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Roger Staubach
Photo by George Silk/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

A Navy QB's Most Treasured Trophy

1963 Heisman winner Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach was wearing his Navy uniform in the lobby of a Broadway theater, waiting to see the musical "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying." He was with his parents, Bob and Betty, and his girlfriend, the future Mrs. Marianne Staubach. They were in Manhattan for the 1963 Heisman Trophy award ceremony. And Staubach was feeling pretty good about himself -- right up until people started handing him their theater tickets, mistaking his uniform for an usher's outfit. "That'll put you in your place, Mr. Heisman," Marianne chortled. Fact is, Staubach has always known his place. He's been a leader and a winner and a businessman and a philanthropist all his life -- but he's always been a team player, too. When Navy coach Wayne Hardin called his team into the locker room the week of the annual Army-Navy game to tell the Midshipmen that their quarterback had won the Heisman, they all applauded. Staubach responded by telling his teammates, "I'm going to cut it up into little pieces and give each of you a piece." Today, his Navy teammates kid him that they're still waiting for their piece of the trophy. But in reality, they're proud they could be a part of what has been the last of five service-academy Heisman winners. "It meant a lot to the '63 team," Staubach said. "They feel part of the Heisman. They know Roger didn't win it without them." Even more importantly, Roger won it for his parents. Bob Staubach was in poor health at the time, and Betty was working at the General Motors plant in Cincinnati. The only child called his parents immediately after he got the news, and the next day there was a big headline in the Cincinnati newspaper. "Mom went to work at GM, and everyone was congratulating her," Roger said. Staubach went on to win just about every honor a football player can win, from Super Bowls to Hall of Fame enshrinement. "But when people come over to the house," he said, "the first thing they say is, 'Can I see the Heisman?'"
-- Pat Forde


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