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How I lost my Heisman vote...
I used to be a voter. Then they took it away from me. And for a very good reason.
I have an embarrassing story to tell.
I used to have a Heisman Trophy vote. And then I lost it. And for good reason.
To be honest, I wasn’t all hot and bothered about being a voter — I’m not even sure why they asked me to do it — but I took it seriously. Where I used to pay all my attention to IU and Purdue (and Notre Dame, a bit), I started watching as many other games as humanly possible and started reading a lot more college football material on the Web. I knew what was going on, followed the process and was ready to go once it came time to vote.
Anyway, one year, I had the brilliant idea to make the case for Manti Te’o, the great Notre Dame linebacker. I basically wrote a column saying, “This is the guy I’m voting for.” Well, that’s a massive Heisman no-no. I didn’t read the small print. Hell, I didn’t read the large print, either. It was just a massively dumb thing to do, and a few weeks later, I got a letter from the Heisman folks telling me I’d screwed up. You’re not supposed to tell the world who your Heisman vote is before the actual vote. A totally reasonable rule and one I should have been on top of…but I wasn’t.
If they had taken my vote from me right then and there, I wouldn’t have argued. I deserved to lose it. But as my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Considine, once told me, “Robby, you’re a very smart young man, but you’re terribly discombobulated.”
She was right. And nothing much as changed, if I’m being honest about it.
So how did I lose my vote?
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Well, it was the Friday before the final weekend of the regular season, the weekend when we watch as many games as possible to finalize our choices. Usually, we have a pretty good idea who we’re voting for, but sometimes, the final week of games can have an impact on our final decision.
Anyway, on that Friday, my step-mom called me to tell me my father, who’d been terribly ill for several months, was in his final days. She wasn’t sure he would last much longer, so our family needed to run to Florida to say our final goodbyes as soon as humanly possible. We left Saturday morning, went to the hospice, tearfully tended to my father and we lost him shortly thereafter. It was as if he knew, somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind, that he had to stick it out long enough to say goodbye to his family, and particularly his beloved granddaughters.
Anyway, the Heisman Trophy vote, which I had to send along on Sunday, was not on my mind.
I forgot to vote.
I guess I had a pretty good excuse, but still, I had my phone, all I needed to do was spend 30 seconds filling out the form and the deed would have been done. But, for good reason, my mind wasn’t on college football, or the Heisman, or anything else.
Thus ended my time as a Heisman voter.
I’m not arguing the decision. I screwed up. I screwed up twice. So it goes.
Anyway, I’m not limited this year, so my non-vote goes to Michael Penix Jr., the former IU star. I could even write a whole column on it if I was so inclined. But I won’t.
Anyway, that’s my Heisman story. Like I said…embarrassing.
So the other day on X, I was called a racist.
This, of course, is absurd because I hate everybody equally.
(Just joking. I just don’t like the Dutch.)
(Kidding again. The Dutch are fine.)
So why was I called a racist? Because I took and posted a photo of the Pacers’ In-Season Tournament court — that blue-and-yellow monstrosity — and added my own opinion by writing “Ugh.”
Some guy wrote this: “bkravitz is racist and always has been secretly. It's starting to come out now with this post.”
My taste in on-court artwork makes me a racist?
My friend, Kevin Betz, who I’ve known since college, was aghast. (Kevin helps me edit this mess). He wanted to do everything but call the FBI and have them open an investigation. He wanted to reach out personally to Elon Musk. He was outraged.
I just laughed. When you’ve spent a lot of years in the semi-public eye, you get used to this sort of thing. I’ve been called all sorts of things — most of them from New Englanders after Deflategate — and honestly, I’m comfortable enough in my own skin that being called a racist doesn’t bother me. Now, maybe if one of my Black friends or colleagues said something, I’d be impacted and would take a long, hard look in the mirror, but some schmuck on X? And tell me, please, what does an on-court paint job have to do with racism? Can somebody help me here?
I happen to like Jackson Pollock.
Now where’s my hood?