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2005 Heisman Trophy Goes To Eppler

The Associated Press
December 13, 2005

NEW YORK, NY - (AP) In what can only be classified as a shocking turn of events, the 2005 Heisman Trophy has been awarded to USC quarterback and Five Os outfielder Mike Eppler. After Reggie Bush appeared to win in a landslide at Saturday's Heisman Presentation Ceremony, Mike Eppler, who was not initially listed as a finalist, demanded a recount of Heisman votes. The ceremony was held for a second time Monday evening, at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City. This time, the sports world was turned on its ear, as Mike Eppler won an astonishing 97% of all first place votes, taking the Heisman in a historically lopsided vote. After his name was announced, Eppler threw a $100 bill in Reggie Bush's direction, and muttered, "Next time you're going to cry like a little girl on national TV, do us all a favor and buy yourself a box of Kleenex."
The question most sports fans had is, how did all of these events come to pass?

NCAA President Myles Brand had this to say: "As a general rule, when a player has made millions of dollars playing for multiple professional sports leagues [the NFL and Major League Baseball in Eppler's case], he is excluded from participation in NCAA Athletics. However, because of Eppler's remarkable athletic ability and stunning physique, we decided to grant him one year of eligibility, with the stipulation that he would NOT be eligible for post-season awards. After a great deal of reflection however, because of what he has meant not only to the NCAA, but to athletics in America as a whole, we decided to amend this rule, and open the Heisman voting to include ALL NCAA athletes. In the original tally, most voters had not been made aware of this rule change. I accept full responsibility for this oversight, and offer my deepest apologies to Mr. Eppler, and would also beg him to release my daughter to the proper authorities."

Brand went on to urge temporary winner Reggie Bush to "be cool" about the situation, and to "move on with your life".

From a purely statistical standpoint, the decision for Heisman voters was easy. Eppler amassed 7,209 yards passing, with 47 touchdowns and only 1 interception. Eppler later admitted that the interception was thrown intentionally, to help him win a large sum of money from an off-shore casino. Eppler went on to say, "The NCAA usually gets their panties in a bunch when athletes gamble on their own games, but in my case, they know they better just shut their yaps and let it slide." Eppler also picked up 2,234 yards rushing, breaking the previous rushing record of 1,903 yards set by USC great Marcus Allen.

If anything caused Eppler to not gain all 100% of the first place votes, it was probably his questionable attitude and sportsmanship. Routinely throwing deep routes when his team led by 50+ points did not sit well with many opposing coaches.

Cal coach Jeff Tedford stated, "Running up the score when you're up 50 is certainly something I didn't appreciate. Sleeping with my wife was a far greater offense though, in my opinion. Maybe I'm just old-school."

Maybe most astonishing of all, was the fact that Eppler, a life-long right-handed thrower, chose to go lefty this year to "mix things up". Eppler continued, "obviously, coming into the season, I had one goal, and that was to rack up as many personal awards as possible. To do that right-handed would've been like challenging a crippled kid to a 50-yard dash."
When asked if a comment like that could be construed as offensive to handicapped children, Eppler hurled a whiskey bottle at the reporter.

When asked what plans he had for the Heisman Trophy, he said it would be "treated with the respect it deserves." He was later seen throwing it in the trunk of his car, next to two Grammy's and a Golden Globe award.

Matt Leinart, relegated to backup duties in his senior year because of Eppler's emergence, had this to say: "As an athlete? Yeah, he's got everything anyone could ever want. As a human being? Let's just say the jury is still out." At that point, Leinart was hit on the side of the face by a whiskey bottle, presumably thrown by Eppler.

Despite remarkable success on the field, it was a tumultuous season off the field for USC, as popular coach Pete Carroll was fired to meet one of Eppler's many demands. "Winning 34 straight games doesn't mean a whole lot if you're not going to let Epps be Epps," Eppler was quoted as saying. He was referring to an incident in which Coach Carroll tried to put in backup Matt Leinart for the final two minutes of a 96-6 drubbing laid on Oregon State. The rest of the team was clearly heartbroken by Carroll's dismissal, but carefully kept their comments to themselves, fearing the legendary wrath of Eppler's temper.

Eppler may have summed up his attitude best when he commented, "It's nice to think that 20 years from now people won't be winning Heismans... they'll be winning Epplers. And I have a suggestion for a new statue design..."

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