Politicking for the Heisman, Medieval Style

Winter is coming, and as the denizens of the desolate and frozen north continue their relentless march on the Autumn Wall the landscape of college football is under threat. In a few short months we Aggies, along with each member of the six kingdoms and three realms that form the fading BCS Kingdom, will be forced into hibernation to await the return of a temperate climate more conducive to training and eventual on-field combat. However, there is discontent and malfeasance festering among the rank and file of various kingdoms, as the current King and Lord Protector of the Heisman Throne has been rumored to be considering abdication of his crown in order to pursue a far more risky and challenging quest. Knights and Vassal’s of other realms have begun rallying the lower classes in support of pretenders with questionable battle experience, mistakenly believing that winning every minor battle will ultimately lead to winning the Throne. We know this to be folly as we have borne witness with our own two eyes how a humbling loss can transform a young prince into a leader of men. The outlanders would be wise to make no mistake about who sits upon the Heisman Throne, as Johnny F. Manziel is the reigning Heisman King. The pretenders will point to his redzone induced case of interceptitis as proof that his time as King has passed all the while failing to recognizing that his performance as King has been far more effective in this age than he was as a young Prince who boldly strolled into the fortress of Tidehold and vanquished the Tidlings and there would be King.

For several months now various Princes with names like Mariota, Bridgewater, Boyd, Miller and Winston have each lead their troops into battle against numerous rivals in an attempt to bolster their support and build a resume forceful enough to challenge the King. Even previously unknown royals such as Prince Petty who rules over a powerful and offensively minded force have taken his tarpaulin covered kingdom to heights not previously known. Some have succeed at every turn while others have fallen out of contention. Yet each of the pretenders appears to lack the immense will and determination it will take to unseat the current King. Not to mention the all important signature moment so craved by the peasants and paupers of the various realms. For even when Lord Manziel’s squad loses a battle his troops still rally around him and fight with a ferocious tenacity that leaves opposing defensive coordinators trembling alone on the sidelines hoping for a reprieve from his relentless onslaught.

To those who have pointed to the 2013 battle against the Tidlings and the failed completion to Sir Labhart down the seam which resulted in a defensive touchdown for the opposing faction I have this to say to you. Apparently you didn't really watch that game because if you had you might recall that the pick six of which you are referring occurred thanks to a Tidling squire who grabbed hold of the face guard on Sir Labhart’s helm as he was trying to catch the ball. Sir Labhart wasn't able to get his hands up to catch the ball because of the uncalled penalty and the ball subsequently ricochet's off the offending squires floppy, muffin like hat and directly into the clutches of the previously much maligned knight known simply as Sunseri. If you watch the highlights of that particular play it was a perfectly thrown ball that would have hit Sir Labhart directly on his breast plate had he not been mauled in the process of attempting to make the catch.

I'm not going to argue that the non-call cost A&M the contest because there were so many other miscalculations by Lord Snyder and his defense that it would be disingenuous to do so and it ultimately would discredit the tremendous job Alabama did to win that battle. Similarly, attempting to argue that this particular interception, or any other, is the reason Lord Manziel should not retain his place on the Heisman Throne this year is not only disingenuous on the oppositions part but also demonstrates an inability to observe an outcome within the proper context that it requires.

Ultimately being awarded the Heisman Throne is not about limiting mistakes like interceptions because much of the voting gentry understand that context plays a huge role in determining the reason behind the outcome. The 2012 Aggies vs Tidlings battle was a perfect example. Prince McCarron didn't lose a shot at the Heisman because he threw two pics in that game. He lost a shot at the Heisman because Lord Manziel made spectacular plays throughout the game. Furthermore, Lord Manziel had Heisman moment's over the course of not just that battle but throughout the seasons long war while Prince McCarron was simply highly effective if unspectacular at the position.

Of the initial cadre of potential contenders to the throne only Prince Winston remains in position to challenge our King. Yet what exactly he will bring his challenge to bare with I know not. Does Prince Winston have a signature moment yet? Perhaps beating Pitt in the first game of his collegiate career. While that was a quality performance against it was against a very poor opponent. Maybe it was FSU's dismantling of Clemson. Prince Winston played a spirited match but ultimately did not have any singular moment that would stand out as being Heisman worthy, and the real story of that battle was FSU's defense anyway. Maybe it’s the 55 yard TD pass at the end of the first half against the Eagles of Boston College. This was quite possibly his most dynamic play of the year in which he went all Manziel on BC escaping from the clutches of a desperate defense as the pocket collapsed around him in the closing minutes of the half. There's a problem with that moment though. It’s not as good as many of the Heisman worthy moments Lord Manziel has had this year and yet it is Prince Winston’s only one. Sure it’s impressive on its own, but ultimately it’s not really part of a larger body of astounding plays and isn't the signature moment of the season. The current King, Lord Manziel on the other hand makes plays like that every single game and already has a handful of options to select from.

Finally even though our King takes risks he shouldn't and occasionally throws a pick, even in big games, so does Prince Winston. The Prince’s INT against Clemson allowed the Tigers to turn a 10-0 game in which FSU was driving towards another score into a 10-7 game at the end of the first quarter. How about the two INT's against Miami that kept the Hurricanes in the match until half-time? These are mistakes that if made in a Kingdom without a proper defense could be catastrophic, yet because FSU has a great defense Prince Winston’s INT’s apparently do not matter while Lord Manziel’s do. The point is Prince Winston makes the same negative plays Lord Manziel makes only he has not authored virtually any of the jaw-droppingly amazing plays that capture the imagination of the BCS Kingdom and have been a signature of Lord Manziel's entire reign.

Ultimately capturing the Heisman Throne is not just about stats, winning games, and being the QB of one of the most balanced teams in the realm. It's about grabbing hold of a battle in a way that no one else is able to and then bending it to your will. Lord Manziel bends every battle to his will every time he steps on the field and Prince Winston simply doesn't. Prince Winston is a good, possibly even great QB, but in a world of superstar QB's Prince Winston is a star while Lord Manziel is a friggin Supernova.

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