Tonight, college football will name its 2011 Heisman Trophy recipient. Earlier this week, Eddie George read the five Heisman finalist:
- Monty Ball
- Robert Griffin III
- Andrew Luck
- Tyrann Mathieu “The Honey Badger"
- Trent Richardson
The list didn’t surprise me. What surprised me was the “branding" in the announcement. The Honey Badger.
The honey badger is known for taking what he wants, but other players have taken more in every statistical category. The honey badger doesn’t have the most punt return yards. Devon Wylie does. The honey badger doesn’t have the most punt returns for a touchdown. Joe Adams does. The honey badger doesn’t have the most interceptions. 51 players have twice as many picks. The honey badger doesn’t have the most tackles. Luke Kuechly has 120 more tackles. The honey badger doesn’t have the most forced fumbles. Whitney Mercilus has nearly double the ball hawking skills.
Although, the honey badger is the leader in a category that isn’t statistically measureable: brand. As the Wall Street Journal even recognized:
But no matter what the voters say, one thing is certain: Mathieu has been the beneficiary of the funniest, spontaneous and off-color Heisman marketing campaign of all time.
I don’t think the brand will win the award, but I do believe it bought his ticket to New York. So, who do I think will win? Robert Griffin III. He also has a brand. RG3.