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Heisman 1975 Archie Griffin
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Double Dose

1974 and 1975 Heisman winner Archie Griffin

How did Ohio State's Archie Griffin find out he'd made history as the first double winner of the Heisman Trophy? Via pay phone at a service station near Cambridge, Ohio. Griffin was on his way to a speaking engagement, and he pulled off Interstate 70 about an hour outside Columbus. He was instructed to call the Ohio State media relations department to check for news, and in the days long before cell phones, that meant pulling over and pulling a dime out of your pocket. Congratulations, he was told. You've won your second Heisman. Now keep it a secret. Griffin did his best, but how do you keep that news to yourself? He told his parents and one teammate, quarterback Cornelius Green. And he breathed a deep sigh of relief. Heading into the '75 season as the reigning Heisman winner was "a heavy burden," Griffin said. "But I was the one that put that pressure on myself." Griffin said he took one of coach Woody Hayes' maxims too literally: "If you're not getting better, you're getting worse." Every day, he worried that his performance would slip from his junior year. Finally, one day before the season began, Griffin came across a Bible passage that set him at ease. Psalms 37:4: "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." "It was like a light had turned on, and I said, 'Hey, go on and live your life the way it should be,' he said. "I began to realize that I could not control how people were going to think about me. I could only control my effort." The effort worked out pretty well. Thirty-four years later, Archie Griffin remains the only repeat winner of the Heisman. "The appreciation grows, because you realize it must not be that easy to do," he said with a laugh.
-- Pat Forde


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