Eddie George made Heisman Trophy history after winning the prestigious award in 1995, but not in the way you might think. It wasn’t for breaking any college football rushing records or becoming the first Ohio State Buckeye to win the award.
No, George made history by becoming the first and only Heisman winner to break his trophy, but it wasn’t even his fault. The Ohio State legend actually has an airport security employee to blame for unintentionally damaging his hardware.
Eddie George won the Heisman Trophy in 1995
By the 1990s, Ohio State already had an extensive history producing Heisman Trophy winners. Les Horvath was the 10th player ever to win the award in 1944. Vic Janowicz took home the Heisman six years later, and Howard Cassady five years after that. Then, Archie Griffin held up the trophy two years in a row in 1974 and 1975.
In 1995, George continued the Buckeye excellence by becoming the fifth Ohio State player to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
George rushed for 1,927 yards and 24 touchdowns during his Heisman-winning season. He also chipped in 47 catches for 417 yards and another score.
George is the only Heisman winner to break his trophy
George may not be the only Ohio State Buckeye to win the Heisman, but he’s the only award winner to break his trophy almost immediately after receiving it. George appeared on Monday’s episode of Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast and told the funny story of helplessly watching airport security mishandle the trophy.
“They made me put [the trophy] through the X-ray machine,” George began. “I’m like ‘Dude, what the hell? I’m gonna highjack a plane with a trophy?’ I’m looking at the security guy, he’s looking at me, and there’s a staredown. I’m like ‘I’m not gonna put it in there.’ So finally the SID said ‘Eddie, just go ahead. We’ll deal with it on the other side.’ So I walk through the X-ray deal, and I’m waiting on the other side for the trophy to come out, and the conveyor belt stops… Then there’s kind of a panic.”
George said the airport employee fidgeted with the conveyor belt for about five minutes. Then, he even grabbed some Vaseline and smeared it all over the trophy to help it slip through the machine.
“After 10 minutes of this, I am clenching my butt cheeks like ‘Oh my god, he is destroying my trophy, What is it going to look like when he pulls it out?’ So he finally pulls it out, and the middle finger’s bent backward.
“I’m like ‘OK, so who’s gonna pay for this. Are you?'”
Thankfully for the careless employee, he didn’t have to pay up for the damages, and the Heisman Trust sent George a brand new trophy.
George’s unfortunate airport incident became a Jeopardy! question
Later in the interview, George added that his airport story became a question on the popular game show, Jeopardy!
This Ohio State running back is the only Heisman winner to ever break his trophy, and he never brought it on another plane again.
Who is, Eddie George?