Md. 66 bragging rights.

North Hagerstown 15, South Hagerstown 14 - The game's a tossup, but the South faculty is a lock to win the relay race at halftime.

Williamsport 24, Francis Scott Key 12 - Will 7-3 get the Wildcats into the playoffs? It'll be close.

Middletown 13, Walkersville 7 - MVAL saves its best game for last.

Brunswick 26, Catoctin 6 - Next stop for Railroaders is the postseason.

Martinsburg 44, Jefferson 24 - 'Dogs will be in their own house for first playoff game.

Greencastle 30, Susquehanna Township 21 - The Devils, you say.

Central Dauphin 49, Waynesboro 13 - On Pac-Man's 20th birthday, Indians get Chaumped.

West Perry 43, James Buchanan 6 - Rockets' mission put on hold until next fall.

Hancock 29, Berkeley Springs 23 - Panthers leave their winless rivals panting.

Chambersburg 28, Carlisle 21 - Trojans marshal a win over the Thundering Herd.

Saturday's games

Thomas Johnson 26, Frederick 22 - If Frederick went back to one high school, would the team be named the Pa-dets? (You owe me for that one)

Mercersburg Academy 37, St. James 13 - Saints get little mercy from Mercersburg.

COLLEGES




Shippensburg 40, California (Pa.) 21 - Vulcans will need more than phasers to stun Ship.

Frostburg State 27, Greensboro 10 - Bobcats prowl closer to Atlantic Central title.

Maryland 35, North Carolina State 25 - Terps couldn't do the Duke, but if they can't smack the Pack, they're in trouble.

Penn State 30, Minnesota 16 - I won't gopher the upset pick here, although it's tempting.

Navy 37, Rutgers 33 - Mids could be waylaid by winless Knights.

Virginia Tech 50, West Virginia 13 - The CBS eye will be looking away by the third quarter.

Shepherd 51, West Liberty 20 - Rams still unranked? Baaaaa!

PROS




Redskins 25, Bills 20 - No magic from Flutie this week.

Panthers 30, Eagles 19 - In my mind, I'm going with Carolina.

Browns 23, Ravens 20 - Maybe Baltimore should switch to the single wing.

Steelers 12, 49ers 10 - You'd be better off popping a CD-ROM in your PC and matching up the '75 Steelers vs. the '89 Niners.

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