May 11, 2011
Montana sculptor Ken Bjorge told his hometown paper Tuesday that the Heisman bust has just been shipped to the Plains, the first of four graven images of Auburn icons scheduled to be unveiled outside of Jordan-Hare Stadium this October. (His homages to Tiger Heisman Trophy winners Pat Sullivan, Bo Jackson and, yes, even Cam Newton are still on deck.) Bjorge has previously been commissioned for tributes to 1977 Heisman winner Earl Campbell for Texas, championship coach Jim Owens for Washington and a larger-than-life elk for Wellfield Botanic Gardens in Elkhart, Ind.
While Auburn is only one of many schools that have caught the bug for encasing Heisman winners and other dignitaries in bronze, it's the only one of them with an actual connection to Heisman himself, who arrived from Ohio to lead the fledgling program at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama to a 12-4-2 record from 1895-99. So, yeah, OK, he coached all of 18 games there in five years and didn't win any championships. His name is on that dang trophy, by God, and no other school can claim a tie to both man and metallurgy. You ride that train as far as it will go.
Speaking of trains, if Auburn really wanted to do the old man justice, it would put him in front of a railroad track with a few stalled-out locomotives hovering over his shoulders. But you do what you can in a limited medium.