Stiff Arm Trophy

Memo to the Heisman Trust: You're welcome.

Posted by Kari Chisholm on December 18, 2009 in News.

According to the Associated Press, the closest Heisman Trophy vote of all time led to the highest ratings for the Heisman award show ever.

The closest vote in Heisman Trophy history drew a record television audience for the announcement ceremony. ESPN's telecast Saturday averaged a 4.1 rating, up 32 percent from the previous high of 3.1 set the last two years and in 2002. Alabama tailback Mark Ingram finished just 28 points ahead of Stanford's Toby Gerhart. A ratings point represents 923,000 households.

Ponder that for a second.

How could the closest vote ever lead to high ratings? The vote's secret, after all.

Unless, that is, people knew it was going to be a close vote. Unless, somewhere out there, there was a website that was able to tell people that there was some suspense in the outcome.

Oh yeah. There is. Right here. 3.78 million households tuned into the Heisman ceremony. On the 12 days prior to the ceremony, Stiff Arm Trophy recorded 1.35 million pageviews from 1.267 million daily unique visitors. On top of that, I did nearly two dozen radio interviews - and our vote counts were featured in daily ESPN broadcasts and many local and national publications.

So, my dear friends at the Heisman Trophy Trust, you're welcome. No need to send a commission check - or even a fruit basket. We're all good.

I am, however, going to change one thing. We're going to start using the word "Heisman" around here again. There's no legal reason to avoid it, it was just my little way of tweaking the Trust's silly tantrum about our old name ( We won't use the Heisman's trademarks in our branding, but we're not going to be afraid of using the word itself.