The contest for the 81st Heisman Trophy will come to an end tonight at 8 p.m. ET. But before another student takes home college football's highest honor, ESPN asked a very important question: Where do the 13.5-inch, 45-pound trophies end up after the ceremony? While Oscar winners might keep their prizes in the bathroom (or misplace them altogether), athletes are a bit more sentimental about their bronze statues. For the most part.
"It's at my parents' house in a closet," Matt Leinart told ESPN of the trophy he won in 2004 as a junior at USC. "It's tucked away in the corner. I think a towel is covering it ... I'm just not the type of guy to have my Heisman Trophy displayed as soon as you walk into my house."
He's not alone. Others like Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, and Sam Bradford have left their trophies with their parents for up to 10 years. (Bradford's was kept on his mom's dining room table. "It stayed there for a while. It had some decorations around it and things. When she got tired of it, she gave it back to me.")
Eric Crouch, the 2001 winner, choose a different option, keeping his "preserved" in its steel case. "I've never displayed it," Crouch told ESPN. "Each year, I think displaying it interests me a little bit more and more. I just battle with where I'd put it. Do I put it in the living room? Does it go in an office?"
The first recipient of the trophy in 1935 (when it was called the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy) had less of a challenge. ESPN reports that Jay Berwanger, a former running back at the University of Chicago, used it as a doorstop, as one does, before it wound up on display at the University.
Several others have had their trophies sold in public auctions, so only the buyers (who ESPN reports have paid between $184,000 and $395,000 for the awards) know how they are being displayed.