clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Syracuse fans, let’s get Don McPherson his Heisman Trophy

We have an opportunity to right a wrong.

‘The Express’ World Premiere Photo by Marc Squire/Getty Images

Whether you were around for the 1987 season or not, you certainly understand its importance to the history for Syracuse Orange (“ORANGEMEN!!!!” - several of you).

Syracuse went 11-0 in the regular season, earning a trip to the Sugar Bowl. But with the game on the line Auburn coach coward Pat Dye opted for the tie instead. The Orangemen remained unbeaten, but with an 11-0-1 record, they had a much lesser claim to the national championship... though we made shirts anyway, 30 years later.

That was the team narrative, of course. But SU also doesn’t get there without the play of quarterback Don McPherson. The senior passer had 2,341 passing yards and 22 touchdowns, plus another 230 rushing yards and five scores (plus a receiving TD as well). As the leader of an unbeaten Orangemen team, those are the sort of numbers that earn you a Heisman back then, before spread offenses blew up college statistics for good.

Unfortunately for McPherson, those numbers DIDN’T win him a Heisman. Instead, the trophy went to Notre Dame’s Tim Brown. You’d think Brown’s numbers would’ve been off the charts to earn the award. You would be mistaken.

Brown had 73 touches from scrimmage that year, collecting 990 yards and four scores. He also had three punt return TDs. The Fighting Irish were also 8-4.

So McPherson was passed over for a Notre Dame player with inferior numbers on an inferior team. Syracuse fans have long wanted to right this wrong, but to this point, have had no such opportunity. However, all of that changed on Friday...


Predictably, Sean saw this and wants to fulfill the promise of his long-standing Twitter campaign to get this trophy to its rightful owner, McPherson.

Should we do a GoFundMe? How would we even handle bidding on this thing at auction? Would McPherson even accept it if we gave it to him? (we tweeted at him asking as much)

I’m honestly not kidding around about buying this trophy and getting it to Don. Of course, there are probably some other better uses of our energy and money (#CuseTix4Kids Part Deux, for starters). But this could also be a just cause in its own right.

Open to ideas on the “how” part, but let’s go buy this thing.